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A Time for Talk and a Time for Action

Posted By Darren Rowse 2nd of January 2009 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 61

I really like this post by Chris Brogan – What’s in a Name.

“You worry about names. You think long and hard about titles. You put boxes around what you’re doing, if that suits you.

I’ll be over here just doing. Thinking, planning, doing, and observing my results.”

I’m always amazed by the debate and chatter that can at times surround blogging (and social media). Who’s doing it right and who’s doing it wrong, what is legitimate and what isn’t….

While there is a need for us as a community to talk, debate, reflect, label and define – the smart ones among us area also ‘doing’.

What do you think?

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  1. we learn from mistakes which comes from our doing. Just like the Nike tagline “JUST DO IT”

  2. Hey Darren,
    I read that post. This topic is one of those discussed and told and learned by many people every time. I know I am going off the track but as we are bloggers I want to say that names do matter in blogging as they are the keywords for us. LOL.

    Darren I read almost all your money making n blogging posts and I have started following them. I always wanted to know how much you had to struggle. You never answer me Darren. This time you have got to answer me please. Did you use to blog for fun or you started it for earning money online and at that time no tis must had been available then how did you manage?


  3. What I find when I speak with many IT Professionals around blogging is that they have no clue about the technology to start, it is like voodoo. Second, is many want to start a blog but never get around to it, doesn’t get high up on their priority list.

    Web 2.0 strategies are important and must be part of your marketing strategy for 2009.

    It is time to start DOING

    Stuart Crawford
    Calgary, AB

  4. I think Chris is right and I have a similar attitude. I believe that most entrepreneurs are impatient by nature and as a result more focused on practical as apposed to the theoretical. My motto is “you learn by DOING”. I have made many mistakes but what I have learned from them has been very valuable.

  5. Conversation is good if it leads to action. The sort of conversations Chris Brogan encourages through his posts & the same here, lead to the social media & blogging community taking action – whether it be simply changing your thought process on a certain topic or something bigger like taking ideas and using them to shape the way we blog and interact in order to provoke further discussion.

  6. Well I just unsubscribed from Scobelizer on Twitter because I’m tired of silly, meaningless debates about just that sort of stuff. More time for work!

  7. I am in the “doing” mode right now. Tiffinbox, with help from the cool guys at Men With Pens, will launch soon. Been absorbing all that I can from your website. Thank you so much Darren! Here is to an action-oriented 2009!

  8. I am in the “doing” mode right now. Tiffinbox, with help from the cool guys at Men With Pens, will launch soon. Been absorbing all that I can from your website. Thank you so much Darren! Here is to an action-oriented 2009!

  9. You have hit right on the head! The successful people are the ones taking action and doing! May this 2009 be a more doing and less talking.

  10. You can start a new blog and promise all these things. Things that you want to do, but you DON’T do. Sometimes it’s easier said than done, but it’s no reason for you to not do it.

    May 2009 be a more productive year for all of us.

  11. Well, “doing” is critical, of course.

    There’s so much argument out there about right ways and wrong ways of doing things that after a while, I figured that the best way is to just filter out the noise and get started.

    I might make mistakes along the way, but making mistakes and learning from them is much better than analyzing everything but not taking the plunge.

  12. We can talk about things and never produce anything. Some people enjoy just talking about things.

    However, when we talk about things and turn the talk into action that creates beneficial outcomes, whether for us individually or our community collectively, we are contributing to progress and creativity.

    In terms of talk about “social stuff” there is plenty. In terms of those actually doing something with it, there are a few.

    There are business leaders whose ego’s have to have a big title. There are people who have to get the highest rating or traffic. Then there are those whose results we feel and see yet we can’t really measure them yet.

    Dialog ought to be aimed at a purpose and the results ought to produce benefits.

    What is your purpose and who is benefiting from your conversations?

  13. Caught your tweet on this – love the line about just doing vs putting boxes around things really resonates with me. I am a project manager and writer by trade – both things typically require much forethought and many “boxes,” but this year I’m anxious to disentangle from hyper-organization and do a little more jumping into the fray – learning from actual experience instead of analyzing on the sidelines.
    It’s an exciting prospect!

  14. The successful doers have figured out how to balance getting the work done while working the social media. Twitter and others are great tools as long as folks don’t get sucked into all day tweet sessions with their followers. The same can be said for Facebook and other aps.

    Truly, it is all about balance.



  15. I believe part of the reason we get caught up in the guru driven debates over what is the “right” social media approach is that we sometimes fail to set realistic expectations. We start a business blog and expect customers to come knocking down our doors overnight. If this were to happen most start up / small businesses would be crushed by the volume.

    Set achievable goals up front and dip a toe in the water to get some forward momentum. Just my thoughts for whatever they are worth.


  16. uberbabyboomer says: 01/02/2009 at 2:37 am

    Whew! You nailed it! And so did Chris. You both are shining examples of just doing it! Glad you both are around.

  17. Yes absolutely; I couldn’t agree more. You can spend too much valuable time planning and it can take more time to make the list than to do the job. My plan is to do what needs to be done as soon as you see that it needs to be done.

  18. I think within each blogger…down at the heart of each person, we know what we have to do to monetize and/or get the kinds of results we want.

    Procrastination is just so much more present than we all think.

  19. Hallelujah, brother. Stop talking, start doing.

  20. As with any effective marketing strategy:

    1 – determine your goals
    2 – who you are trying to reach
    3 – determine core / consistent messages to this group
    4 – starting community building (don’t expect overnight success)

  21. Love the simplicity of this. Great first read for 2009!! It’s so easy to get caught up watching/listening to debates and arguing. Entertaining and that’s about it.

  22. If you are a blogger, you are an entrepreneur, no question about it…. And one thing I know for certain is that entrepreneurs are DOERS.

    Also, if you are an entrepreneur you know that there is no “right way” to operate your company/blog…there are better ways…but entrepreneurs make the rules. Following a set of guidelines and debating about what is the ‘right’ way only wastes time and keeps people from coming up with innovative approaches to things such as social media.

  23. As one who too often is guilty of “fire! ready! aim!” I’m seeking balance! There’s got to be a good rule of thumb for estimating planning/design time — anybody know of one?

  24. Haha. Yes, that is the objective… Perhaps, I am missing the point on this question, but I think that people should do some of both. In most cases people talk about it to (1) understand it better or (2) spread their knowledge to newcomers… So I think that everyone is trying to do it, and the ones who aren’t are in the process of learning…

    As for the chatter, it only means but so much… Everyone implements it differently, defines success differently, and finds winning strategies differently. So in terms of ‘right’, and ‘wrong’, and ‘the best ways to do things’, people can give guidelines, but that’s all they are… guidelines, not solutions.

  25. I’m a fan of what I call “The Change Frame.”

    It’s a set of categories to evaluate against:
    – you – thinking, feeling, or doing
    – situation – adapt, adjust, or avoid

    They play off each other. If you want to amplify your impact, do a sanity check against the categories.

    – Sometimes it’s a change in strategy, sometimes it’s a change in tactic.
    – Sometimes the best change is reframing the situation.
    – Sometimes, the best change is just taking action to get some real feedback to tune and prune your approach.

  26. @ Mary

    Yes – create “tests for success” so you can measure your action against some sort of results.

    Be agile though and modify your tests as you learn more.

    If your critics get in your way, have them involved in your tests for success, so you have some agreed criteria. Then they’re more likely to get out of your way.

  27. Thanks Darren, this is a great message for the new year!

    I’ve decided after taking a hiatus to just “blog on” and start a new blog and just “stay in the hunt” because “The dog who stays in the hunt doesn’t know he has fleas! (lol)

  28. Make money online with a 17 year old kid – (that’s a mouthful!) – there is a post here which tells my own story of blogging for money. Yes I started blogging as a hobby and it was years before I realized I could make money from it and reached a full time level.

    Stuart Crawford – yes so many people are thinking about starting a blog or going to do it ‘one day’ – in fact I was talking to one person last week who had told me 2 years ago that they were starting a blog and were researching their topic – guess what, they’re still in ‘researching their topic’ mode!

    David Jackmanson – yes there’s been a lot of stupid debate on Twitter lately too – not sure if people are bored or just jostling for position/power in the Twittersphere but it is similar to this.

    Shirley – yes you’re right – there’s times and places to talk and to discuss the medium but so often the discussions are not much more than people stirring up debate just to cause sensations etc – when it becomes a distraction from moving forward I tend to ignore the debates and just get on with it. When the discussion is productive, constructive and means something – then it’s time to get into it.

  29. As many have said – Taking action and doing should be paramount in 2009.

    Add to that: LISTENING with humility. The conversation in social media actually begins with listening.

  30. Yep. Doing. Doesn’t matter what you call what it is that you do as long as what you’re doing is resulting in some kind of change or growth.

    I’ve been doing Marketing for several years now and have hated every title I’ve ever had. I don’t like being put into a box; besides, I’ve always been one to look outside of what was expected and find new and better ways to do stuff.

    Business, consulting, blogging, writing, marketing, selling… whatever it is that you do, just make sure you’re doing and not just talking about it. There are far too many people simply thinking stuff up or, worse, claiming other peoples’ thought up stuff and re-selling it.

    I sometimes wonder if I can bring anything new to the conversation. Sometimes it feels like it’s all been said. So I’ll just keep doing what it is that I do and reading and learning from the rest of you who are doing.


  31. I think that all the socializing and networking is great IF at the end of the day you actually have something to offer besides a lot of hype.

  32. Thanks for the straight and short post.

    I would like to comment but hey, I’ve got to get back to work and do the stuff…

  33. oooh, this is something that has been brewing under the surface of my thoughts, so thanks for giving it a clear voice! It’s easy for someone who is feeling a bit lost and/or new to the game to look for the “rules” to succeed. Unfortunately, the rules end up sounding rather different coming from different people and it makes it hard to know which voice to follow. But one consistent thing that seems to come up from all the really smart people is – find and follow your own. Thanks for that reminder!

  34. It sounds to me as though you are absolutely right, Darren – analysis and debate are important, but they are no substitute for decisive action.

  35. What I learned from Do It Wrong quickly is that you simply can’t wait around for the stars to align to do things. Get them done quick!

  36. Bloggers should not think they will become successful immediately in 1 to 5 months or even a year since they launched their site(s).

  37. This is the third article in just a week or two that has been about action, tactic and eliminating noise and talk – keep them up! Its what everyone needs to hear. 2009 philosophy – Just do something!

  38. I think that it doesn’t matter if someone is doing it “right” or “wrong” in other peoples eyes.

    As long as the blocker tracks traffic by using Google Analytics or similar service it doesn’t matter what the public opinion is as long as the blogger is getting quality traffic from his or her efforts it’s all that matters.

    This of course relies upon the fact that the blogger must have good quality content of course.

    Another way of voicing my opinion is.

    “If it ain’t broken don’t fix it”

    -Tobias Fransson

  39. Here, here! Cool insight indeed. If every blogger paid attention to the mountains of advice, we’d never get anything done. The best way to learn is by DOING.

  40. I feel like I`m wandering around in a dark room at times but if you keep trying to learn you will win in the end. Isn`t there a pretty famous slogan out there…”just do it”.

  41. Robyn Durst says: 01/03/2009 at 1:44 am

    This post is also one of my fave’s by Chris. No one ever got anything accomplished by not doing something. And as far as “right” and “wrong”, everyone has their own way of doing things and if it works, more power to them! There can be many different ways to get to one result.

  42. Travis Stone says: 01/03/2009 at 2:09 am

    You can research yourself to death. In horse racing, it’s called “study long, study wrong.” Just before I went to bed the other night, after four hours of researching, reading, looking-up and brainstorming, I re-read this post and put a big piece of paper on my keyboard which read, “Start Doing!”

    I woke-up, and started doing. I feel better about my one hour of doing, than my four hours of research.

    Great post!

  43. Yes. Yes. Yes. I write two blogs. One called Spin Strategy – all about job search strategy.

    The other is called Quixoting. Quixoting (pronouned Key-ho-ting) is inspired by the life of Don Quixote and it is about ideas and the inspiration to ACT on them! I spent years letting my ideas wither away in my idea book. It was repressive and damaging. Now that I have launched my two blogs I feel great and love the new world of blogging.

    My blogs are also interesting because of the names I chose (and, yes, I have read all the advice about having a short, simple name). Both have negative connotations. I want to try, over time, to change those perceptions through my content. With Quixoting especially, I like to remind people of Don Quixote’s daring nature, his impulsiveness to act. For me, it is so much better than an afternoon on the couch (even if, early on, people wonder if I have a touch of the Don’s madness)!

    Cheers to all and another great article to make me think!

    Spin Strategy:

    Tell me, am I crazy? :-)

  44. How many things do we just not put out into the world for fear ‘we ain’t doing it right’?

    From where I sit – especially when observing someone like Chris )or anyone who’s clearly ‘doing their thing’) – getting as clear as you can about what your thing is comes first.

    That settled (given it’s an ongoing, perpetual beta type of thing, mind you) the rest – boxes, names, etc – has context. YOURS. Then you just keep on being you, and get better at saying what’s yours to say in the way on you can while learning to enage your community.

    All that takes learning, and learning takes experimenting, tinkering, listening, adjusting, course correcting and sailing on.

    A solid personal context delivered with passion in a spirit of open experimentation and constant improvement and voila!

    But is pretty easy to become convinced that success is due to the right box or the smart name, when what it was really is is a clear and powerful personal context shared from the heart by someone who cares – both about what they’re saying and who they’re saying it to – enough to give it everything they’ve got.

  45. typically people get caught in the non critical minutia if something when they are afraid to jump in the water and get wet.

  46. It’s the difference between someone building a career based on tearing other people down and someone building a career by erecting something never seen before.

    Yet, responding to debates is good. In measure. It’s helped me articulate and hone my own feelings about a subject. But I have to agree with you and Chris–most of your time should be spent planning, writing, thinking. Wall time.

  47. what are the doings that you are refering too?

  48. I think a whole lot of folks start blogging thinking that there is a lot of money to be earned overnight. I personally don’t consider myself a blogger. I have my blogs and they fit in my overall strategy like a piece of a big puzzle. Value + Originality could bring you success, but don’t expect to quit your job and start earning 6 figures with blogging.

  49. I get this. It really resonates with me as I can be very guilty of following every article/RSS feed/idea into another window and then forgetting about the ‘doing’.

    But –

    As a new blogger there truly seems to be so much to ‘do’ that it kinda all IS doing. Not the best sentence there grammatically but hopefully someone gets what I’m saying! Sure, I know the key is to add plenty of good content each day, but when every different aspect mentions another marketing/branding tool that you simply MUST use, it’s hard to know which avenues to make part of the ‘do’ list and which ones to brush past.

    Here’s hoping that what I’m doing so far is enough!

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