Kobus and I were drafted into the army at the age of seventeen. We became good friends during our basic training (boot camp) and then attended the Operations Intelligence training program together before being placed at an air force base. We had a lot of fun which included getting drunk, jabbing a hole into the door of an airplane with the blades of a forklift, overturning a battery-operated luggage cart and smashing the back of a staff sergeants car with the same forklift. I loved the army.
After the army we went our separate ways, but remained friends. We boated, camped and stayed in touch. I worked in a government department and then got a bursary for Hotel School and Kobus trained and then worked as psychiatric nurse. He got married and caught his new wife in bed with another woman three nights later. He remarried and became a medical rep. While working as a salesman, the man who tended his garden told Kobus that he could make personalized resin pen holders that Kobus could sell to the doctors he was calling on. This became a lucrative sideline until the gardener told him that he could also teach him how to make resin baths, basins and commodes. Kobus put him to work in his garage and soon had his own factory. Two years later, he was a millionaire.
I tell you this story because its not about education. There are many educated people around who have no money, no success, no vision. The universities and colleges make their money by promising people theyll succeed because of education. And its not about ideas many of us have great ideas that we keep in a box on a shelf somewhere. Its all about TAKING ACTION. That is what defines the winner and the conqueror. Action is what separates the men from the boys. Talk is cheap. Kobus had the guts to take action. And to bounce back when things went wrong. Goethe said, The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.
Taking action means moving, getting off the coach and out of bed, doing the difficult things and taking risks. In business, even the things that dont work, work. Thats because we learn from success as well as from failure. If youre not failing often, youre not taking enough action! The more failures, the closer you get to success. Stop talking and start walking. DO something. Pick up that phone, write that letter, go to that meeting. Woody Allen said that 90% pf success is showing up. You never know whom youll meet! You dont stumble across opportunities watching television. You dont meet many winners in a bar or a casino. Alfred Adler said, Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement. Finally, we build trust by what we DO, not by what we SAY. Take action. Benjamin Disraeli said, Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.