Why You Should Act Now

7 09 2009

I have written before on the topic of early action. In Soon-to-be Grads: What are you doing now that will help you later? I suggested updating CV, building online presence or broadening your network as priorities on the final-year student task list. The reasoning behind such suggestions usually lies in the general framework of “it will help later”. But how exactly?

Why should you really act now instead of putting it off for later? Are the advantages of early action that much higher? What is the principle that makes putting in the early effort worth it?


The principle of leverage easily justifies early action. Just like you would use a lever to move a large and heavy object (instead of simply lifting it using your body strength…and failing), you should use a lever to take big steps in your life. We all have those – applying for a new job, moving to a new city, publishing a book. We all have dreams that simply seem too big and dauting to even start at. When you’re using the principle of leverage, you are building up skills and knowledge in the present that will not only make things easier in the future but also open up new opportunities. Why not do it the easy way?  Using leverage in your life will result in less stressful days and more open doors.

The main reason why using leverage is worth the early effort is that the overall effort you need to put into any project decreases by a large margin. You “do more with less”. The need to act early, however, is essential. As Brian Kim stresses in his article How to Develop Leverage In Your Life:

Like all things worth of value, leverage can’t be created instantaneously. It must be developed. It must be built. It must be cultivated. And it will take time to do. Just like everything else worth doing. But once leverage is built, it proves to be one of the best catalysts of creating the momentum you want in any area of your life.

How to use leverage:

Develop your skills, knowledge and experiences before you need them. Read, network or build up your social skills as Brian Kim suggests. It will pay off in the end.

Early effort brings more results than late action. Let’s take the example of online presence:

Online presence can be useful in job search or career advancement, it can bring new networking opportunities or widen the range of interactions you have on a daily basis. It represents who you are on the Internet and in this 2.0 world often provides the first contact anyone encounters when they look for you (and “google” your name). When you start building up your online identity, nothing much happens. Your LinkedIn profile does not appear in many searches and noone contacts you to offer you a job. Your blog doesn’t get much readership and it may seem like you’re just writing for yourself. You mostly follow others on Twitter and your posts do not get retweeted much. At the beginning, it is just effort. You need to put in hours, you need to update your blog, you need to build up everything from scratch. Yet this may change after some time. And you find that you wouldn’t get that networking opportunity if you hadn’t been on LinkedIn or wouldn’t have connected with an important person in your field.

Like many things in life, building online presence takes time. You can’t reap the rewards straight-away. You need to put in the early effort. Yet as you build up your leverage, future endeavours get easier and easier. So go and act now.




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