When are we going to stop debating and begin fixing the problem? Whatever “the problem” may be, knowing when to stop talking and start walking are a key indicators of success. If we don’t ask enough questions, we’re likely to go off half-cocked and make half-baked decisions. On the other hand, debate, discussion and refinement can be a never ending pit. We can work ourselves so deeply into a problem or situation that we forget the desired outcome of the distant solution.

I often ask customers, friends and family the same question: “How does it end?” The question isn’t original, and people often look at me like I’m nuts, but I intend to keep on asking. Frankly, my mom’s description remains the best; she always said, “You can’t be a fart in a skillet.” I used to think she didn’t understand how things worked. Today I think she’s a very smart woman. I’ve always heard children eventually realize how smart their parents are.

Use the tools you were given to co-labor toward the outcome you desire. Whether it’s fixing things, challenging the status quo, networking behind the scenes, organizing the facts, standing up for the weak, or pursuing the brightest light of center stage, the finish line you’re seeking comes from using the skills you were given directed at the end of the line.

So, I’ll ask you again, “How does it end?”