Make Things Happen: 3 Examples of Entrepreneurial Proactivity

Make Things Happen: 3 Examples of Entrepreneurial Proactivity

There is one key difference I’ve noticed among successful business owners and the “wantreprenuer” crowd. One group is waiting for the right _______ (fill in the blank). And the other group decided to make things happen for themselves. Period.

I’ll let you take a lucky guess on which group is successful.

Today, I want to show you three perfect examples of what it looks like to “make things happen” for yourself.

Example 1:

James Clear is a good friend and an impressive business guy. He’s built a number of businesses and travels the world taking incredible photographs. He was in Austin recently along with Brennan Dunn.

While we were driving, I asked James about why he is bald.

James told me that when he started to notice that his hair was thinning, he was going to create his own solution. Instead of waiting for his hair to completely go away, he decided shave his head.

Then like a muscular buddha he shared his bald-headed wisdom with me.

"If someone mentions that you're balding, you have to say, ‘Oh, yeah, it happened to me.’ But if they mention you shave your head, then you can simply say, 'I chose to do it.'"

The sense of personal agency behind that statement is huge. Shaving his head put James in control--not his genetics.

Example 2:

When I bike around Austin, I’ll look around to see if there are any for-sale signs. Even if there’s a house or apartment I like, I always have to wait (and hope) it'll go on sale someday.

And real estate agents have to wait until a seller comes asking for help.

But here is a letter I received a few weeks ago:

Chloe isn’t waiting for those people to put their places on the market. She’s creating her own solution, creating an advantage for herself, by going after the properties that she wants to be able to sell.

She is creating her own unlisted market and building a ton of rapport with potential sellers.

Example 3:

Alright, here is a third example (and oddly enough it’s about real estate too) about how to make things happen for yourself.

My friend Matt spent more than 2 years looking at housing listings to buy a place in south Austin. Every couple weeks he would take a look at the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) to see what was on the market.

Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

He couldn’t find a single house that he wanted to buy. Then his wife got pregnant. Yay!

But they didn’t want to buy a new place (and move, buy new furniture, etc) if they couldn’t find it in the first few months. (Apparently moving with a pregnant wife is never fun.)

Instead of waiting and hoping they would get lucky, Matt got on Google Earth and scouted houses that were in their ideal neighborhoods and had pools.

He created a list of all of the houses he liked and then wrote a letter to the owners.

In the letter he explained that his wife was pregnant and that he was interested in buying the person’s house. Then he drove around for 3 hours and and left the letter on their doorstep or doors.

Within a week, three people responded to his offer and now he lives in one of the houses!

* * *

What do these three examples teach us?

There is an epidemic of waiting for the right circumstances, waiting for success, or waiting for everything to align just right before we take a step forward.

I call it conditional living:

"I’ll do that when…"

"It won’t work because…"

"There’s nothing available. I already looked..."

"I’ll wait until I’m fired…"

How many people wait to make a huge change or take a risk until they get fired, have a baby, or face some other challenge?

It’s way too easy to blame others instead of taking responsibility and creating the solution.

And now that this topic has been on my mind I hear and see it everywhere I go...even in Shakespeare.

I’ve hated Shakespeare since I was young. (Mostly cause the reading comprehension thing confused me...the "tis," "thou," "thee"...)

Luckily, a few days ago, a friend was reading Hamlet out loud. She read one of the most famous lines in all of literature. I was blown away by what Shakespeare was implying.

99% of you have heard this quote, but I doubt many have read the entire part:

"To be, or not to be- that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them."

In summary, he’s saying should we put up with what’s happening to us (outrageous fortune)

Or we can take action and make things happen by ending our sea of troubles.

Ask yourself...

What am I doing when my day is going poorly?

What am I doing when a client/partner/customer rejects me and things aren't moving forward?

What are you doing when there are no houses available? Or when my hair is thinning?

Ultimately, are things happening to you or are you making things happen? (Click to tweet)

What is 1 thing you are going to make happen today?

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137 responses to “Make Things Happen: 3 Examples of Entrepreneurial Proactivity”

sadie hill
June 29, 2017 at 12:47 am

I went in search of a solution for my problem when My husband wants to divorce me. we was married for 9 years and we have been through a lot, he has cheated on me before but I forgave him because I love him and moved on but later again he met a girl at work and thinks he is in love with her, so one day he told me he wants a divorce, for me I don't because I still loved him I know this must sound stupid but never wanted him go. I tried to make him see he is making a mistake but everything went wrong, I loved him so much but he refused to change his mind, i waited for him to come to his senses but nothing worked, i went in search of help and i was directed to contact a spell caster for help because i knew that will be the best solution, then i contacted dr_mack@yahoo. com to help me to unite i and my husband and finally i and my husband are perfectly together as one which was awesome, my husband is back to his senses, It felt good to have my Husband back
State: Texas
Country: United States

Arlene Whiting
October 10, 2016 at 5:07 pm

Start a new income stream. Seek unconventional housing.

August 4, 2016 at 9:53 am

Been on a slump lately. Thanks Noah for giving this great piece of advice.

February 15, 2016 at 11:46 pm

I like this post Noah, means I need to get off my sorry butt and make something happen

Alice Lopes
January 12, 2016 at 1:55 pm

Great post! Thanks!

Brian Kessler
October 4, 2015 at 7:27 pm

You wrote this post for me Noah. Thanks for giving me a shot in the arm to get me off of my ass and back into the mix.

September 20, 2015 at 6:50 pm

Great post Noah, thank you for sharing with clear examples of life!
From Nicaragua, Central America, best regards!

john waz
September 1, 2015 at 9:45 am

i will get more assertive towards problematic friends and let them know where i stand

June 4, 2015 at 9:36 am

How nice and dandy 🙂 It all sounds so cool and easy...All you have to do is act ..right? Like this Tony Robins dude "Act now" 🙂 Why don't you tell this to the poor people in Indian slums and Brazilians flavelas 🙂 Better the dying kid in Africa..go and tell him..don't die...act now..make your own fate! It's your fault! I appreciate the efforts of Marketeers to try and inspire others with zazzy blogs and examples but the truth is that the world does not work that way! Of course the Marketeer is only interested in marketing so by definition he will tell you only what you want to hear .. It's in your hands..grab are lazy 🙂 Then you get cancer or get hit by a drunk driver and you suddenly realize that things are not really under your control and making the proverbial lemonade is nothing more than a catchy phrase...

Brett Thompson
March 20, 2015 at 11:35 am

Awesome post. Exactly what I needed to hear. Today, I will start my plan for getting out of the rut! I started to think my current situation was all I had to look forward to for the rest of my days. It is refreshing to remember we can let life happen to us, or we can make life happen the way we want it to! Thanks again!

January 30, 2015 at 12:01 pm

To BE..that is the answer ! Im moving forward on many fronts today, Thanks for the wisdom and encouragement !

December 24, 2014 at 5:15 am

"What is 1 thing you are going to make happen today?" -
I wrote this sentence on my phone alarm to play in an hour. I'll do it every hour during the day. Today will be a long day, but maybe this way I can make it less stressful.
As for you, have a great day. You've probably made my a little better.

November 30, 2014 at 7:29 pm

Such a great post. This is something I have been realizing lately myself. There really is no right time for something to happen. You have to just choose to go and make it happen right now or else you will just come up with an excuse or reason. This present moment is the right time!

John Meese
November 21, 2014 at 6:59 am

Love this, Noah, great post! I totally agree, a key difference between the successful and the wannabes lies in this principle. Keep up the good work 😉

November 9, 2014 at 3:32 pm

Awesome post. Get off your butt and take control of your life.

Shimeka Williams
November 5, 2014 at 4:59 am

My sentiments exactly. Thank you for sharing those great examples.

Jennifer Joseph
November 4, 2014 at 10:28 am

Your examples are fantastic! Great post.

Marcel Kalveram
November 4, 2014 at 1:47 am

Very inspiring post! James Clear is indeed an awesome guy whose stories always make me want to go out and create.

Fornik Tsai
November 3, 2014 at 12:25 pm

I also hope that others can see the opportunity that I have created.

October 23, 2014 at 5:39 pm

Great Post! It is really inspiring. I always remind myself that I need to love myself RUTHLESSLY. This means going after the things that I want rather than being passive about it.

October 19, 2014 at 7:13 pm

I really enjoyed this one. I keep trying to encourage this same line of thinking upon my own team. Thanks Noah!

October 19, 2014 at 2:03 pm

Noah, once again thanks for the inspiration to persist. I was canned a few months ago after having made what seemed like a good career move. I mean when the CEO's wife hires you for a position at an increased pay rate then you jump ship and go to the new job right? Yeah, then mysteriously after a week and two days they suddenly 'don't have a place for me". That sent me into existential despair and a depression. You know how it goes, but you also gave very good tips on how to recover. I'm still trying to get going and back on the horse. Just wanted to say thanks for being a positive influence for me.

Daniel Daines-Hutt
October 11, 2014 at 8:06 pm

Love it, also I love that your articles on here are a mix of business acumen and personal story
Not an easy blend to mix well, and you do it easily!
The crazy thing is, most people in those houses where probably looking to move, but were waiting for a sign, didn't think anyone would want to take their apartment off of them etc etc
By moving first you created the sign for the other people to react to
In martial arts there is a precept called sensen no sen...allow me to explain how I think this connects
There are 3 stages in this mindset, and are normally seen in the evolution of a martial artist
Stage 1 go no sen- to see the attack and then respond
stage 2 sen no sen - to see the attack and deal with it before it effects you
stage 3 sensen no sen - to see the the intention before the attack, and deal with it before it is launched

In business, (and how I feel it relates to this post) is that in the final evolution of the master tactician, you create the opportunity and act before others see the opportunity is there.

By going out and contacting these homeowners to buy the house, they went away from the mindset of seeing the house to be on sale, or waiting for the sale, but to create the opportunity.

Sorry to waffle on, but when you cross read genres its easy to see similarities!
Here's a link to it, from an Aikido club, but its evident in most budo.

Jeff Goins
September 26, 2014 at 10:37 am

Recently, I interviewed a group of remarkable people who had found their callings. They all told me the same thing, which was essentially this: "I found my life's work when something unexpected, even bad, happened and I responded to it with the right attitude." Finding your purpose, it turns out, is more about mindset than having a great plan. Stuff happens. What you do when it does determines who you become. Great post, Noah!

Noah Kagan
September 27, 2014 at 10:59 am

So true Jeff. It's amazing how many great things come out of bad times.

Makes me think about of gorgeous plants growing out of cow manure 🙂

Oloyede Jamiu
September 28, 2014 at 10:43 am

Hey Noah,

I will share this post!

David Wolfe
September 24, 2014 at 7:11 pm

Noah, thanks abunch for this post! Keep'em comin!

Alexander Asomba
September 23, 2014 at 1:20 pm

This is one timely piece Noah! Surely when there is a will we find a way when there's no will we find excuses. Thanks for this piece.

Hugh Culver
September 11, 2014 at 2:53 pm

So good! I love the real life examples. Resisting the gravity of life and making things happen is an art we all need to practice (how many sales people need to read this!?). Thanks Noah, keep it coming.

Thomas M
September 11, 2014 at 12:13 am

Awesome post, Noah!! Exactly the kick-up-the-arse read I needed this afternoon.

September 8, 2014 at 2:57 am

Once Noah saved the rest of the world with his Ark (vessel), now we are gonna be "saved" by his Article. Noah, your name really serves your genes! Sometimes one species of things is happening per se with even no imagination such may ever happen.. then next round of things may outflow from the latter or autonomously by our actions for them to smoothly happen.. Thanks again, the more such enthusiasm, the more success and satisfaction 😉

Lillian Courtney
September 7, 2014 at 4:42 pm

I love this while email. I did exactly that .I contacted a college I wanted to lecture in that I ha graduated in 10 years back and met up with the Director and after what wa supposed to be a 15 min meeting ended up as a 5 hour and I told them it was fantastic they were doing Business & Personal Development Coaching in the college. They said sorry we dont actually . I planted a seed and after 2 days they rang me back saying it ws a great idea where now I am lecturing one weekend per month to try it out . I will now apporach other companies and the reference of the academy name will put me on a higher level.
Lillian Courtney coaching is on its way to the top
Love your emails.

September 6, 2014 at 12:22 am

hi noah...great post. This is what i always believe...if you want it,then do it like you mean it..if you don't want it,simply don't do it..we always have choices in life..

Aaron Wright
September 5, 2014 at 9:45 pm

Great post Noah. It reminds me of something Robert Kiyosaki says in his book Rich Dad, Poor Dad. He says that one of the differences between poor people and rich people is how they approach investing. Poor people* says things like "I would buy that apartment building if I could afford it". Rich people, on the other hand, ask "How can I afford it?". They look for creative ways to come up with the cash to make investments.

Poor people are reacting to their circumstances and waiting for things to change. Rich people are rich because they made things change.


* I use the term "poor" loosely here, referring to pretty much anyone who isn't wealthy. I realize that poverty is more complex than this.

Carol Bell
September 4, 2014 at 9:03 pm

I was wondering what does "demand" look like? You know, "Supplyy & Demand". Demand looks like not waiting for things to happen for me, but going out there and getting what I want to happen. So with that I strike!


Michael Chibuzor
September 4, 2014 at 8:13 pm

This is my first time here Noah, but I've read a lot about you. It's like you were thinking about me when you wrote this post. I have this habit of always waiting for success to come in my business. Maybe I need to step out of my comfort zone and just do something that would make a difference.

Iúri Honda
September 4, 2014 at 1:17 pm

Hey Noah! I love your posts and it is the first time I choose to leave a reply here (: That happened because I am having many experiences of "things happening". I have had many positive results in a specific project that was stationary for a long time and I realized that things just started changing since I created my own luck: when I connect with good contacts or advance with my hypotheses, I run after creating my own luck. Thanks for reminding me once again of the importance of never settling 😉

September 4, 2014 at 11:27 am

Today I'm going to finally start the PPC campaign to the landing pages I set up ages ago. Thanks Noah!!

David Balfour
September 4, 2014 at 10:00 am

Noah - I have been enjoying your postings that I read and find most everything you say is basic common sense! (The latter sentence is intended as a compliment and not as an insult.) It furthers my criticism of our educational system of which I was a part for close to 40 years - it does not teach students what it should teach!!!!

September 4, 2014 at 7:42 am

Today I am going to comment on Noah's blog post for the very first time!



September 4, 2014 at 6:32 am

Hey Noah, thanks for sending. Glad I took the time to actually read the email instead of putting it into the neglected "read later" pile!

September 4, 2014 at 2:16 am

Powerful insight bro. One day soon we'll actually hang out. I was asked to speak at IMP... I know that is in your hood.

Remember... be a servant, (<=that's you)

Cory Boatright

September 4, 2014 at 12:45 am

Thanks Noah, this post is really awesome.

I've been procrastinating to get my inbox to zero unread emails, and voila, today, after few hours i finally did it! INBOX ZERO BABY!!!

Now, i'm getting back to finishing up my guest post for, after that i will prepare an email outline to be sent next Monday to my Mailing List.

Cheers, and have a nice day brotha 🙂

September 3, 2014 at 9:18 pm

Thanks for the reminder. Great motovation.
Step 1 is the hair idea. My wife will kill me at first but respect the take charge confidence the next day. Step 2 is getting in to and adding value to my brothers contracting company. Need to brainstorm over some tacos!

Michael Fear
September 3, 2014 at 6:08 pm

One of my favorite posts of yours. Definitely fits my life right now.

Thanks for the reminder to "make things happen".

Chris Petrie
September 3, 2014 at 5:55 pm

I never finished my College degree. I'm 53 years old and stuck in a dead-end job. Today I am going to apply to do a Masters Degree. I found one that accepts you on your experience. That I have plenty of! I see this as the beginning of taking control of my future employment (or self-employment) opportunities. I'm excited!

September 3, 2014 at 5:03 pm

Just wanted to comment and say how much I enjoyed this email / post! Thanks Noah.

September 3, 2014 at 4:21 pm

Knowledge is worthless without action!
This should be the only course in universities.
Great post, thank you for sharing.

Joe Garma (@joegarma)
September 3, 2014 at 8:20 pm

Hitesh, reminds me of what a teacher of mine once said:

"You don't know something till you've done it".

David Paluy
September 3, 2014 at 4:11 pm

Great Post and perfect timing Noah,
I will send invitations to join my pre-launch startup - Azorly.
It's a Feedback as a service platform that helps SMB

September 3, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Excelent article Noah

It gives me inspiration today and it's giving me more pieces to avoid that kind of thinking. Thank you so much 🙂

September 3, 2014 at 3:52 pm

wow. What an awesome thing to read to start my day. Thank you.

Joe Garma (@joegarma)
September 3, 2014 at 3:41 pm

OK, already... I'll go shave my head!

September 3, 2014 at 3:29 pm

Strangely, this e-mail was exactly what I needed to read today ... So Thank you.

Tara Phelps
September 3, 2014 at 3:21 pm

Dude! Cool way to find the house of your dreams. Nothing personal against the normal way of buying a home.. But really dig the "look on Google Earth" method.

September 3, 2014 at 2:45 pm

I had to comment on this one. Very good article. Tomorrow I'll be flying to Greece just to see my friends from undergrad. I haven't seen them since 2011. Lots of money spent on tickets without a "good enough" excuse (like seeing parents or other family).

Some people have questioned my choice, asking me about work and what might stay behind because of the trip, but should I wait till I have completely lost contact with everyone to actually do something about it - if, of course, I still have the option to do something?

September 3, 2014 at 1:00 pm

thanks for the reminder! it's easy to stay consistent when taking action for a couple hours a day and head hunt for new opportunities.

it's also easy to forget to take action once you've strayed away from it for couple of days or months... which is my case now.

this post was perfect timing for me...and another well written, detailed and high value post.

stay awesome brother!

Zach LaValley
September 3, 2014 at 12:19 pm

Nailed it. This is exactly how I got my current job at an awesome company. I didn't know if they were hiring. I didn't care. I loved the company. So, I wrote them a letter and said, "Let me do your marketing" (maybe not quite like that), and within 10 days I was hired.

Matt Draper
September 3, 2014 at 11:52 am

Taking a first step towards creating a business that makes me and others happy.

Kim Williams
September 3, 2014 at 11:51 am

I started my own small business networking page because I couldn't find anything on Facebook that would help my business out. This way I can help myself and others.

September 3, 2014 at 11:34 am

I wanted to delete this email without reading (yeah I am so sorry) but then I read it and I was blown away.
Thank you
I am going to finish a layout of our house to help things move forward:)

Noah Kagan
September 3, 2014 at 11:52 am

I dodged a bullet 🙂

Have fun finishing the layout!

Mars Eve
September 3, 2014 at 11:31 am

We generate our own luck and I'm lucky!
Who wants to get lucky with me?

September 3, 2014 at 11:29 am

I got this in the email and actually read through the entire post.

I love it.

Way to put things into perspective. Exactly what I needed to hear.

September 3, 2014 at 11:23 am

My wife said not to shave my balding head. She also says no beard, and especially goatee.
The rule that trumps this is happy wife, happy life.

Gigi Rodgers
September 3, 2014 at 10:56 am

I am hiring a virtual assistant off of to find me every church within my area. I am going to contact them via email and ask if they would allow me to drop off some flyers/postcards advertising my services to their mass.

Noah Kagan
September 3, 2014 at 11:11 am

That's awesome Gigi!

Tyler V
September 3, 2014 at 2:09 pm

Hey Gigi! Try this site called Faith Street

September 3, 2014 at 3:46 pm

Thanks Tyler V! It would be funny if this is what my VA uses to get the address' and contact info! Whatever gets the job done. Cheers!

September 3, 2014 at 10:54 am

Great post Noah, thank you! Two weeks ago, I decided to empty out all of our cupboards & drawers, and purge all items we haven't used in years. Now, my home is beautiful, minimalistic, and I feel a huge sense of accomplishment. What one thing will I make happen today? Today, mine is: Host my very first Google+ Hangout in Air for my survivor community. Super pumped! Have a phenomenal day, Noah!

Jeffrey Smith
September 3, 2014 at 10:52 am

Thanks for the swift kick in the A$$ Noah, well put. If what you want isn't happening, then you need to change your approach.

Funny how the, ego and the old "trying to pass the buck and blame game" prevents us (by virtue of buying into it) from achieving our goals.

I too am in mid product launch (now relaunch) for our new WordPress framework that I thought would jump off the shelves (just because people loved our free plugin SEO Ultimate to the tune of over 1 million downloads) but man, was that ever a wake up call when we got crickets chirping after a soft launch back in April.

It really bummed me out after spending years in development fine-tuning the framework, surviving a what would be tragic motorcycle wreck (120 MPH without gear on) I know, long story but should never drive mad...., recovering for 2 years after a below the knee amputation, divorce and almost going out of business (from being in the hospital so long) most people would have simply thrown in the towel.

But, thank God I wasn't built that way. This was all another opportunity to evolve. Instead, I am grateful, that even though "all that had to happen to make it happen", made me a stronger and more genuine person.

Despite the shortcomings of the launch, it made me realize that approach is everything and I have to go back to the drawing board and reposition the brand.

So, we're throwing on a new coat of paint on the site, adding some skins (themes), pimping out the demo, coming up with some great bundles, and will soon relaunch the product (with verve) and not so much emphasis on telling you what it does (like the current site) but rather showing people how powerful it is instead. Would love to talk offline for an Appsumo blast as well.

People love the show don't tell with the information overload we waddle through daily. So, I should have taken that to mind. But, the gist of the story is, OWN it, good bad or otherwise, change yourself to embrace new change and no matter what never give up (or limit yourself to underachieving).

Take your lumps, get back up and create some change. Thanks again for the inspiration to go 110%. Watch out WordPress Theme Companies, there a new champion in the wings,

Also, my business partner has a place in Austin, so, next time I'm there, I'll hit you up and we can Gnosh on some delicious tacos and drink a few beers.

All the best man.


September 3, 2014 at 10:47 am

Great post Noah! I personally tend to let fear stop me in my tracks, especially when I'm unsure of my path. Today I'm going to take a step forward and register the domain name for the new business idea I have, then draw up a plan of action.

Brian Dean
September 3, 2014 at 10:45 am

Rockin' post, Noah!

The idea of "I'll do X when Y happens" is something I struggled with for years.

Even after I earned enough money as a freelance writer to live off of (and then some), it took me months to quit my boring job. The X in my "I'll quit when I have $X in the bank" was a moving target.

As soon as I quit, I thought to myself: "I totally could have done this months ago".

Not saying I'm cured, but I'm much better since I started following superhuman entrepreneurs like you and Neil Patel.

Leah Holyoak
September 3, 2014 at 10:41 am

Started Validating my product today. Hopefully I get enough responses. If not I will be moving on to the next project. Thanks Noah! You are such an inspiration.

September 3, 2014 at 10:37 am

Today I'm going to contact a few people letting them know I'm designing logos. Work won't magically appear!

Dave Waale
September 3, 2014 at 10:35 am

Thanks for the jump start. That was the post I needed to shake off yesterday and put a little gas on the fire.
( Also, enjoyed - in a weird, train wreck, shouldn't but can't look away - watching you drink shots of hot sauce. ouch. ) My ghost peppers are almost ready. I'll send you one!

September 3, 2014 at 10:30 am

The one thing I'm going to do today is look through my contact list and find a few people I can email letting them know I can work on logos for people as a side project. Work won't magically appear!

September 3, 2014 at 10:18 am

Go get em! Nice post man.

September 3, 2014 at 10:02 am

Nice post. No matter what podcast i listen to or blog I read about entrepreneurship or any bold endeavor for that matter. Two preconditions of success are always on top: develop personal awareness through an intentional practice of some kind and getting started. Leave the driveway, don't wait for perfect, avoid conditional living. Thank for providing the community that reminds….

September 3, 2014 at 10:01 am

Need to get updates to a designer that I've been putting off for a while for various weak reasons.

September 3, 2014 at 9:50 am

Gonna finally look into paying for mailing software (rather than using several of the free options on groupmail) and save myself about 3 hours a month and a lot of hard work and brain power. I have been putting the research off...don't know why.

Thanks for the kick in the @ss today Noah.

September 3, 2014 at 9:39 am

Today I am going to take a walk in state park for excerise and enjoy nature

Noah Kagan
September 3, 2014 at 10:59 am

Sounds like fun. Which one?

Mike Doyle
September 3, 2014 at 9:37 am

I am recently divorced and decided it was time to start dating. I created 2 meet up groups that target the women I want to meet. One is called NJ Career Driven Singles and the other is CrossFit Singles.

I could go out to bars and hope to find someone with the same mindset and passions. But that's not focussed and I like to make shit happen.

Eric Kuhn
September 3, 2014 at 9:36 am

Great use of Shakespeare's most iconic quote. Time to make things happen, no waiting around.

Denise Cox
September 3, 2014 at 9:30 am

Wow. You are right! I never really read that to understand it. Thanks for the great post - a great way to start the day.

Mike Watterson
September 3, 2014 at 9:19 am

Great post Noah! As a small business owner myself, this mindset is definitely something to keep in mind in order to keep things clear and in perspective (especially during those slow days!)
Sitting back and waiting for 'things to happen' just doesn't cut it when you're in business for yourself, and will ultimately just lead to that dreaded feast or famine cycle.
We've gotta get out there and make it happen!

Thanks again,

Michael Vogel
September 3, 2014 at 9:15 am

Great post - the Shakespeare reference puts things in a timeless context. - I'm glad I subscribed to this blog!

Noah Kagan
September 3, 2014 at 9:35 am

Me too!

Mike Doyle
September 3, 2014 at 9:37 am

haha great reply.

September 3, 2014 at 9:07 am

"and by opposing, end them" is a call to suicide in this line. As a survivor of multiple suicides, including an immediate family member, I don't really agree that that is the nobler path, as the post suggests. This raises many more complex issues about suicide, I'll admit, but you're taking an incredibly famous and well-recognized quote and deliberately mis-interpreting its universally understood message to serve your own purpose.
Though I absolutely agree with the overall message, this was a really terribly misplaced and mis-interpreted quote.

Noah Kagan
September 3, 2014 at 9:09 am

And tis proven forth that I still suck at reading comprehension.

BUT the quote in my interpretation still serves the purpose of my example which is the point 🙂

September 3, 2014 at 9:06 am

Today, I'm going to set aside another 2 hours for my Builb a $1k Business course

September 3, 2014 at 8:58 am

Man, I've been doing things all day, just finished contacting my 500 email list after organizing a Webinar this Friday. Hustling like crazy and having so much fun with it. Keep kicking ass Noah, love reading your posts as usual.

September 3, 2014 at 8:46 am

Today, I am going to read every post on my favorite make money online forum. BOOM!

September 3, 2014 at 8:55 am

Dude, READING is consuming content. Make things happen requires to take action. BOOM would be to implement all those things. In 2 days you will have forgotten 90% of what you read unless you apply as you read.

September 3, 2014 at 3:19 pm


September 3, 2014 at 8:39 am

Man! IF there's one take-away that I've gotten from every podcast interview you've done, and every article you've written, it's "TAKE ACTION NOW!"

Today, I'll be cold-emailing a group of people regarding advertising on their websites and another group about advertising on mine. I've been treating this as a very 'conditional' activity so far and it shouldn't be!

Jenn Anderson
September 3, 2014 at 8:25 am

I'm going to go jogging right now! (I've backed off on my fitness routine because I'd gotten too "busy"). Thanks for the encouragement to take control & responsibility for ALL areas of my life again Noah!

Peter Harkins
September 3, 2014 at 8:17 am

I like the stories, but Hamlet isn't talking about getting motivated, he's talking about suicide. The course you advocate as "take action and make things happen by ending our sea of troubles" is the "kill yourself" option. If you really want to use the quote, maybe point out that Hamlet is in a false dilemma of "do nothing vs. sucide" and would've done better to come up with a novel approach as in your other stories.

September 3, 2014 at 8:16 am

You realize that Shakespeare quote is about suicide, don't you? I realize high school was probably some time ago but it's an awfully famous quote about suicide. Maybe the most famous quote about suicide. Not sure if it proves your point about the value of taking may prove that sometimes the best thing to do is go back to bed and hope the mood passes. 🙂 I still enjoyed the article, because I always wondered why people kept putting notes in my snail mail to try to get me to sell my house when it is NOT for sale.

September 5, 2014 at 10:32 pm

The soliloquy is about suicide, but the metaphor is still whether to suffer or give up. If entrepreneurship is suffering, the cubicle is death.

Matt Ackerson
September 3, 2014 at 8:13 am

Good stuff, Noah. Exactly what I needed to read to start my day today. I'm on the verge of launching my first info product next Tuesday for my consulting company, Petovera. Somedays I question am I doing it "right"? But everyday I get something done and I'm learning. And that bit of daily progress is a constant reminder that I'm moving forward regardless.


September 3, 2014 at 8:07 am

Publish the blog post I've been sitting on.

William Cosentino
September 3, 2014 at 7:59 am

This is awesome; I can relate to the bald head example (I'm bald) 🙂
The real estate examples are great; really shows that sometimes we need to get out of our "box" and think differently. It's unfortunate that our culture is so ingrained to not go for what we want and ASK. We give up to easy and stick to the mediocre.
Thanks for sharing this awesome content!
(by the way, how do I get my pic to show so I'm not a taco head? p.s I love taco's)

Noah Kagan
September 3, 2014 at 8:23 am

Glad you liked it William.

Register your email address with to make your head not look like a taco.

William Cosentino
September 12, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Thanks Noah, I'm a taco head for sure...I used a different email address when posting which was not tied to my gravatar account! I'm good now.

Tim Rich
September 3, 2014 at 7:39 am

Hi Noah,
I've been thinking a lot about this kind of thing lately, this excellent post turned up in my inbox at just the right time! *shared*
So today I'm going to complete my latest copywriting gig and move one step closer to my freelance dream!

Meredith M Howard
September 3, 2014 at 7:36 am

I love this post.

Today, I am going to make a shirt that I will try to sell tomorrow.

- Meredith

September 3, 2014 at 7:35 am

Asking people on my list about starting a monthly "debate session" on Hangouts. These are Brazilians trying to improve their English and the debate format seems fun and effective.

September 3, 2014 at 7:23 am

Thanks Noah! Love this & totally agree!.

I did this for myself in college a few years ago.

A week before Christmas (while all other students where on break) I decided to call up a local company, where I kinda knew the owner, to come "job shadow" for a day.
He told me to come the next day!

That night I researched his company and went ready with info and questions.

I wanted to learn more about business and potentially do an MBA someday.... (now I know better).

Before the end of the "job shadow" day he was really interested my ideas and he seemed keen to hire me.

I offered to do some FREE work over that weekend (to show him what I thought I could do) and by Monday he was begging me to come work for him.

I interned there for the summer - he handed ALL his marketing over to me (I have no formal training or experience in marketing previously).

I had a FULL TIME job offer before I graduated.

That experience and being give complete control & reign over his social media and strategy led me to building that company from
5k fans on Facebook 100k RAVING fans (completely targeted & right demographics) where I would post something and get 10 phone calls withing minutes.
I started them on email marketing, building an email list from scratch to over 10k in under 18 months.

At first they didn't even wanna give me the $20 for Aweber, or later the $200 for Infusionsoft, until they saw sales! haha!

My contribution directly added over 15% to their online revenue (and they were a multi million dollar business).

The same company was so impressed with me, that even when I had mono later, I worked from home for 6 weeks and then when they saw my results improved NOT being in the office (even while half dying)
1 month later after getting well, I told them I wanted to move to Hawaii & work remotely for the summer - I was approved immediately. (I only read 4HWW last year, but basically I did what he suggested by accident! LOL)

They sold the company a year ago & I did transition consulting for 4x my previous rate there.

That opportunity I created for myself has catapulted me to now freelancing and consulting at over 10x what I started getting paid hourly just 3 years go!

September 3, 2014 at 7:19 am

Instead of offering the same old quote to my client, I'm going to offer him one with 2-3 options that include discounts for referrals and quotes on my website.

September 3, 2014 at 7:18 am

F* you Noah for hitting my ego... now I'm doing extra hard for getting results 🙂

Alan Lewinger
September 3, 2014 at 7:02 am

I have always told my three boys that there are three types of people in the world. Those the MAKE things happen, those that WATCH things happen, and those that say "WHAT HAPPENED?" - Don't be the third!

Harshajyoti Das
September 3, 2014 at 7:01 am

Now posts like this makes me come back to this site again and again. I have been following this blog after I have heard your interview with James Altucher. I know you has a lot to offer when it comes to business and life.

I am kind of thinking if I can do a few things differently in my life. Why wait when we can take the control in our hands? This post is an eye opener.

September 3, 2014 at 7:00 am

I haven't commented on a post since subscribing to Noah's blog, but this one gave me no choice. Noah, you hit the nail on the head man. Dope post, today I am going to stop being a complete wantrapreneur and make something happen!

September 3, 2014 at 6:58 am

I will start writing my health news letter.

Mike Flynn
September 3, 2014 at 6:56 am

Looks like I'm shaving my head today...

Noah Kagan
September 3, 2014 at 7:23 am

Post a picture 🙂

Adrien Sanborn
November 6, 2014 at 8:53 am

I made the same choice a couple years ago. You can see my beautiful head on my homepage:

Noah Gibbs
September 3, 2014 at 6:54 am

I am mid-product-launch. Today I am going to (keep) making that product launch happen 🙂 By Friday, I will have my pilot class together to make Ruby Deployment Not Suck (tm). If you're curious:

Noah Kagan
September 3, 2014 at 7:24 am

1- Great name
2- Kick ass on the launch

September 3, 2014 at 6:50 am

Great post! I seriously love everything you write. I think that many people want to act and make things happen, but it's fear that holds them back. It's scary to try something new and potentially be rejected or fail. But the most successful people get out there and make it happen anyway!

John O'Leary
September 3, 2014 at 6:48 am

Right now I'm doing a Kickstarter project to raise awareness for Alzheimer's disease through music. I'm going to work my ass off to get my Kickstarter project funded! I'm not just going to sit and wait and hope that people who saw my post on Facebook will donate. Thank you for the kick in the ass Noah!

Noah Kagan
September 3, 2014 at 7:24 am

Go get it John.

Stine Halmind
September 3, 2014 at 6:44 am

Hi Noah,
Thanks for some very concrete examples on a fluffy topic!
Today I have
- sought out a few business coaches asking them if I could buy half an hour of their time
- thrown out some very pretty flower that were 'going bald'
- asked my collegues about their experience on writing articles that become popular and adjusted my own content plan accordingly

Looking forward to hearing more examples in the comments!


September 3, 2014 at 6:43 am


Nardia Mclaren
September 3, 2014 at 6:42 am

To Be Or Not To Be...Good Advice, That I Will Apply In My Life

Irina Baranov
September 3, 2014 at 6:41 am

Great post, Noah! Love the examples of people who are doing vs. waiting… creating vs. reacting… lifting vs. sitting. I use a great little app (Lucent) on my phone that prompts me to answer the same great question you asked (what one thing will you make happen today?) after a 5 minute meditation. Great way to start the day. Today, mine is: outline a new workshop I'm creating, and run it by 3 people for feedback.

September 3, 2014 at 6:40 am

Great Post Noah. Once Again :). My company may shut down in next 4 months and I was waiting for that. may be I should just go ahead and quit 🙂

Robin Raindropcatcher
September 3, 2014 at 6:34 am

It's kinda funny. On one hand I actually agree with you. On the other, I have noticed, that since I have started pushing my life back on the tracks I want it to be on, things just started to fall into place all by themselves.

Obviously, it was me, taking the first steps. And obviously, since I'm living my desired lifestyle, I was talking to my environment about it more often. But it really seems as if life wants to show me the best side tracks to help me to get where I want to be.

I guess, it's a mixture of simply doing (as you explain it) and a certain mindset that there is the right way for you to get to your goals and that it will reveal itself strp by step, if you only know to take your chances once they come up and act upon them again.

If you know that you will get to your goal eventually, you are far less likely to give up but more likely to react if new chances to get there appear.

It's something that fascinates me quite a lot recently. Pretty much the logical, non esoteric explanation of 'The Secret'.

If you know where you want to go, you act differently which in turn changes how your environment interacts with you. Up to the point where you actually reach your goal.

Alexandr Misiyuk
September 3, 2014 at 6:29 am

I put a dollar in a change machine. Nothing changed.
©George Carlin

September 2, 2014 at 11:53 pm

You know that you left your address is in the letter, right?

Faith Warren
September 2, 2014 at 10:37 pm

Fantastic post. Just read your advice on Quora this morning re: 100K users too, thanks for sharing your great ideas and good energy.

September 2, 2014 at 8:39 pm

Amazing post Noah, thanks for the reminder, a friend of mine used to say: Are things happening to you? or FOR you?

Michael Simmons
September 2, 2014 at 7:04 pm

Great post Noah!!! Really well written and really powerful ideas.

Noah Kagan
September 2, 2014 at 8:08 pm

Michael, great seeing your name and face on Okdork.

Hope you're awesome!