There’s a fine line between due diligence and procrastination – an even finer line between due diligence and fear. [tweet this]
Yes, it’s nice to have your ducks in a row, your I’s dotted, and your T’s crossed. Such precautions are often necessary, frequently shrewd, and usually wise.
The problem is too many of us use these idioms as crutches.
For every individual who is waiting to act because it’s the smart play, there are dozens more who are waiting because it’s comfortable.
And who can blame them? Why take action when “standing still” feels like a soft bed covered in puppies and feather pillows?
Many of us are so afraid to take action – to step outside our precious comfort zones – we miss out on golden opportunities.
That perfect girl you’re waiting to ask out until you get your job promotion? She’s now dating the cashier at Burger King.
That cool idea you had two years ago for the next big thing in social media? Someone else thought of it, created it, and sold it to Twitter.
That popular website you wanted to write for “one day” when you were “ready”? They’re no longer accepting guest posts.
End of an Era
Boost Blog Traffic closed its doors to guest bloggers this week.
For those looking to guest blog for an insanely-popular site and reap the rewards of having your content showcased to tens of thousands, Jon Morrow’s BBT has been a beacon of hope for 3+ years.
You didn’t have to know a secret handshake or password to get inside. You didn’t have to be one of Jon’s students. You didn’t have to agree to wash and wax Glen Long’s automobile.
No, you just needed a good idea.
If Glen liked your pitch, you were given a shot. And if you had the dedication and resolve to write and edit until it was perfect, your post would be published alongside the works of Pamela Wilson, Kevan Lee, Henneke Duistermaat, and other elites.
There was just one problem…
You had to take action.
I was afraid to do that, and it almost cost me. You see, “write for Boost Blog Traffic” had been on my to-do list for quite some time. But I never acted on it. I never sat down and thought of ideas to pitch to Glen and Jon.
“My blog needs to grow a bit first,” I told myself.
“I need a few more articles under my belt,” I reasoned.
“I should do some guest posts for smaller sites first,” I rationalized.
I kept telling myself “next year.” Next year I would be ready. Next year my following would be big enough to impress Jon. Next year I would email my ideas to Glen.
As long-time readers know, Glen disrupted “my plan” by reaching out and inviting me to write for them.
I’m so glad he did. Glen saved me from me.
Left to my own devices, I would have never written “The Blogger’s Bucket List: 20 Must-Reach Milestones on the Path to World Domination” last November. And I certainly wouldn’t have written “The Ultimate Guide to Writing Comments That Open Doors with Popular Bloggers” a few months ago.
Instead, I would have spent the past year getting all my ducks in a row. I would have been dotting all my I’s and crossing all my T’s. I would have been working on my craft until I felt I was “ready.”
In short, I would have procrastinated. I would have let fear of rejection keep me from emailing Glen before BBT’s doors closed.
If my “plan” had played out, on a cold December day two months from now I would have woken up and said, “Today’s the day… it’s been one year – now I’m ready.”
But it would have been too late.
It’s Time to Act
That thing you keep putting off?
Stop putting it off. Stop assuming it will be there tomorrow, next month, or next year.
None of us knows what tomorrow may bring.
Today could be your last chance to ask out that perfect girl. It could be your last opportunity to bring that great idea of yours to life. It could be the final moment before your beacon of light flips the off switch.
Are you going to take action?
Creative Commons Image via Scott Robinson.