As a recovering perfectionist, I know how hard it can be to try something new without letting your fear of failure hold you back.
But the truth is, you’ll never reach your goals unless you learn to start taking action.
In this article, I’ll share some of the key concepts that have helped me stop wishing my life could be different and start doing something to make change happen.
Knowledge and Action are Not the Same
There have been a few key moments in my life when I’ve realized something needed to change. In 2008, reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki showed me that true financial freedom was a goal worth pursuing.
I decided I wanted to learn as much as I could about personal finance and started consuming as many podcasts, books, and videos as I could. I was a theoretical mastermind, but I wasn’t turning any of that knowledge into action.
That changed nearly four years later, when I missed my son’s third birthday party for work and realized I needed to act now to start making my 9-5 optional. That moment gave me the push I needed to stop limiting myself to just knowing and start doing, instead.
I created a five-year plan for myself and wrote down a list of assets I wanted to acquire and revenue I wanted to earn. In just 18 months, I accomplished all my five-year goals.
Get Your Education, But Know When to Take the Leap
None of this is to say that educating yourself is not important. If you blindly leap into new opportunities without building a foundation of knowledge, you’ll be opening yourself up to unnecessary risk.
But it’s important to remember that learning and doing are not mutually exclusive. There’s always more to learn: more podcasts to listen to, more courses to take, more books to read, and more people to talk to. So, if you wait until you think you know everything, you’ll never act at all.
And sometimes, obsessive research and learning can serve as a crutch. You can feel like you’re productive without making actual progress toward your goals, and without having to face your fear of failure.
Keep in mind that there are some lessons you can only learn through experience. Even if you make a mistake or a wrong decision, taking action on imperfect information is still moving you closer to your goals than you would be if you never acted at all!
Leverage the Expertise of Others
There’s one other concept that most of us know in other areas of life, but somehow forget to apply to our finances: You don’t have to do it alone.
While it is important to have a baseline understanding of certain principles, becoming a true expert is a full-time job. And rather than spending your life learning as much as you can about finance, why not surround yourself with people who already know more than you and can help you get to where you want to go?
With experts you can trust in your corner, you’ll be able to learn as you go and soak up some of their knowledge in the process.
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