Over the last year I have noticed an interesting phenomenon. Despite the very positive feedback I get from people on the value and practical nature of the marketing ideas I supply in this newsletter, in my courses and in my consulting, many people seem to find it hard to take the personal action needed. This is true even when they agree that taking action will help them achieve an important goal.

Jack G. called me recently and he sounded desperate and depressed. He had a new business and had virtually no business. He had been a senior executive with a large insurance firm and had decided to get out of the corporate rat race. So here was a person who had achieved a reasonable amount of success in his life, but seemed stuck, almost paralyzed and unable to move forward. He told me he had tried a few things but none of them had worked.

His goal was to get 3 new consulting clients in the next 3 months. I coached him on the strategies he needed to adopt and asked him if he felt they would help him achieve his goal. He was totally convinced that the ideas would generate more than the 3 new clients he had set as a goal. He also felt confident that he could execute the ideas we discussed.

3 months later I had the opportunity to speak to him again. He was still a worried man. He had no new clients and had not implemented what we had discussed.

After some discussion, I discovered he was looking for motivation to get up off his butt and do something. It struck me that he had it all wrong. You don’t wait for motivation to do something. What you do, is do something first and that gives you the motivation to carry on and gets you excited about possibilities.

You have to take action first, plain and simple. If you don’t, you never achieve your dreams.

For some of us, the problem is no urgency. We feel we have years to achieve our goals, but the reality is different. Robert J. Ringer, the author of Winning Through Intimidation, suggests a simple exercise that might get you moving if you are procrastinating on an important life task . And what could be a more important life task, than growing your business?

So how many months do you have left to achieve your dreams? Here’s what he suggests, and it all come down to simple math.

1. “How old are you now? _____

2. How long do you hope to live? Realistically? _____

3. Subtract 1.from 2.______ more years to live.

4. Take your answer from 3. and multiply it by 12. ____X 12 =______ That’s the number of months you have left to live your life.

In my case: I’m 55 and expect to live till I’m at least 80. That gives me another 25 years to live.

So 25 x 12 is 300. I have 300 more months to live. So think about that number. When expressed in months, it doesn’t sound like all that much, does it?

5. Now subtract almost a third for sleep time, plus another fifth for eating, dressing, commuting, etc. time. That’s the number of months you have left to enjoy yourself and achieve your dreams.

In my case, after doing that I’m down to about 160 months. Only 160 months. We all know how quickly a month flies by. Can you believe it will be Christmas again in two months. Geez! I’d better get cracking!”