Successful People Initiate – Do You – Big Moo?

My Big Brother just sent me the link to a most wonderful piece on Initiative (Thank you my brother Greg!)  He is the same brother who helped and encouraged me to take my experience with a pile of poop and turn if from a blog post into a book. That was over 100,000 copies ago.

So here is the link to the original author, Benjamin Hardy, of this post… total props to him as well.

One Behavior Separates The Successful From The Average

A certain farmer had become old and ready to pass his farm down to one of his two sons. When he brought his sons together to speak about it, he told them: The farm will go to the younger son.

The older son was furious! “What are you talking about?!” he fumed.

The father sat patiently, thinking.

“Okay,” the father said, “I need you to do something for me. We need more stocks. Will you go to Cibi’s farm and see if he has any cows for sale?”

The older son shortly returned and reported, “Father, Cibi has 6 cows for sale.”

The father graciously thanked the older son for his work. He then turned to the younger son and said, “I need you to do something for me. We need more stocks. Will you go to Cibi’s farm and see if he has any cows for sale?”

The younger son did as he was asked. A short while later, he returned and reported, “Father, Cibi has 6 cows for sale. Each cow will cost 2,000 rupees. If we are thinking about buying more than 6 cows, Cibi said he would be willing to reduce the price 100 rupees. Cibi also said they are getting special jersey cows next week if we aren’t in a hurry, it may be good to wait. However, if we need the cows urgently, Cibi said he could deliver the cows tomorrow.”

The father graciously thanked the younger son for his work. He then turned to the older son and said, “That’s why your younger brother is getting the farm.”

Successful People Initiate

Most people only do what they are asked, doing only the minimum requirement. They need specific instructions on most things they do.

Conversely, those who become successful are anxiously engaged in a good cause. They don’t need to be managed in all things. They don’t just do the job, they do it right and complete. They also influence the direction for how certain ideas and projects go.

Most importantly, those who become successful initiate. They reach out to people, ask questions, make recommendations, offer to help, and pitch their ideas.

Being successful requires being proactive and not waiting for life to come to you. It means you’re on offense, not defense. You’re active, not passive.

In every organization, there are a select few employees who would be difficult to replace. For the most part, most people are like the older son in the story. Most people could be easily replaced. Most people are passive and reactive. They require specific instructions. They need to be governed and managed in all things.

Initiation always involves some degree of risk. You’re putting yourself out there and there is a chance you could fail.

Conversely, doing only what you’re told entails no risk and carries no responsibility. It’s playing safe.


Are you an initiator? You absolutely can be.

But if not, one thing is for certain: Life isn’t going to wait for you.

On the authors blog post he offers a closing “call to action” and checklist which I have also included below.  I signed up to receive it and wanted you to have the same opportunity. Thank you Benjamin Hardy.

Call To Action

If you want to focus on the right activities and get results 10x faster than most people, check out my morning checklist.

Click here to get the checklist right now!

Kirk out


  1. Keith

    As best as possible I try to teach this to my kids, to take that initiative and do things without being asked. My oldest, my daughter, will cook complete dinners to help out and some elaborate ones at that. The youngest, almost half her age, will pitch in and does some clean up to boot. But the middle boy, whose only 16 months younger than his sister, he does the minimal and sometimes not even that. I ask myself why, constantly! Your posting Kirk got me thinking (again) about my son, and my kids, and preparing them for life outside the house. It also got me thinking about myself and my teammates. I then realized that our team no longer puts in as much Initiative as they used to and after talking to a few people we agree it’s because of our manager. Whatever effort we do, task we complete, etc., it is never good enough as we get lectured about how “we should have done it” because that’s how our manager would have done it. It’s mostly the approach that our manager takes and how we feel degraded and belittled, or when we get called out during weekly team meetings which is very embarrassing. It’s getting to the point where we would rather wait and be told what needs to be done as well as how to do it. I only mention this because it’s no excuse to stop taking initiative in or out of the office, but it also has me thinking about how I might be coming across to my kids. I’m I behaving like my manager?

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