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Business Success Tip – Taking Action or Taking Notes?

Business SuccessYou want to get something done, you do it. You take action, right?

Here is the thing; one of my main ingredients when someone seeks out my advice is to determine if they are an action taker or a note taker. Let’s face it, some people feel they need to learn more, take more notes, read more books, obtain more certifications, and they just never take action. The people who take action are always high on my list of the people for me to work with and create the opportunities for them to work with me. Of course there are opportunities for the note takers to work with me as well, mostly to inspire in them the interest in becoming action takers sooner than never.

This is not to say it is not important to learn more, take notes, read books or obtain certifications. It is to say you need to start and take action on your objectives. You may always continue on with the rest as you are moving along your path. Show me a bank who accepts a notebook filled with notes for your mortgage payment. You must take action to build your business, grow your business or achieve whatever objectives you have set for yourself and your business.

Here is the problem. Uh-oh, a flip-flop is coming? Correct. There are some people who feel they need to be busy. Busy, busy, busy and just busy. This might be a more difficult issue to deal with than the person who is the note taker!

A full day may just evaporate as this person is so busy answering their emails, deleting spam and going through messages. Meanwhile they may have missed a networking event, did not focus on returning a half dozen potential lead phone calls and did not speak with a key vendor for a project they are estimating costs for.

Another person may spend two or three hours or more each and every single day interacting on social media. When you ask them about this activity, they may respond that they are marketing their business on social media. When you sit with them and review their activity the truth is much different.

The reality is, being busy is not taking action toward defined objectives. The exact action steps required of you and your team must be defined and written out. This may evolve as time moves forward as your objectives may evolve as well. The point is, you and your team are moving together toward specific objectives. It is not being busy. The act of being busy is a stalling technique. This may be a subconscious behavior. Often it is from fear. The actual fear of stepping out and going for your dreams and goals.

This is an entire topic of it’s own and will be discussed in a future article and teleseminar. The point here is this, take specific action, which you have defined, toward your exact objectives, goals and dreams.

Mitch Tublin is an advanced certified personal and executive coach who lives in Stamford, CT.


  1. Oohhh ahhh ain’t this the truth. I see many of my clients sitting behind my computer and when I ask about where their time and energy is going it is often seen as a pile of notes. When you said “Show me a bank who accepts a notebook filled with notes for your mortgage payment.” I winced for that is the naked truth in many businesses!

    • Mitch Tublin Business Success Coach says

      Personal growth and learning new tips and tricks are important.
      They just don’t pay the bills.

  2. I have noticed over the past year or so that when people really get work suddenly they are not on social media nearly so much. 🙂

    • Mitch Tublin Business Success Coach says

      Either that or they are not doing so well and they let go of their social media team.

  3. Excellent – taking action gets your results, just taking notes does not!

    • Mitch Tublin Business Success Coach says

      Defined action steps in the right direction with time attached.

  4. Excellent Excellent Excellent! You are quite right, being busy does not mean you are necessarily taking the action your business needs. Way to call it out Mitch and get people thinking about how they are spending their time!

    • Mitch Tublin Business Success Coach says

      The easy answer to see if you are in trouble is to use a small memo pad
      and track your days each week for a week or two. Use each thirty minutes as an item. A review of these two weeks will tell you a lot about your effectiveness.

  5. Haha, Mitch! I’ll let you know when I come across that bank that accepts notebooks for payment. In all seriousness, I’ve seen many people collecting certifications left and right when it isn’t really necessary. And don’t get me started on being busy for the sake of being busy–I call that pseudoproductivity and so many entrepreneurs fall into that trap. I’m looking forward to reading your upcoming article.

  6. Mitch – you’re right! Being busy and moving forward are not the same things. Being busy and taking action are not the same either. I agree that sometimes busy feels like you’re moving forward and taking action to achieve your goals, but in reality we’re just in a hamster wheel! We’ve got to get out of the busy rut and take purposeful action!

    • Mitch Tublin Business Success Coach says

      It is the answer at a networking event, I ask, “So how are things, how is business?” And the answer, “Busy, busy, busy…”

  7. Great distinction between being busy and being productive. Focusing on being productive is what gets you closer to your business goals.