Make a difference with one step

For every one that had a dream and then did extraordinary things, there are ten million that had a dream and then brushed their teeth.


Any given day, I hear a minimum of 5 ideas. From reaching new markets to raising children, there is truly no shortage of ideas. Entire businesses have been born on sharing ideas, and there is no reason to think the idea economy will be fading soon.

Ideas have also given way to many profitable ventures on the backs of those attempting to convert ideas to action. Instead of a smirk and #FAIL, let’s celebrate #EFFORT. Those who have failed are different from commenters, for they have tried.

Keep trying
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Don’t build a house, nail a board

Turning ideas to action is not easy, there is too much at stake and many projects seem too daunting. It is much easier to fill out a 4 page form than launch a campaign against form oppressors on why it’s not needed.

Often I will catch myself thinking about action without doing anything about it. It’s a terrible trap as thinking about action does not lead directly to output but deferral. As an example, when faced with an opportunity, some questions about possible actions might be:

  • What if I pick the wrong idea?
  • What if there is a better way to do this?
  • Has this already been done before?
  • What would it look like?
  • What if I can’t get people on board with this?

Nike has the answers

There is only one thing anyone needs to know move from idea to action: to make a difference in one step, you need to take one step.


For me it’s converting ideas to paper or screen. Sketching, drawing, and writing. Many thoughts I’ll never read again, it is the step of getting ideas transferred from head to hand that starts any future accomplishment. Children are great at this, give them play-doh and watch as a ball morphs to a snake, then to a spaceman. They work with what they have.

Fortune 500 companies don’t start with 50k employees overnight, they start in garages with three. Home businesses don’t start in garages with three, they start with a conversation over coffee as a result of taking one step, acting on an idea.

There is no secret to producing great results from ideas, other than a first step followed by hard work and help from others, with a modifier of luck.

Make a difference with one step.

Tim Rhodes

Tim works proudly with TD Bank Group, he is the creator and curator of this project (500 Lessons). Having just moved across the country to Toronto, he is looking for new community volunteering opportunities!

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The opinions and articles shared on this site by Tim are entirely his own unless otherwise credited, and are not representative of TD's views, position, strategies, or opinions.

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