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#003: Are you a doer or a thinker?

Are you a doer or a thinker? Truthfully, I didn’t know “doer” was a real word until writing this, and the spelling without a hyphen is bugging me (it should be do-er, right?!).


I have lived in my head (rent-free) for a long time. I love studying and I love action in theory; in practice, however, is a different story. I don’t give myself the freedom to implement those theories as often as I should. If I had to give a bare-bones reason why: I’m scared of failure. Point blank periodt.



Am I a thinker? Yes, obviously; and an over-thinker at that. But am I NOT a do-er?


...I do things! Hey, I do a lot of things! BUT… I have trouble doing something A) when I haven’t done it before, or B) when it matters so much to me that I need it to go perfectly or not happen at all.


And there is nothing stopping my brain from applying both brakes to the same action: I haven’t done it before, and I want it to go perfectly the first time. Can you relate?


People talk a lot about overcoming barriers to success by setting S.M.A.R.T. goals, so I’m not going to talk about that here. 🤷‍♂️


I’ve noticed a common theme this past year: Arianna Huffinton refers to it as a “microstep;” marketing gurus refer to it as the “smallest, most obvious next step” or the foot-in-the-door approach; my boss, a leading expert in Technology, calls it a “Minimum Viable Product.”


Arianna (my idol) is referring to building good habits to avoid burnout, marketers are trying to call you to action with the tiniest fish hook possible, and Tech experts are trying to build the smallest product that still provides value. Three different languages, but they are all saying the same thing:


Baby steps are the quickest way to success with the least chance of failure.


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The pitfall here (for me, anyway) is that I now want to map out three potential plans and the infinite number of baby steps each plan will take to render a big picture of pure success of the goal at-hand. That’s a lot of thinking and not a lot of doing.


So what these experts and gurus are saying (and what I’m working to believe myself) is: When you’re taking baby steps, you don’t have to have your next 100 baby steps outlined-- you actually don’t have to have even the next ten!


In the spirit of decided action, here are a few of the "smallest, most obvious next steps" I’ve taken this week:

  • Set up my library account to receive e-books

  • Drafted this email

  • Put my phone on the other side of the room before bed

  • Made a grocery list

  • Allotted time on my calendar for free-hand writing


These baby steps are part of my bigger goals (reading and writing daily, getting a good night’s sleep, eating healthier) but, I’ll be damned, I felt so successful just doing these basic tasks! I mean, blocking off time on my calendar took me literally 45 seconds!


What’s a small step you can take towards your goal this week? Are you more of a thinker or a doer? Respond to this email and let me know, and I’ll check in with you next week to see if it was easy for you to follow through on a baby step in the right direction.


Let’s get it (together),

Alexander