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Cover art for Life on Target Podcast with Nathan Spearing reviewing construction blueprints.

Episode 6: One Fool in One Thousand

What does it take to actually achieve our goals? For one reason or another, most people never accomplish the things they say they will. It's one thing to talk endlessly about future plans, and another to courageously take risks and execute them. In this episode, Nathan discusses how he learned to shift his mindset so he can focus on getting things done to make his plans a reality.

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This is the Life on Target podcast. I am your host, Nathan Spearing. I am glad you’re here with me today. I encourage you to be someone who takes action, not just someone who talks about what action they’re going to take, but someone who actually executes and gets things done.

As always, what I’m going to talk about today, the resources, the quotes, et cetera, can be found on our website, Spearing.co. I also encourage you to share this episode with one friend if I’m helping you. Share it with someone. Help us grow the movement. And as always, if I didn’t help you, and you don’t want to share it, then at least send me a message and let me know why I didn’t help you so that I can get better.

All right, let’s get to the show.

Are You the One Fool in One Thousand?

A few years back, I was doing some repairs for some clients who had a deck railing that was falling apart. And the person before had messed up the way they framed the flooring as well. So, we were making those repairs.

Most of you that know me will not be surprised that I ended up in their dining room, sitting there, talking to the client a little bit about life in general. Like most young men, I was talking probably too much and not listening to him—mostly about my plans for real estate and how I was going to continue to grow my portfolio and invest and maybe bring on investors for certain things. And he just paused, kind of midway through, and he looked me right in the eye and he said, “You know, Nathan, everyone has an idea, but only one fool in a thousand actually does something.”

“You know, Nathan, everyone has an idea, but only one fool in a thousand actually does something.”

Like most good pieces of advice, that hits you pretty hard right away, but also continues to give you wisdom in the years to come as you come into situations with people, and it guides you as you make decisions. And what I’ve noticed a lot out there as a guy who is having ideas and trying to execute them, is there are a lot of people sharing their ideas, telling you what they’re going to do. Or when you’re successful in certain endeavors, they talk about how they had that idea too. Like that they thought it up and didn’t do a dang thing about it makes them the same as you who thought it up as well, but got something done.

Why It’s Hard to Execute Good Ideas

This is human nature, of course, but I want you to be the person who actually executes and gets to look back on your accomplishments. Not solely done because of you. But done because people around you supported you. You had faith in God, you executed with the talents that you were given and got it done instead of being the person that gets to the end of their life and looks back and feels like they always shied away from risk and left some things undone in their life.

To help you further understand human nature with respect to ideas, and maybe give you a little motivation to get going on yours, let’s go to the book, Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity. Chapter 1 is “Ignore Everybody.” And he says:

The more original your idea is the less good advice other people will be able to give you. You don’t know if your idea is any good the moment it is created, neither does anyone else. The most you can hope for is a strong gut feeling that it is, and trusting your feelings is not as easy as the optimists say it is. There’s a reason why feelings scare us because what they tell us and what the rest of the world tells us are often two different things. And asking close friends never works quite as well as you hope. It is not that they deliberately want to be unhelpful. It’s just that they don’t know your world one-millionth as well as you do, no matter how hard they try, no matter how hard you try to explain. Plus, a big idea will change you. Your friends may love you, but they may not want you to change. If you change, their dynamic with you also changes. They might prefer things stay the way that they are. That’s how they love you: the way you are, not the way you may become.

Hugh MacLeod

And he goes on to talk about sharing these ideas with your business colleagues. And it’s back to the change thing: “If your idea is so good that it changes your dynamic enough to where you need them less or—God forbid—the market needs them less, then they’re going to resist your idea every chance they can.”

The conclusion of this chapter is why I like this book: it’s just thought provoking. These are two-page chapters, three-page chapters, and he hits you hard with the truth.

So, closing the chapter out, he says, “Good ideas alter the power balance in relationships. That’s why good ideas are always initially resisted. Good ideas come with a heavy burden, which is why few people execute them. So, few people can handle it.”

Are you the kind of person that can handle it?

I think you are.

I think everybody is the kind of person that can handle a good idea and executing it. I just think people need to do a little bit better job explaining how to execute those ideas and maybe some of the benefits and challenges that come with it.

Sharing Ideas for Validation Undermines Execution

I remember a few years back, I was pitching one of my many ideas that, coincidentally, I didn’t execute. I showed the business plan to someone. It was in the beginning as I was still trying to formulate it. And I was talking about how I was about to show it to somebody else. And my friend said—and this is a time where friends can be very good—he said, “Are you sharing this business idea because you want them to validate your idea, or are you sharing this business idea because you want them to give you money to execute it? Take the time, refine your ideas, get the data and go to this guy when you have it completely figured out and you’re ready for him to give you money.”

And it also takes me to the discussion on the Real AF podcast between Andy Frisella and Dan Fleyshman, where he said some of the times he shuts people down that are pitching him ideas is to say, “Okay, let me write the check. Where should I write it to?” These guys have amazing PowerPoints. They commissioned somebody to give them the logo. They did all this time to come up with this plan, and they have somebody in front of them willing and able to give them money, but they don’t have a bank account for that company. And they can’t tell him where to write the check.

Are you the kind of person that is focusing on the wrong things with your ideas, seeking validation for them before you’re ready, scared of what it is going to do to the relationships in your life? Or re you the one that can take that gut feeling that’s been given to you based on the skills that you have, and are you going to execute it?

You don’t have to execute it. You don’t have to be the one that goes after it, but I can tell you from experience being a guy that talked about a lot of ideas and slowly learned that it’s more important to execute them and bring people on when you’ve got your stuff together, it’s extremely rewarding to do it.

So, take that gut feeling, take that belief that the world needs, what you have to offer and go get it done.

Thanks for listening. Talk to you next time.

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