Quit Talking, Begin Doing

I used to joke in the past with some of my associates. We would have deadlines to meet and in passing, I would notice the conversations were more focused on the previous night’s event rather than the current task at hand. I would tell them, “More work, less talk.” I wasn’t hard on them, but I wanted to steer their focus back to the work.

Those days were long ago. I no longer have associates that work for me, but this lesson of working more and talking less is even more important now than ever. And who needs the lesson the most? I do. Which is strange, because I really thought I was working as hard as or harder than anybody else. My work is primarily all on myself. I work out every day and eat mostly the right things so that I can improve my body. I read as much as I can and try to write daily. Heck, I even meditate two to three times a day so that I can be in that ideal state of mind. When I am actually at work or involved in other projects, I try to stay productive, even relentless. But for all that I am doing, there is one area where I have failed and failed miserably.


I told my wife that I was going to support her in her business. I told her that we were in it together, and I would be there. What I told her and what I did were two different things. Over the last week, I have been thinking about what went wrong. Why was I so gung-ho to help in the beginning and then so lackadaisical later? Why was I not following through on what I said I was going to do? Here is what I came up with:

  • I became selfish. I was so focused on improving myself that I sacrificed the team. It is not all about me. There is nothing wrong with wanting to get better, but it will come with a cost. If I want to continue on this self-improvement journey, I need to manage my time better. I tell my son all the time that he cannot always do the things he wants to do, but instead he needs to do what he is supposed to do. I need to listen to my own words and apply them to myself. I need to be better balanced.
  • I was uncomfortable. I don’t know the business as well as I could. Because it is not in a field where I have experience, I am not as passionate about it as I should be. Couple the lack of knowledge with the lack of passion and it equals discomfort. Instead of taking the hard road of learning the business, I took the easy path of not being fully involved. What a mistake! The hard road is where growth occurs. Not only is the growth in the business, but within me. Take public speaking for example. Some people have a fear of it. They want nothing to do with it and so they avoid it. But if they confront their fear, slowly immerse themselves in it, they have a chance to overcome that which is holding them back. And there it is. I need to confront that which makes me uncomfortable. I need to grow.
  • Immediate gratification. I saw the money going out to support the business. I saw the time invested and even some of the frustration involved with a new business. I was not seeing the rewards. It is an easy thing to do when you are looking on the outside and not getting fully involved. I am spending a lot of time on my own personal businesses. None of which are expected to make any money in the near future. I am hoping my investment in them will eventually pay off. I get little or no gratification out of it, yet I still do it. Shouldn’t I have the same attitude with my wife’s business? Should I evaluate her business differently than my own ventures? No. So I let her down again in this area. And it comes down to attitude. I shouldn’t look at my investment from a “what can I get out of it now” perspective. I should be looking at it from a “what can I do to help you build it” viewpoint. I truly believe the business has the ability to be very profitable in the future. I need to keep my eyes to the future as I help lay the foundation now.

So of course, I have had my reasons for not helping. None of them good. However, all of them can be corrected, which puts me on that path to becoming a better person. I have some work to do. My wife can’t trust me to be there for her. I have to rebuild that trust. I can’t tell her that I am now willing to help. I have tried that line already and let her down. It is not in the words but in the action. This is how I can rebuild the trust. I have to do the work. I have to become faithful in what I do and just maybe I can come back into the fold. More work, less talk.

Lesson for my son:

In all labor there is profit, but mere talk tends only to loss. –Proverbs 14:23

Published by

Tony Fine

Avid reader and working on becoming more than an occasional writer. Former mortarman attached to the 3rd Squadron 7th U.S. Cavalry (ARMY). Chasing wisdom through body, mind, and soul.


  1. Hey Tony! This is great. I believe every wife who reads this will want to share it with her husband and say ”See- this is what I mean!”
    You’ve really found the core of what causes many ptobjens in work n relationships. It truly is “more work-less talk” but that really stems from more discipline n commitment and less idealism and empty promises.
    I learn from you with each post – mostly things I already (I am old u know) but seem to need a reminder of quite often to stay on track! Thanks!


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