What would Denis do? The importance of taking action

Nigel Collin

A while back when travelling through the Stoney Desert South Australia, on the way to Alice Springs with about 300kms to go, up ahead I saw someone riding a pushbike. I pulled over to grab a photo and we ended up chatting for quite a while. Dennis and his mate Bob were were riding from Port Augusta to Alice Springs, a point-to-point distance of about 1800kms. However, rather than going straight up the centre, they went via the Strzelecki track – adding another 450km of mostly dirt road. They were each towing a small trailer which had all their supplies and when not near a roadhouse or town (which was most of the time), they simply camped by the roadside.

Thinking they must be raising money for a charity, I asked why they were doing it, and Denis simply answered that they enjoyed long-distance riding and so it seemed like a good idea.

I love that because they had an idea and just did it! They literally got on their bikes and made it happen. They didn’t have endless committee meetings, they didn’t ponder or talk about it for ever, they simply had an idea and went for it. It’s a reminder of a very important lesson for all small-business owners. You need to take action, nothing happens until someone does something. Sadly, there are small businesses all over Australia with great ideas that are never put in place.

I once had the opportunity of interviewing Sylvia Wilson, founder Bark Busters, who spoke of how she equates successful people as those out in front saying “YES I’ll give that a go” while everyone else is in the back room contemplating, pondering, having endless meetings and never getting anything done. That’s Denis and Bob.

These guys are two of the most inspiring people because whenever I get to a decision point in my business as to whether or not I should take action, I now ask “What would Denis do?” By the time I answer that question, Denis would already have done it.

And here’s the kicker, at the time I met them: Bob was 67 Denis was 75. What’s your excuse for not acting on your ideas?

Nigel Collin, Business Coach and Author of “Game of Inches”