What Causes Some to Take Action And Others Not To?

by Michael Simmons on Apr 5, 2013

Have you ever wanted to really take action on something important to you, but consistently not been able to?

I have. It’s a painful.

My biggest breakthrough on understanding why this happens came at the end of a 4-hour Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour event in Denver, CO in 2008.

The energy of the audience was perfectly aligned with all of the speakers. I asked people to raise their hand if they wanted to start a business. Everyone’s hands immediately sprung up. People WANTED to take action.

So, I decided to throw in a new activity where everyone wrote down the three actions that they were going to do RIGHT AWAY in order to start their business.

Then, I asked for some people to share.

That’s when I became the student and the audience became the teacher.

Not one person gave a real actionable step. Everyone shared intentions like NETWORK and BRAINSTORM, but nothing that was a real action step.

Every single person who shared needed coaching on things like:

  1. How to set a tangible goal.
  2. How to work backwards from that goal to a step they could take right away.
  3. How to create accountability around that action step to make sure it gets done.
  4. How to remove any internal or external barriers that could stop the action.

I remember being shocked and saddened at the end of the event. I realized that all of these people with amazing intentions and passion were probably not going to start a business.

That is the first time I realized that taking action is more of a way of thinking than it is a pure desire.

The great thing is that this way of thinking can be taught and learned even though it isn’t in traditional education.

What concepts do you think are critical to people learning how to take action?


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I'm the co-founder of Empact, one of the leading entrepreneurship education organizations in the world. I'm obsessed with understanding how we all can lead meaningful lives that have a positive social impact. I love probing into the truth of how we experience life. I believe that challenges are what make us grow the most, and I openly share my experiences. Continue reading…