Steve Gordon | Speed of Implementation

What do you do when you have new ideas to improve your business?

Unfortunately, too many entrepreneurs prefer to perfect the concept first or let the idea percolate just a bit more. In most cases, that new idea, which could be a breakthrough, is never implemented and is soon forgotten.

There are ways to make sure you keep the momentum of your ideas… to find out sooner rather than later if they’ll work or how to improve them. And when you do that, you can see a radical change in your business.

Tune in to discover…

  • Why you should avoid perfection at all costs
  • The dangers of over-planning – and how to avoid them
  • Walt Disney’s most valuable business advice
  • The first step you can take to act on any new idea
  •  And more

Listen now…

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Steve Gordon: Welcome to the Unstoppable CEO Podcast. This episode of the podcast is brought to you by the Unstoppable Agency, that is our done-for-you podcasting service where we actually teach you how to do what we call podcast prospecting, to use a podcast to connect with influencers and potential clients in your market to build relationship before you show up and try and sell them something. If you want to find out more about that, you can go to and click the Work With Us tab up at the top.


Today, I’m here with John, and John’s a good friend. Many of you will know him from the podcast. You’ve been on more than anybody else, John, and so welcome back. We’re doing a quick little episode here. Folks have asked if I’d do more solo episodes, and this is one of those solo episodes, so I’m not necessarily interviewing John, but we just got finished recording a whole bunch of episodes for a new podcast we’re doing, and I thought it would be interesting to talk about that, John, and talk about the speed of implementation. Welcome to the podcast. Glad you’re here and excited to talk about this topic.


John Curry: Thank you, Steve. It’s great to be with you, and also, I know you’ve got a great audience, so it’s great to be with your audience. Folks, I’m looking forward to visiting with you and sharing some things that we’re doing that are very exciting, and we’re going to learn about how to implement speed quickly. In this case, speed does not kill.


Speed of Implementation


Steve: That’s right. This whole idea of speed of implementation is talked about all over the place. A lot of people don’t often know exactly what to do with it, and so today, we had a really good example. John and I have breakfast not as often as we used to and probably not as often as we’d like, but we get together for breakfast on Friday mornings periodically and usually spend a couple hours talking about life, talking about marketing. We usually come up with just these incredible synergistic ideas a couple months ago we were together, and John, you gave me an idea that has turned into $50,000 of revenue for us since then. I know that you’ve taken things away and implemented them, and part of what makes that work so well is the fact that when we get one of those ideas, we actually do something with it, which I found a little bit unusual.


John: That’s a novel idea, huh? Do something with it.


Steve: It is, so this morning, we’re sitting there, and how did we get on the topic of doing a new podcast?


John: Well, I can tell you real quickly. I’ve got my journal right here in front of me. We were talking about how both of us wanted to expand user podcast even more, and I made a comment about doing these presentations for some advisers, and you said, “Ah, how about we do this?”


Steve: That’s right.


John: Discussion of podcast because it’s something we both want to do. It’d help a lot of people, especially me. I’ve been doing this 45 years. I just don’t want to get on an airplane every week, flying around the country, but if I can help loads of people with their advisers, I want to do it, and that’s what led to you saying, “Hey, why don’t we go back to the idea of our adviser inner circle but do it via podcast?”


Steve: Yeah, so as we’re recording this, it’s 5:00 on Friday afternoon. I think that was at least an hour into our breakfast, so it must have been about 8:30 this morning, so I don’t know. What is that? Nine hours ago?


John: Actually, I don’t want to challenge you on your timing, but you’re off because it was toward the end, because it’s the last entry in my journal here.


Steve: Okay, there you go.


John: That was probably about …


Steve: Almost 10:00?


John: 9:50 to 10:00 mark.


Steve: Okay, so seven hours ago. We booked a time on the calendar to begin creating that podcast for this afternoon, and we just finished recording. We did four episodes over the course of about two hours.


John: The old guy here is the one who prompted the younger guy, “Hey, let’s 

get it done today, not later.”


Steve: Well, you know, that’s the way it goes. That’s the way it usually goes, and we went into this, and this is, I think … What’s important about this is, a lot of times, I’ll get an idea, and I won’t know where it’s going to go, but I have this idea, and I’ve just got this hunch that it’s going to be valuable. I know from experience that if I let that idea simmer and percolate, it’s actually going to lose the energy. You got to get in motion with it, and so with this, we got into motion quickly, right? I don’t want everybody to think that we’re patting ourselves on the back and all that. That’s not the point of this.


Take Action Now, Not Later


I want to challenge you as you’re listening to this, as you get ideas, you want to put them into action quickly. We’re seven hours later. We’ve got four episodes for a podcast that have been recorded. It will go live Monday, at the latest, on Tuesday. I think if iTunes cooperates with us, it will be live on Friday of next week, so seven days after we conceived of the idea. You’ve already got a list of thousands of people that will be able to reach with us very quickly because a few key influencers have been bugging you to do something like this. That’s speed of implementation. I think it’s just super important.


I know, John, you’ve practiced this throughout your career. How is it? Can you talk us through how it’s impacted your career and how, maybe some examples of ways you’ve used this and what’s happened with it?


John: Absolutely. Well, first of all, it’s allowed me to help people who’ve needed my help or someone like me because the minute, and I know when I get this, but sometimes, I’ll procrastinate on something but not very often. If I decide I want to do this, that’s usually how quickly I came to do it, but I’ll give you a quick example. My very first seminar in way back in 1981, January of ’81. I got the idea because I said I’m tired of seeing people one-on-one. It’s very time-consuming. It’s labor, if you will, and there’s got to be a way to get people in a room. We just thought about it on the drive back to my office, sat down with my assistant, “Here’s what I want to do. Let’s get going.” Back then, we just picked up the telephone and called people who we wanted to invite. It wasn’t a big group, 25, 30 people maybe, in the room, but it was very, very productive. We kept doing that.


Then, added technology, sampling postcards, and then later, emails and all this stuff, but it was just a matter of I’ve got the idea of the seminar, go do it. Back in those days, I didn’t have PowerPoint. Steve, all I did was, I sketched out my ideas on a flip chart. I just write it out, had an old note card, read it out in front of people, but that was the very first time that I was cognizant of taking the idea and running with it. As you know, I’m a big Walt Disney fan. I read a lot of stuff, and I love a quote of his. It says, “The best way to get started is to stop talking and start doing.” Let me repeat that. “The best way to get started is to stop talking and start doing,” and he was a big believer in doing something. Even if you’re not going in the right direction, at least do something to get some momentum started. That’s what I think about all the time.


Steve: Absolutely. Well, on the podcast, almost two years ago now, maybe over two years ago, I interviewed Steve Sims. John, are you familiar with Steve Sims? Does that name ring a bell?


John: It does not.


Take That First Step… and the Path Forward Will Be Clear


Steve: He’s the concierge to the stars, right, to celebrities, to all the A-listers. If you need something done, you call his company, and they figure out how to get it done. He has orchestrated weddings at the Vatican. He’s figured out how to do dinners at the Super Bowl with former Hall of Fame quarterbacks. I mean if you can think of it, and you have the ability to write a check, you call Steve. When I was interviewing, I said, “You know, some of these projects that you’ve done just seem so daunting. How do you get them done? You move with such speed,” and he said exactly what you said about Walt. He said, “I have this thing called a telephone. There’s not a lot I can do, but I know I can always make a phone call, and I just focus on … That very first thing I can do is, I just call the person that I think is closest to getting this done as the first step. Then, I tell them what the idea is. Then, I figure out where to go from there.”


I think having that first move is really critical. For us, there’s a lot of moving parts in getting this thing out, this podcast out, but the first thing we could do was schedule a time later today, which we’ve now done and record some episodes. We didn’t have a script. We didn’t have an outline. We took 10 minutes and brainstormed a bunch of topics, and most people would sit and agonize and plan and never start.


John: That’s correct, and the key was that expression, “The journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step.” Now, the key is, if you take the first step, then you get energized. You and I were talking earlier between the episodes of how energized it were, and I’m sitting in my office in front of my big old microphone, and you’re in your office in front of your microphone. The headset’s on, and we were energized as if we’re in the same room. It’s almost the same level from the standpoint of the chemistry, but when you take the first step, it leads to another one, another one, another one. It builds like the snowball that you talked about earlier going down the mountain in one of our other recordings earlier. I think it’s just, start where you are. Do what you can. Sometimes, you can’t do very much. Sometimes, it’s just writing down on your calendar, on your journal the next step.


Let’s talk about what happened this morning. We had the idea. Then, we brainstormed. “Okay, where do we do it? Do you have any time today? Let’s do it next Friday. Nah, let’s do it today,” so we made time today. Then, we have time next week. Then, we have time the following week because we already would schedule it out, so instead of letting it down the by-end, we said, “No. This thing’s got some legs. Let’s let it run.”


The Dangers of Over-Planning


Steve: Well, that’s just it, and we hadn’t even stopped to take the time to plan the whole thing out. I see this with our clients a lot. Oftentimes, they want to plan out and know every little thing that’s going to happen, and there’s certainly a place for that in certain endeavors. If you’re going to launch the space shuttle, you want to know everything that’s going to happen in that launch process, or you’re going to have a big boom, right, but for the vast majority of the things that you do in business, you don’t have to really know that far into the future. In fact, you gain much more, I think, by getting into motion and then allowing that motion to form the next actions that come after that, but I mean I see people just agonizing and agonizing, agonize, and they make it really painful to do anything.


As we’re recording this, John, in a few days, we’re going to launch my next book out to a small segment of our audience, to people that are on our wait list who’ve signed up with interest for it. I got the idea for that book, and I got the idea in the evening. The next morning, I sent out an email to our list with an article. It was on the topic of follow-up, which is what the book’s about, and a webpage that they could go to, which was about the simplest webpage I could ever set up where they could go put their names on a waiting list, which is the exact opposite of the way most people would approach a book.


They’d plan the book. They’d write the book. Then, they’d get around to it. Instead, I went out to the market and said, “Is there anything here?” I took that first action. I got into motion quickly, and I found out, “You know what? Man, there’s a lot of interest in that.” We have a whole bunch of people on a waiting list. I think for folks listening, as you get the opportunity, particularly on marketing stuff, that’s where I see people get tripped up. As you see that opportunity to take action, figure out what is the smallest step I can take now, and go do it.


John: Well, I love what Walt Disney said, and we’re talking about his quote. He always talked about “plusing” things. Do something. Then, improve it. Do something. Then, improve it. Think about Apple. Apple’s probably the biggest superstar at the standpoint of getting stuff out. Most of us are guilty of waiting until it’s perfect. Sometimes, you just got to get it out there. I think about Microsoft and Apple. They get stuff out there. Then, they would have their customers tell them what’s wrong and then improve it. Now, you should get something out of it that’s good. You shouldn’t have something defective, but the concept was, they didn’t wait around until it’s perfect. They got it out. They let people tell them what needs to be improved, but we are afraid to do that in business too many times. We’re worried about we’re going to look foolish. People will get angry and things like that, so you have to take that into account.


I like what you said about take a small piece and take a step, you know? Maybe all I do is schedule the time with you, and then, I don’t think about it until the time. Maybe I can’t get on your calendar until two weeks or a month out. So be it. At least, I took action, right? Then, what I better do to keep that thing, that energy level there, I’d probably better read about the topic. I’d better talk with you occasionally, maybe send you a text or an email so that we don’t lose interest. Does that make sense?


Steve: Absolutely, absolutely. Well, this is going to be a little bit of a shorted episode. John, I think we got the point across, and what I want to challenge folks to do, I want you to think right now as you’re listening to this. There is an idea that you’ve been thinking about, that you haven’t taken action on. Take a second right now. What is that idea? Now that you’ve got it in your mind, I want you to think about what’s the one simplest thing you could do right now? The minute this episode is over, you’re going to take some little action. Go take it. Move yourself forward. Go get some results and have fun doing it. I think to me, that’s the big message I wanted to get across today. John, thanks for taking a little bit of time and investing it with me. Thanks for teaching me to always use the word investing with time. It’s the best way to use time. Thanks for taking quick action today. This has been fun.


John: My pleasure. I look forward to doing it again.


Steve: All right. We’ll talk to everybody real soon.

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