Developing a bias towards action turned me from an occasional ideator to a consistent executor.
It turns out executing in business is a lot like baking a cake 🎂
Here are 7 reasons Why:
1. Imagining a cake doesn’t mean you can make it
We all have that friend who swears they had the idea for [insert breakout app] before the founders.
The problem is, ideation and execution are completely different skills. One doesn’t guarantee the other.
Execution is both a skill to develop and a muscle to strengthen.
A recipe without a chef is a meaningless poem. Words on paper.
The idea of a cake is not a cake
This is the next bubble to burst. Having a great idea for a cake isn’t the same as having a recipe, or the ability to pull it off.
The best operators can source the best ingredients and combine them creatively to produce complex tastes.
World-class executors know when to turn up the heat and which ingredients to add at different moments.
They can create an aroma that draws a crowd and build the flavour to match the hype.
2. Writing down recipes won’t help you make the perfect cake
I see so many people trying to write an end to end business plan. They’ll try to figure out what works and what doesn’t. They guess what will taste good and when the cake will be ready.
But here's the problem...
It's all in their heads!!
Imagine trying to guess how much flour or sugar to mix without testing a single thing in the kitchen.
You’ll only know what tools you have at your disposal and how to adapt your plan for reality once you put an apron on and find some taste-testers.
In the immortal words of Mike Tyson:
Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.
Avoid getting slapped by painful reality by rapidly testing and iterating your ideas
3. You can’t call yourself a baker till you put something in the oven
No amount of business podcasts, magazine subscriptions and Twitter threads will turn you into an operator. You have to do the work.
A man with an axe is not a woodcutter until he cuts wood. If you wave an axe around all day people will think you're a dangerous idiot.
Yes, look for great tools
Yes, sharpen your craft
But you've gotta use em!
You’re not an entrepreneur till you get the ideas out of your head.
4. You won’t learn a thing until you get your hands dirty
If baking was as simple as following the instructions we’d all be on Masterchef.
You can’t scale a team just by reading about scaling teams. People are complex.
To be a great chef you need to feel the nuances with your hands. The magic happens in the moment between moments.
Making things happen, and paying enough attention to iterate on the fly is what separates the laptop-class from the visionary operators.
5. Everyone will love your cake until you make it
Everyone loves the idea of a cake, but everyone’s also tasted a bad one.
You don’t know if people will like YOUR chocolate cake until you make one.
Find a way to test your ideas and find out what people truly love.
6. The greatest chefs don’t cook alone
Great chefs build great teams. A Michelin star chef is not the only one in the kitchen. They learn to automate and delegate effectively.
In fact, automating and abstracting away the most frequent elements of the cooking process is what makes great kitchens able to consistently deliver world-class plates.
Great executors are no different. If you want to be a tier 1 operator, think in systems and plan for scale!
7. You’ll learn faster from speaking with other chefs
Gordon Ramsey learned from Marco Pierre White. Marco Pierre White learned from Albert Roux. Great chefs, like great executors, don’t operate in silos.
Great chefs network voraciously. They share recipes and secrets. They accept tutelage and take on students.
Great executors teach and are willing to be taught. You’ll learn faster by learning from the mistakes of others.