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Action v. Inaction

I was talking to an old friend of mine recently. He gave me a riddle:

Three guys were sitting at a bar when one of them decided to leave. How many were left?

The answer? Three.

Deciding to leave is far different than actually doing it.

The story reminded me a conversation I recently had with my brother. We were talking about the difference between the words people use when they're talking about action vs. the words they use when they're thinking about action.

Take a look:

  • Finished
  • Completed
  • Did
  • Accomplished
  • Wrapped-up
  • Signed
  • Closed

As opposed to:

  • Considering
  • Met about
  • Processing
  • Preparing
  • Thinking about
  • Getting ready to
  • Collaborating

A long time ago, I was told never to present a problem unless I also brought a few solutions. These words make the same point.

The lesson for sales? You're either doing or not. My recommendation? Do.