Why Do Only Some People Execute?

Tonight I had dinner with Barry Moore of The Active Marketer and we talking about where things were at in our respective businesses and what was on the cards going forward for each of us.

You don’t realize sometimes how much you get done in a year.

Barry has launched his Insiders Community this year and is now working on a version 2.0 of that which he’ll hopefully kick off next month at some point on top of having a busy job as a commercial pilot.

I’ve gotten Casual Marketer going, written (and published) something north of 300,000 words for the year to date, have a book to be released before Christmas and spent three months shuttling back and forth to Brisbane every week at my full-time job.

That’s a pretty full on year, yet while we talking we both sort of lamented things that we’d not gotten done.  For me, I mentioned the fact that I’d wanted to have two podcasts up and running this year and just haven’t found the right format or topic.

The conversation morphed then into “How come some people can’t execute on anything?”

It wasn’t really the sort of conversation like, “We’re so great, we do all this stuff but some people can’t do anything…”  The segue was an earlier point in the discussion when we were discussing something entirely different and the reason it failed was that the person involved just didn’t actually get around to it.

Without reciting the entire evening’s conversation, we’d kind of narrowed it down to a few themes of why some people just can’t get started.  And as Barry pointed out, it’s rarely the idea phase because there are people who execute on bad ideas all the time.  In fact, I think I even mentioned two or three bad ideas that I’d executed on over the last few years.

I can say without hesitation that the number one thing holding people back from being successful is a lack of execution.  They have great ideas, they’re excited and motivated, they’re smart enough to be successful but for whatever reason, they just don’t pull the trigger.

The reality is that for most people looking to start their own business online, there’s not much holding you back other than yourself.  The technology is pretty easy now and getting easier every single day.  Producing good content has become something that we all do on a fairly regular basis we often just don’t package it up correctly.

There just isn’t an external excuse that I can think of that prevents you from rolling up your sleeves and getting stuck in.

The interesting thing that I felt came out of our conversation was that the common answer to this question is usually, “fear”.  People are afraid to fail or afraid to succeed in some cases, but to me, that’s really cliche and an oversimplification of the problem.  That fear comes from something deeper that you need to understand before you can work to resolve it and move forward.

I think for many people the reason they don’t “execute” is because they simply don’t have an offer.  This throws up the distinction between “being busy” and “executing”.  There are tons of people doing Facebook Live, hammering out Snapchat stuff, posting in forums all day and writing blog posts on their site, but if they aren’t making an offer, that’s not executing, that’s just doing a bunch of stuff.

The last group we identified are people who just don’t know what to do.  By far, these are the easiest people to help and work with because they just lack a roadmap.  They are happy to execute if someone would just tell them what activities they should be undertaking to help get them to the next step.

Interestingly, the first two groups, “fear” and “lack of offer” are people who also tend to get lost in tactics.  They wander around the interwebz finding people to teach them stuff under the misguided impression that the thing holding them back is missing the perfect funnel or not understanding how to set up their automation software.  You could give them a map clearly marking out where the pot of gold was and they probably wouldn’t follow it.

This is where meaningful introspection is important.  You need to be able to work out why you’re not executing specifically and start addressing that.  Once the underlying issues are resolved then you can start setting up systems to help you proceed with getting stuff done.

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