Jim's Marketing Blog

Marketing ideas to help you grow your business

The simple secret to excellence


When it comes to getting important things done, you have a choice. We all do. We can either wait for the right time to do something or we can get started.

  • An artist can wait for inspiration or he can command it.
  • A business owner can wait for everything to be perfect or she can plan, research, work and then ship.

Make no mistake: Success comes from developing the habit of taking regular action, in the direction of your goals, even when it’s easier not to.

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  1. Research, planning, preparation, and taking action are what it takes to accomplish our goals and dreams. I learned this long ago. Being successful doesn’t always come easily. It takes a hard work and dedication. Great post!

    • Hi, Kristy. You’re correct.

      People are always looking for the easy route to success, when it’s exactly the approach that guarantees they can’t succeed.

      Thanks for the comment and welcome to the blog.

  2. Evie McShane

    May 26, 2013 at 08:28

    Fabby post!!

    This is more proof that you can write a short post that has deeper value than a thousand words of bluster or SEO optimized crap.

    Evie X

    • Glad you found it useful, Evie.

      As you know, I write for people and never search engines. If I were writing to keep Google happy, this post would never have been written – at least not in this way.

      Thanks for the kind words.

  3. Great post Jim but :)

    The ‘artist’ line isn’t quite correct. Ask any artist, or anyone who knows an artist.
    As an artist (or designer, in my case) you can’t just turn it on (well you can but not to be REALLY creative).

    It all depends on how you FEEL. Yes, you can go somewhere that might make you inspired – if you need it but in my opinion, either you are good/FEEL good (as I do – most of the time) and ideas come ALL the time, OR you are pretending to be one (an artist) and then… I assume you have to chuck anything down on paper to keep the client happy.

    Being an artist/designer is not the same as being a business person. You shouldn’t compare the talents.

    The lucky people have a bit of both :)

    • Evie McShane

      May 27, 2013 at 15:09

      Shona, it’s Aristotle, Steve Jobs and just about every successful creative person you’re arguing with… not Jim Connolly.

      • Thanks for the feedback, Evie.

        Steve Jobs did indeed say, ‘real artists ship’ – meaning that they made it happen.

    • Hi, Shona. Thanks for stopping by the blog. Certainly, if I were to wait for inspiration to strike, I’d never have got anything done; including the post you just read, which was written whilst I had 100 other things to do.

      As Evie said, many of the world’s most successful artists and business people have proven that you command inspiration, rather than wait. Seth Godin’s friend Steve Pressfield wrote a very successful book about it, called The War of Art. http://www.stevenpressfield.com/the-war-of-art/ (I recommend it)

      I used to think the same way as you, until I decided to ‘do the work’ before inspiration struck – then found inspiration was there all the time.

      • Thanks for the feedback, Evie.

        Steve Jobs did indeed say, ‘real artists ship’ – meaning that they made it happen.

  4. Mmmm, interesting!
    I just know that when I worked in an incredibly time concious and ‘deadline’ packed environment, I had a buyer colleague who would say – Shona, we need to improve, and redesign the best-seller (BEST SELLER! that’s PRESSURE) and it has to be better – but take your time, I need it by Friday (for example) not tomorrow – that gave me say 5 days instead of 2, so pressure off :)
    Give the designer a bit of time and your result will be SO much better. Not weeks, just hours! Reduce the immediate pressure.. is what I’m saying :)
    Sorry, I know I’ve gone off on a tangent to this post but it stirred me!

  5. Yep, the inspiration IS there all the time, I know that. I am just stating that if you do other things (like run a business) it’s not always the first thing you think of.
    I am sure my brother would disagree – like you have, Jim :)

    I am of the Paul Smith reasoning: If you are a creative person AND you have your own brand AND a business, You first need to preserve the business, then worry about the design. I am sure Paul once said, the most quiet creative time for him is on a long haul flight.

    I totally agree!

  6. I used to be amazed how inspired I became when there was little work coming into my business.

    My point is that when we need to be, we can make things happen but may be by default we procrastonate.

  7. Well hello Jim, all too often we get stuck in the planning stage, trying to make it perfect (which is impossible) when all we need to do is plan the first couple of steps and see what doors then open.

    All too often by taking that first step our perspective changes in ways we could never have imagined when we sat planning our masterpiece.

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