The Execution Loop – Take Action!

If you're struggling with execution and getting results, this article is for you!

If you really want to get into execution mode, you can't skip this but instead I suggest you go through the whole article.

This topic is very close to my heart as I personally struggled with this for years.

I will show and explain why most new affiliate and internet marketers, as well as online business owners struggle so much when it comes to the execution of their plans.

Step-by-step, we'll discuss quick and practical solutions to fix that.

Also, please make sure to check out the supporting, additional free resources below.

Let's dive in.

Preliminary assumptions and requirements to make this work

The following article and process will only work for you, if

  • you work through this entire article
  • you are 100% honest with yourself
  • you don't try to find a way to avoid the mirror and
  • you don't come up with any excuses but instead you finally face reality

Again, I speak from personal experience.

I was probably one of the best procrastinators for years. I truly was world-class at non-execution of my knowledge.

And I don't say that with proud but regret. I could easily have started several online marketing projects and websites 10 years ago.

Wow, where would I be today if I had applied my knowledge back then?

You see, I ask myself the same questions, I have the same regrets like you.

But today, let's change that!

Yes, the best time to plant the tree was 20 years ago, but the second best time is NOW.

So let's get real.

If we can make this work - and if we become ruthless executors of our plans - then we can look back in 5 years from now and say:

Wow, that was truly simple but life-changing for me!

But first, we need to correct a potentially false assumption:

It's NOT about (more) knowledge.

You heard the saying "Knowledge is Power"?

It's completly wrong.

If it was right, there weren't any smokers, alcoholics and obese people around, correct?

But there are plenty of them. Actually more than ever...

It appears almost as if there's a negative correlation between self-abusive behavior and fact of "knowing it better, of course"...

So at best knowledge is potential power.

But knowledge becomes immediately worthless in the hands of the wrong person that is operating with a flawed operating system underneath.

You've got to get into the success mindset first.

Then you can take your knowledge and work with it.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

At first, we need to correct some "conventional, common knowledge":

The Wrong Scale: Knowledge and Execution

The Wrong Scale: Knowledge and Execution

You've probably seen a similar scale or graph already.

Some internet marketers try to make you aware of an important point:

Rate yourself on the scale above, now.

Where do you see yourself?

Are you more on the side of acquiring knowledge about a certain topic like "how to start and grow your own online business" but never really put your knowledge to the test, never really practise it?

Or do you normally learn something new and instantly try to make it work for you by putting your newly acquired knowledge immediately into action?

Ok, now that you rated yourself, let's move on to the right scale:

The Right Scale: Skills and Execution

The Right Scale: Skills and Execution

Now, looking at the right scale, you might ask yourself:

Great, but what's the big difference?

Knowledge was replaced by skills.

Think of skills as practical knowledge.

So the question becomes: How do we acquire skills?

Skills are developed by putting knowledge into action, over and over again

That makes sense, I know.

But now comes the funny part.

Funny, because the process is recursive and therefore can cause quite some headache at first.

It's not just funny but at the same time one of the most important learnings of this article:

You can't just "replace the wrong scale with the right scale" in your mind!

You only get to the second, the right scale by putting the first, the wrong scale, into practice.

By taking action on your (so far only theoretical) knowledge.

So you are not aiming for results but for simply acquiring the necessary skills at first.

And you can't just read about it or "understand it conceptually" or in your mind.

That is NOT how you get to the second, the right scale.

What you have to do instead is: Put your knowledge into action.

Let's take a look at some diagrams to get a better understanding of the process.


The Execution Loop

The Execution Loop: Learn, Execute, Measure and Correct

The first iteration of the execution loop

  • You acquire some knowledge by watching a video, listening to a podcast or reading an blog article like this one.
  • Then you put that knowledge into action (but not to achieve your end-goal at this point!)
  • Then you get an "intermediate result" as feedback
  • You measure that feedback and correct your actions this way:
    • Either you're missing some fundamental, necessary knowledge at this point (NOT very likely but possible). In this case you need to acquire some more knowledge before "trying" again / executing the next round.
    • Or you're spotting some flaws in your execution, something you could do better next time. So you plan the correction and go execute the next round.

That's it.

Pretty simple, hm?

The second iteration and all following iterations of the execution loop

To emphasize the most important part:

This is a loop for a reason!

It's not this:

learn ⇒ execute ⇒ end-result / end-goal (wrong)

It's this:

learn ⇒ execute ⇒ measure & correct ⇒ execute ⇒ measure & correct ⇒ execute ⇒ measure & correct ⇒ execute ⇒ measure & correct ⇒ execute ⇒ end-result / end-goal (right)

How many iterations are there? What's the last round? When is the end-boss appearing?

Unlimited Steps

Take a look at the diagram above.

  • Step 1: Learn
  • Step 2: Execute
  • Step 3: Measure & Correct
  • Step 4: Execute
  • Step X: Measure & Correct
  • Step Y: Execute

You basically cycle through steps X and Y until you reach your goal.

That's it. The end.

Somewhere during the process, something interesting happens:

You'll make...

Two very important discoveries

It doesn't matter what your subject is.

This works for any process: weight loss, starting an online business, learning to play the piano, ...

Discovery number 1: You acquire a true, valuable skill.

Now, you will clearly see the whole picture.

You will recognize that the knowledge was just the starting point.

And you'll easily understand why so many other people might have some basic, theoretical knowledge on a certain subject, but they don't have true skills.

Why is that the case?

Why can't they acquire the necessary skills to succeed?

Most people never put their knowledge into action.

They are stuck in step 1 of the execution loop.

For them it doesn't really look like a loop, more like a linear but unfortunately wrong process:

learn ⇒ execute ⇒ end-result / end-goal

That's just not how acquiring a skill works.

Plus, most people don't try to acquire a skill in the first place but aim for immediate results.

But without acquiring the real, necessary skills first, it's impossible.

I know this is not sexy, but it's the truth.

Discovery number 2: You become an executor.

This is really big.

By going through the process of acquiring a skill (by constantly and consistently cycling through the execution loop, over and over again) you change your operating system.

You become a ruthless executor as a byproduct.

This is when things become very interesting.

At the same time, momentum really kicks in.

This is also when you get (traffic) graphs that look like this:

Traffic Growth: Linear vs Exponential

As a side-note: red / linear almost never happens... In any subject.

The following graph is from my book notes on Atomic Habits by James Clear.

You need to prepare yourself mentally for the "valley of disappointment":

grapth showing exponential results after lots of sideways movement

In reality, the results of our efforts are often delayed. It is not until months or years later that we realize the true value of the previous work we have done. This can result in a “valley of disappointment” where people feel discouraged after putting in weeks or months of hard work without experiencing any results. However, this work was not wasted. It was simply being stored. It is not until much later that the full value of previous efforts is revealed.

Results Island

We all want to get to results island, right?

But we're not agreeing on the path...

Here's where most people get it wrong.

Most people think results island is located here:

Results Island: Wrong Location

Results Island - WRONG Location

At first, it seems to make sense, right?

Results island appears to be at the crossroads of execution and skills.

You certainly need some skills, and you certainly need to put these into practise, right?

Well, not so fast...

The more often you cycle through the execution loop, the more apparent it becomes that results island is way closer to the execution side!

Here's the correct map:

The True Location of Results Island

Results Island: The True Location

Results Island: The Right Location

In order to get to results island - every single time - in any subject, there's a clear path:

Cycle as often through the execution loop as you can, and eventually you will end up at results island - no matter what.

What's holding people back from reaching results island?

As we covered above, most people don't acquire the necessary skills because:

They don't even start in the first place.

They aren't putting any of their knowledge into action.

It's very obvious at this point that in order to acquire the skills, we need to learn the basics of our chosen subject and then start cycling through the execution loop.

If you want to start your own online business today, the Free Online Business Blueprint (PDF) is an excellent place to start.

But what's holding people REALLY back from iterating through the execution loop?

To answer that questions, we've got to quickly speak about the "Dead Sea of Anxiety" and the "Swimming Clueless":

The "Dead Sea of Anxiety" 

These people are trying to reach results island by permanently trying to acquire new "skills".

I put skills into "" because by now you know that all these people are doing is accumulating theoretical knowledge.

These people are constantly consuming new information about a specific topic or a group of closely related subjects.

They are consuming content daily, for hours and hours and hours.

Without ever putting any of the acquired knowledge into action.

Thereby they never really acquire the necessary skills.

They can't collect real feedback from the execution loop and they can't measure anything because they are stuck in step one.

I was part of this crowd for years, being "pseudo"-knowledgeable about certain subjects without putting nearly enough of it into action.

These people "think" that they know something about XYZ but in reality it's impossible for them to put things into action, because they are missing self-confidence.

And where should that self-confidence come from, when you never accomplish anything because you never act on what you "know"?

Results Island with Beaches

But the worst part of being in this crowd, their biggest downfall is this:

They "think" they are smarter than the "Swimming Clueless".

They even look down on them.

And thereby they become themselves their own, worst enemies.

If you're still reading, it's very likely that you're part of this crowd.

Get on my email list and send me a private email by simply responding, and I may be able to help you as I was part of this crowd for years myself!

The "Swimming Clueless" 

First of all - before you get a wrong impression by what follows - you've got to understand one important fact about this crowd:

These people are way closer to results island than any other crowd and they will get there, no matter what.

There isn't many members of this crowd who don't make it.

These are true action takers.

They jump head first into the ice cold water without knowing how deep it is.

And they don't care.

They will figure out how to swim later, while being in the water, while already being on the way to results island.

Their style of swimming looks more like "working through the water". It's not very efficient, and they constantly bump into rocks and sharks.

But somehow they figure it all out, because they constantly work with the permanent, imminent feedback that they get.

They don't see the sandbank to their left, because they are busy swimming.

They will deal with obstacles, that are waiting for them on the beach, like deadly mines and a sniper, later because they don't have time to think, they are busy swimming.

And what's the best, the shortest way to results island?

You see, the question already implies that you're likely rather on the side of the first crowd.

Of course there's no black and white.

Most people are not on the radical ends that I described but rather somewhere in the middle.

But from my personal experience, and after working with lots of new affiliate marketers and online business owners, I can confidently say you're likely short on execution.

And while I absoloutly appreciate you taking the time to read this article, it's time to get into the execution loop.

You already have the necessary knowledge to start.

Let's get moving.

I hope this was helpful and you enjoyed the read.

If you have any questions or remarks, please let us know in the comments below!

Until next time: Stay awesome,

Your Online Business Dude

6 minute example of somebody who's living daily the success mindset and practises hard work and patience every single day?

I hope you read my article above, because it will put this 6 minute video of Gary Veynerchuk into the right perspective:

21 thoughts on “The Execution Loop – Take Action!”

  1. I enjoyed this article. Knowledge is great, but it’s greater with execution. To execute things correctly requires complete honesty with yourself, your knowledge, and your plan. Well done on this article.

    • Thanks a lot for your comment, Mike!

      I couldn’t agree more. When you start to work daily, consistent, small steps towards your goal… Everything becomes possible.

      Have a great one!

  2. This is really inspiring and encouraging . Knowledge is truly important but we fail to execute or act on the already existing knowledge and that is why sometimes we don’t reach the final destination… Sometimes we procastinate and decide to do things later until it’s too late and we can’t do them anymore. All this is very true and I’ll personally try to work on myself. I enjoyed your post Tim. I think you’ll make a good author.

  3. A great article and wonderful ways of seeing what is the reality for too many people.

    Knowledge is, of course, best learned by practice and practice is best gained by execution, and from there you have your skills that improve and life gets better and better.

    Taking one step at a time and stay happy for doing it, is important. I just wanted to mention that, because many people get into that valley of disappointment, simply because they don’t understand that happiness for what you do, (whatever it is), is important.

    Thank you for this wonderful article, and keep having fun (… and you’ll never call it work again 🙂

    Odd Helge Hveding

  4. You know, it’s in high-school that I picked up the bad habit of procrastination, and I think with many others it’s the same, and it’s in uni that I was forced to drop that bad habit. You say it’s not about knowledge, but I disagree, although perhaps more on the terminology than the actual concept. You only getting technical knowledge (which teaches you how to do it) isn’t going to cut it. You also need motivational knowledge (which teaches you the why), to have a constant drive. This is what will allow you to get the discipline going you need to keep working and gaining new skills. You may know all about driving cars, but as long as you don’t have the will to drive the car it won’t start moving.

  5. Wow, this is so very deep, it took me a while to understand what the intention of the article was, having read it twice, think that I now know.

    The idea of the execution loop is very clever, it is something that I will add to the number of other ideas which I use for personal development, the article itself is full of ideas, some of which are excellent.

  6. Hello Tim,

    I can relate to this blog, unfortunately. This is because for years I haven’t been doing the correct things, not wanting to be told I got it wrong when I know I am right.

    The way you have explained the cycle makes complete sense to me and I am going to have to pick myself up and start following the right path. 

    I can’t thank you enough for sharing this knowledge with someone who has been treading water for years.


    • Thanks for your comment and your honesty, Derek!

      Once you’re in the execution loop for a while, and once you consistently apply Value First in your marketing, everything changes for you.

  7. Thank you so much for this interesting article. Though it’s a little bit sensitive but it did have effects on me. Firstly, I want to be very clear that I’m among the dead Sea of Anxiety class of people and I must say that everything you have said is absolutely correct. I have tried on countless occasions to make efforts but none is yielding. I just can’t seem to make positive progress and it’s very annoying most times. I really wish I would be able to get to the execution loop and get actions taken but I just don’t know how to or what to. I really need help too.

    • RoDarrick, thanks for your comment and your honesty, I really appreciate it!

      You’re almost there! Seriously, you’re taking action (now/today), and that’s all that matters! Keep pushing, show up again tomorrow, stay persistent, keep swimming… Then you overcome the valley of disappointment.

      And suddenly, you’re on the beautiful beach of Results Island! 🙂

  8. Oh wow, procrastination paralyzed me when I first started.  I had all these big ideas but didn’t know where to start, so I didn’t.

    Yes, regret could keep us all stuck in the same space of doing nothing!

    Knowledge to skills is great way to put it.  We have to do something to get those skills which is taking action.

    Your article is quite helpful!  Being a newbie to the online marketing world, you’ve given me some good ideas to become unstuck and get stuff done.

    Thanks for mentioning the preparation for disappointment.  We get our hopes so high that we’re going to succeed tomorrow, only to find out, true success takes time.

    I love the “Swimming Clueless”!  Not what I was expecting at all.

    Very empowering and informative article.  I have to go be a “Clueless Swimmer” now.  Thank you!

  9. Fantastic article.I had an aha moment. I find myself stuck in the acquiring knowledge stage. I will face my face my fear of failure and take that first step of action and focus on developing the necessary skills rather than aiming for the end result. Thank you for this insightful information. Keep up the good work, you are helping many develop the needed skills to make their dreams come true.

  10. Hi Tim – Interesting post.  It’s true that knowledge is power, but only if you use it.  That’s the definition of wisdom…the application of knowledge. If you know that smoking is bad for you and you stop, that’s wise. If you continue that’s.a..well, you know…let’s just say, an unwise person.

    I believe that you only truly lean by doing.  Execution is paramount…practice makes perfect!  I’ve concluded that I’m part of the “swimming clueless.”  I’m swimming in the Google sandbox, working on quality content.  I should be out of it in  October, hopefully heading for “results island.”  Thanks!

  11. I haven’t checked in here for some time since I thought it was getting boring, but the last several posts are great quality so I guess I’ll add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂


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