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Now... not "How?"

It's a simple phrase, isn't it? "Now, not how." Yet these three words can be something special in the right hands.

Erik MacKinnon
2 min read
Now... not "How?"

It's a simple phrase, isn't it? "Now, not how."

Yet these three words can be something special in the right hands. A spark that ignites the bias for action.

A recent post by Dennis Geelen starting wtih "If you had 24 hours to make $1000, you wouldn't..." got me thinking on this; it's worth sharing a note.

I first heard this catchy phrase via Noah Kagan. I don't know him personally, but I respect his work ethic from afar. If there's one thing he doesn't seem to do, it's wait.

Candidly, I'm not much for waiting around either, especially in business. I don't like to sit and research a bunch of things just to get to a decision. To use a football analogy, I prefer to just scan the field and step into the throw.

Now, not how.

If you're reading this newsletter here on LinkedIn, you're seeing it in action.

When I saw newsletters had been activated in my account, I could have

  • sat around and made a plan for how to approach it, or
  • taken some gurufluencer's LinkedIn Newsletter Audience Attraction Academy Course, or
  • phoned up a bunch of smart, successful LinkedIn people like Shay Rowbottom and paid them for coaching in how to make my newsletter a success, or
  • try to ponder or discover if it's even worth the time.

Or, I could... start the newsletter, and start writing, and find out myself.

Now, not how.

I have no idea where I learned to act this way, or what in my upbringing ingrained this bias into my personal modus operandi. And I'll be the first to admit, it's a good way to fail at some things, and learn some harsh, avoidable lessons that research could have prevented.

It's also a great way to overload yourself with too many things going on at once.

And It's not an ideal decision filter for all scenarios. Ready, fire, aim, and all that.

However. In my experience, acting now gives offers you the benefits of immediate learning and rapid iteration. If you aren't doing, you aren't learning as fast as you could be. Doing, rather than consuming content or theorizing, provides the information necessary for improvement via iteration.

Amazon has a principle similar to this:

“Speed matters in business. Many decisions and actions are reversible and do not need extensive study. We value calculated risk-taking.”

You can stare at a puzzle all day, or you can start laying out the pieces. Eventually, it will begin to materialize.

I have this phrase I say often:

"It's a lot easier to change something, than to change nothing."

And it's true. The Edisonian principle "fail your way to success" is similar. You have to do the failing to get to the succeeding... and that requires action.

Your Homework: Take Action on Something, Now

You're smart, you get the point.

I'm going to cut to the chase and simply issue you a call to action:

Think: what's your most pressing priority today?

Close this tab and go take action on it.

Right now. Just do something, do anything!

And the next time you start to suffer indecision, or hesitation... just remember:

Now, not how. Turn inertia into action, with just 3 simple words.

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