It starts off with becoming what I like to call an “effective observer” 


Let me start of by defining what being an “observer” means to me. An observer is an individual who has an open mind, is listening more than speaking, and is absorbing new information in a “good student” manner.


Basically, an observer is someone who has accepted that they don’t know everything and are seeking new information on how to progress in life. They are observing because they want to learn how to eventually take effective action – because they are directly related


Now that you know what an observer is and does – can you conceptualize how being an effective observer can come in handy?


I came about this understanding on my own based on my past behavior cycles of being a poor observer and then a poor action taker. Where I’d be very sporadic, unorganized, and putting forth mediocre efforts for the sake of being able to take action as quickly as possible. Because I thought if I learned quickly and applied what I learned immediately, I’d get results quicker.


For about a year I was taking continuous action, but seemingly I never felt fulfilled because I wasn’t getting the results I thought I deserved. Little did I know the reason was because my observing techniques were causing me to go in many different directions where I was starting to lose sight of who I truly was and what I was working towards.


If you are reading this and starting to wonder if you’re an effective or ineffective observer. Think about who you were as a student. Your study methods and ways you learned back then reveal how you are still learning and thus taking action today.


If you were like me and memorized to pass tests instead of taking the time to truly learn then you are in the same frame of mind as me – “quick methods for quick results”. Although my ability to memorize led me to being on the dean’s list every semester and high honor roles throughout university – I don’t remember much of anything I learned. Reflecting on this point made me realize that my tendencies in school reflected my tendencies in entrepreneurship and that what I was doing wasn’t effective towards facilitating growth. 


Hopefully I have triggered you to think differently about your past learning to the point that some dots are connecting to what you were doing before and may still be doing to this day. Remember, the way you learn dictates the way you act.


So now that you know what a poor or ineffective observer is – how can we be an effective observer? 


  1. The first step is to find one person that you really trust, that has success that you want, and is farther along the journey than you are. Assure that they have legit results and integrity towards their service. 
  2. After you find that person, find out what they can do for you and if you like what you see – invest in them! Put money down and take the time to be mentored or coached by them regularly for an extended period of time.


These first two steps are vital because it cuts down the number of people you are interacting with and learning from. If you are taking in information from too many different individuals on a continuous basis – then the information you will receive will be scattered. You will lose understanding of who to trust, who has the success you want, and what truly works for you to progress forward.


Also this person will become one of the top 5 people you spend the most time with and as they are further along then you – you will undoubtedly grow beyond your understanding by having them in your inner sphere. If you feel you don’t have the money to invest in someone like this…(let’s talk about it) … you can also just find ONE person that meets this criteria and follow this same procedure. 


  1. Now that you are in a mentor/coaching program – it’s time to observe! Not only within your sessions with your mentor or coach, but outside of that as well. Who they are as a child to someone else, a partner, a friend, a business owner – basically how they interact with the people of this world. Start to ask yourself: what do I like about what they are doing? What would I do differently? What can I improve on that they are doing that I want to do?
  2. When you have a greater understanding of who they are and who are comparatively – look at the way they advertise their business within the social media content sphere. Start off by observing what type of content they are creating and how the content makes you and others feel. Then observe them within their community, or sphere of influence, how do they engage others and communicate with them? Within observing these aspects once again you can repeat to yourself: what do I like about what they are doing? What would I do differently? What can I improve on?


Remember at this point – you are only observing and finding answers for yourself. You are not entirely focused on taking massive action. You are doing what Joshua likes to call “sharpening the axe” .


  1. You may hit a point where you feel you have been observing long enough: taking in information, comparing and contrasting, and building an understanding where you are now and where you want to go. That you may be intimidated by the value gap between yourself and the mentor or coach you’ve invested in. You may also notice that a lot needs to change towards the way you are conducting your life and business – leaving you feeling overwhelmed and not knowing where to start. Which is why this is a step to remind you to practice patience and understand that with time and one step at a time, you can progress forward.
  2. After reflecting and planning based on the observations made – this is where the observer needs to start taking minor actions on their own or as advised by the mentor or coach . The best thing to do during this time of minor actions is to get feedback – which is why having a mentor or coach that is further along the journey than you is better. You can take action, they observe you, and you observe how they would change it for it to be better the next time. This initial feedback loop after a massive time of observation is vital because it eases you in and builds your confidence towards massive independent actions in the future. Guided practice I believe is how true legends are made.


By the time that your program or observation period is over – you still may not feel confident that you can take effective action to progress forward. This is where I want to encourage you to ask your mentor or coach if they have opportunities for you to help within their business. Take an internship approach and be open to the positions they have for you to come on and be of service without pay. Because remember – by being an intern from them, you receive free knowledge of how they run their business, which you can use towards running your business. If you have a specific skill that you believe would be of benefit for them – by all means advertise that to them. But, if you don’t know entirely – you’ll learn more about yourself in any role they give you.


If you are able to gain an opportunity to work with them within their business – then your observation continues! At a certain point within your observation – you will gain confidence to start taking massive effective action in your life and business. You will know who you are and trust yourself that you can get where you want to go because… you know how to observe effectively in order to take effective action. 


This article won’t discuss effective action – that topic is a little more complicated and complex. And if you take this article seriously – it will be several weeks or months before you are completely ready to take massive effective action anyways.


Yes I believe in taking action everyday, but what good is action without direction? And if you remember my testimonial in the beginning of this article, my actions didn’t progress me forward before I took the time to be more of an observer than an action taker over an extended period of time. Now that I’ve observed and taken minor action for about 8 months – I’m finally feeling like I can take massive action again. That is why I’m writing this article. I’ve made it to the other side and felt compelled to share. 


Progressing forward, becoming better, building a business, stepping up as a leader, taking the path to be your highest creative self – IS A PROCESS. Slow down, observe, and enjoy it.

Katherine Hemlock

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