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Leap before you think?!

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Leap before you think?!

leap before you thinkBy: Hiroshi Mikitani- CEO, Rakuten Inc.

To be successful in business, you must act first and think later.

This may sound counterintuitive. Indeed, most of us have been counseled since we were children to think first. Don’t just rush out there, consider every possibility, look before you leap.

I’ve heard that advice, too. I reject it. My experience has been that there is no real, valuable thinking until you move into action. It is the action that spurs thinking. Action is, literally, the food for thought.

Think of it in terms of learning a sport. Suppose you want to learn to play tennis. I can spend hours, even days, telling you about it, encouraging you to think about what playing tennis would be like. But you won’t learn a thing until you are out on the court, swinging at the ball, trying to play. Then, in your actions, the reality of your situation will take shape.

The same is true in business. You can think about it all day long. But until you are out in the reality of your efforts, you will not be able to see what truly needs to be done. When you are acting, you will see the impact of your efforts. You’ll get feedback and response. Not all of it will be good. But all of it will be valuable. All of it will help you understand your next move. And then your next.

Thinking is important. But don’t put all your efforts into thinking while you hold off on action. It’s okay to start slow. But be sure to start. You can think afterwards.


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Hiroshi Mikitanileap before you thinkRakuten Inc

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