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Progress versus Action…….

Action items often are the main blocks on a business owner’s calendar. I want you to stop using the term action and adopt a new one, progress.

Action means that you are creating busy work. Most action lists are created to take care of the easiest and least important things that happen in the life of a business owner. A few days ago I wrote about how to create and implement a vision. The first call I received addressed the amount of work this individual felt had to be done to implement the “vision work” as I outlined it.

The word action items kept coming up in his conversation and I felt that I had to address the “busyness” issue that plagues so many business owners. To differentiate, action means that you are busy doing things for your business that you feel have to be done. Making progress means that you have a laser-like focus on what needs to be done to move you closer to your specific vision.

If the task you are doing does not take you closer to your vision, don’t do it! Most small businesses fail due to a lack of new business which brings in revenue. Consequently, the most important progress work should be something that will help that revenue become a reality.

This afternoon I received a call from a person selling a sure fire marketing system that would work for any business. His pitch was “85% of businesses will fail this year due to a lack of revenue. My system will help you overcome that with very little effort.” I share this with you because progress means taking one sure step towards your vision in everything you do. I will be hard work and progress can be measured against a realistic time frame.

As you can tell, I am frustrated by the lack of progress that business owners make in running their firms, and the excuses I hear  for not generating the necessary revenue to achieve profitability and sustainability.

A challenge: with your company vision in your mind, on a sheet of paper write down, every half hour, what you did to come closer to reaching that vision. If you did not spend at least 75% of your time making progress towards your vision, then you need to reevaluate your vision implementation plan.

If you have the GUTS (God’s Undeniable Terrific Secret) to take me up on my challenge, send me an e-mail with your results at

God made every day an opportunity, take advantage of it.

Nick J. Petra CFP


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