Feelers vs. doers

If you don't feel particularly good at taking action, fear not: I didn't either.

When I launched my coaching business in early 2015, I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing. I'd never started a business before; the only money I'd ever made in my life (besides cash from babysitting) came in the form of a paycheck; and my deep-seated desire to execute everything flawlessly the first time I tried it made for a bumpy beginning to entrepreneurship.

So, I spent a huge portion of that first year doing whatever I felt like doing. If a blog post seemed like a good idea and I felt up to writing something, I cracked open my laptop and tried to offer a new perspective on a topic of interest. If I got frustrated with my efforts to create something from scratch, I'd turn to "research," and proceed to kill an afternoon with my nose buried in the pages of another coach's site. If social media felt important, I'd wile away the hours on Canva, playing with fonts, and then maybe I'd post it on Instagram.

I was in motion, sure. No one could accuse me of doing nothing.

However, I wasn't in business. Not truly. Because, to be in business, I would've had to have prioritized experimentation—that is, the process of taking action consistently with a goal of determining something previously unknown—over my feelings.

In his book, 100 Ways to Motivate Others: How Great Leaders Can Produce Insane Results Without Driving People Crazy, the brilliant coach, Steve Chandler, says:

Steve Chandler

I was a feeler, and it took me the better part of a year (and a lot of unnecessary grief!) to become a doer.

How did I finally kick it into gear?

I took one small step. I started a newsletter with the promise that I'd send it out every single Monday, come hell or high water. It didn't matter what I wrote in it—I was using it as a tool to experiment with content—it mattered only that I showed up every week and reported my findings. Whether I felt like it...or not.

I spent 78 weeks writing this thing that was a cross between an email to a friend, a travel missive, and a personal development think piece. Was it perfect? Far from it. Was it a solid indication to my audience and the Universe that I was in business as a life coach? Not quite. Did I learn anything? HOLY BATMAN, SO FREAKIN' MUCH.

That's the thing about taking action:

The worst that can result is a learning opportunity.

Not taking action, however, has a far worse outcome: nothing. Nothing happens, nothing changes, there's nothing to measure.

In my guide (seriously, if you still haven't downloaded it, I don't know how else to tell you that it's all yours, free for the taking, so GO GET IT!), I say that a feeling is very often a byproduct of action, not a prerequisite for it. Well, the same goes for learning; we can soak up all the external information we want (the freebie opt-ins, the e-courses, the webinars), but until we use that information for personal transformation—until we transform ourselves into experimenters, into action-takers—we won't actually learn much at all.

Take a moment right now to consider all that you already know about the thing you'd like to create in the world. Keeping in mind those glorious byproducts of action (positive feelings and unparalleled learning experiences), what small step will you take as soon as you close this email?