Gary Vaynerchuk Balancing Ideas and Execution

From many comes the one.At the beginning of his book, Crush It, Gary Vaynerchuk asks if the reader stays awake at night with ideas running through their head. In What Next I say that I have so many ideas that my friends and family call them schemes. A What Next thinker like Gary Vaynerchuk always has ideas, “It’s 24/7” he says.

Take a listen to this section of the interview about finding balance between a flood of ideas and the need to focus on the important ones.

The Balance Between Ideas and Execution

There comes a time when you just have to pick one, decide which idea you not only want to work on but need to work on. Needing to work on something means you’re passionate about it and when you’re passionate about something it’s incredibly easy to focus on that one thing. The energy to complete the task seems unlimited. You have reached flow.

How do you know which idea, which interest will turn into something bigger? The answer is usually that it has staying power. You keep coming back to that one idea over a period of months and maybe even years. At any point in the process of writing What Next I could have stopped, but the passion only got stronger. The other ideas kept coming but they didn’t stick around as long.

You know the answer to what idea, what plan you’ve had for a while but haven’t done anything about. So when is the time to start? Asking What Next is only the beginning of the journey, it’s like buying an airplane ticket but if you don’t take actions it’s as if you never get to the airport.

Once you ask What Next you have to move on to What Now.

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Making a Move

I feel myself becoming scattered. It’s a common problem for people like me, people with lots of ideas, lots of thoughts running through our heads. It’s difficult to maintain focus but the ones who can, who can limit their attention to two or three priorities, are more likely to be successful.

My focus should be on the book and the message in the book, so while I reserve the right to drift a bit, I’m going to write a series of posts highlighting the various concepts from the book. I’ve written about curiosity, an important part of What Next, often mentioning hiking, or the benefits of meeting new and interesting people. I’ve written about a concept called coasting and the need to become unstuck, all of which can be referred to as procrastinating.

Today the concept I want to pick apart is the broad notion of being proactive, it’s part of the book’s title after all.

The first part of being proactive is deciding that you need to take action. This action could be a new idea such as a business you’d like to start or a hobby you want to begin. The action can also be a situation you want to correct, which is really a reaction, such as deciding that being in debt is holding you back, or that your job has become unbearable and it’s time for change. I believe the first type of action, born from your ideas, is a much stronger position to be in than the second type of action, a reaction to something that has already occurred.

“I would rather be prepared and have a plan than have to react to the unexpected,” I write. I’d rather do that but it’s not always possible. The vital part of being proactive is doing something once the decision to act is made. That’s the part I’ve been having trouble with lately. I can’t seem to decide on a plan and without a plan I’m just winging it, a position of weakness.

The problem I’m having is a lot like the idea of inspiration, I’m inspired to act but can’t seem to get moving. Inspiration without action is just a good intention, and good intentions don’t accomplish goals.

This post is my first step toward implementing my plan, such as it is. What is your first step toward what next? What action are you going to take now? I have a page on this blog called “Share Your What Next With the World” because I feel it’s important to make your dreams real by sharing them with others, forcing yourself to get moving. Not everyone shares that view but I’m convinced you’ll be held accountable, by yourself or by others, if you share your what next.

Tomorrow’s post will provide two examples of being proactive. One was a reaction to another event, the other was created from nothing.

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