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Thoughts from Mike Templeton | Stop Planning and Start Doing
Thoughts on marketing, social media, and web strategy

Mike Templeton is an experienced marketer with a history in building community on the web.

For Mike's reactions to what others are writing about social media, visit Mike Memos.

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Stop Planning and Start Doing

I’m a planner. Not in any sort of official capacity (though I do write lots of plans at work), but more-so in my personality and work ethic. From my perspective, it comes from having a marketing background.

Everything I ever learned about marketing in school revolved around documentation and planning. Before you engage in research, you need to have a plan. Before you launch a campaign, you need to have a plan. What I’ve found after operating out in the world is that sometimes the best plan is action itself.

We are what we habitually do

Earlier today I was reading a blog post from Adam Carroll discussing the fact that we are what we habitually do. The line is actually a quote from Aristotle, saying “We are what we habitually do. Excellence then is a habit not an act.” While we can plan to be a better person, a better salesman, or a more-engaged employee, it’s what we actually do that determines our true course.

I’ve been planning to do more blogging since I started this blog a few years ago; I’ve even made it part of a New Year’s resolution. But the reality is that even with all the planning in the world, those plans aren’t going to publish new posts on my blog.

Take action, start doing

As of today, I’m going to start blogging more. I won’t set a limit or a goal or an objective (much to my own dismay), but rather will just focus on doing. Period.

What things have you been putting off because you don’t have the right plan in place? What could you start doing now?

8 Responses to “Stop Planning and Start Doing”

  1. Shane Reiser says:

    I believe in this mantra 100%. I think it should be applied to all sorts of stuff. Good application with your blogging. I’m gonna check back and hold you accountable if I don’t see some consistent posting!

    • Thanks for the offer of accountability, Shane. That’s definitely a great asset to have. I also agree with you in that this mantra can be applied to all sorts of situations.

      While plans so often seem like the foundation, they can also be the one thing holding you back.

  2. John Pemble says:

    That’s how I shoot the majority of my vids. Oh there is a very basic plan but the details arrive after the shoot. I just do it.

    • Exactly. That’s what I love about your videos and those from people like Gary Vaynerchuk. They’re off the cuff, they’re rough, and they’re real.

      And like you said, it’s not that some shred of a plan isn’t present, but rather the focus being on the act itself – not the plan.

  3. Personal accountability is one of the hardest things to develop. I’m a list-maker, a planner as well, but without the action there will never be results.

    I hope you do it, Mike!


  4. Pete Jones says:

    Agree with all the comments and Mike’s point. Planning is important, but taking the steps to put the plan to action is as important. The key to success is finding the proper balance. That is my Mr. Miyagi suggestion for the day. :)

  5. Hannah Inman says:

    I too am from a planning background. In December I changed my ways and just started doing. I realized that perfection is just another word for procrastination. My new mantra, “Tis better to complete an action than to perfect a thought.” I share this over and over again with other small business owners that like what we’re doing on the marketing side at KDC, but don’t know how to get started.
    It’s tough, but can be exhilarating – it’s kind of like bungee jumping for planners.

  6. Tim says:

    Cough, cough. Sorry, had to blow the dust off your blog ;)

    I like this quote and the idea is solid, but what if your action is outlining a book? That is both a plan and an action with a plan for an action. Leave it to writers to make simple ideas more complex.

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