3 Types of Action: Passive, Sporadic & Massive.


When I’m coaching budding entrepreneurs and bosses, I always want to understand how they’re expending their work energy. Are they reading a ton of books? Are they doing lots of research? Or are they failing? Over and over. Because they’re trying over and over.

I also ask them about their energy levels. Most of my clients who claim to be tired aren’t usually the ones doing much toward their side hustles or businesses. Usually what they’re going through is a LACK of action, mainly overthinking. Which is exhausting. Because lots of action toward your big goal will give you energy, not deplete it. Oddly enough, thinking over and over about what you should be doing, what you’re not doing, and buffering your inevitably-shitty feelings with eating and drinking does actually lead to lack of energy, which then just makes you think, “It’s just too hard.”

If you want to go from dreaming to doing, from lethargy to elation, from here to there it’s good to know what type of action you’re taking and if that’s getting you anywhere.


Passive Action seems like action but it’s not getting you any closer to your goal. Tons of my clients are here endlessly. There are so many books you can read, so many podcasts to listen to, so much research to do. But in the end, there is no way you can fully prepare for the entrepreneurial world except to begin practicing.

Passive action is a lot of thinking but little doing.

Why does it seem practical? Well, because you are scared of looking stupid or failing or not being prepared ‘enough.’ And it seems practical to think that you need more info. But do you know when you’ll stop planning and start doing?

Examples of Passive Action

  • Reading

  • Research

  • Planning

  • Learning

  • Overthinking

So, how do you know if you’ve taken Passive Action too far? You set a deadline for yourself. You don’t use ‘lack of preparation’ as a reason to push your deadline further. You create a plan that you stick to that has an actual launch date. You don’t just rely on ‘when you feel good about it’ because more than likely you’ll never feel that way. Most people feel scared when they launch, and that’s totally normal. In order to be successful entrepreneur, you’ve got to practice THAT– being an entrepreneur. No books can stand in for practical experience.


What it means is acting (with or without a plan) but not in a specific or long-term way. It’s just action for action’s sake. It’s almost like snacking versus having set meal times. You snack when you want, usually. When you feel a tinge of hunger. And you’ll act on your entrepreneurial plans when the moment strikes. When your heart or soul gets a tinge of excitement and inspiration.

It’s cool to get started and lots of time this type of action feels GREAT. It’s kind of like feeling connected to the universe or a greater power.

But you’ll never get far acting in this way. It’s just too sporadic. It might give you energy temporarily. Doing work that feels connected to your heart and soul feels amazing and energetic and people can get addicted to these small moments of high-energy. But in the long run, you’ll never get too far.

Examples of Sporadic Action

  • Random blog posting versus staying on schedule

  • Big launch announcements followed up by nothing

  • Following what others are doing rather than doing the work to find your own voice

How to get out of Sporadic Action

  • Decide your big WHY (why is starting something compelling to you?)

  • Set a weekly schedule and minimum baseline to support this dream of yours, don’t just wait until it feels right to do work

  • Write down your authentic thoughts when you’re in a ‘sporadic action’ phase. Typically this is when you’re connected most to your purpose and you will want to remember why action toward your big goals really mattered to you.

  • Don’t post or announce things until the work is done.


Massive action is just what it sounds like. And it’s the way to get big things done. It’s planned out. You also stick to your plan, no matter what. You don’t stop until things are done.

Massive Action is the most effective way of working to get from HERE to THERE. It’s the setting of big goals and the planning of the action steps required to get to that goal.

There’s no giving up.

There’s no letting yourself off of the hook.

It’s the setting a plan and sticking to it.

It will take grit. It will take confidence. It will not be easy, otherwise you would have already done it.

Massive Action puts YOU in the driver’s seat. It doesn’t accept that the world or other circumstances are responsible for your success or your failure. It requires that you test things and if they don’t work you find another way. If you find yourself saying, “I think I practice Massive Action,” but you’re not reaching your goals, you’re probably not fully committed.

You’re probably practicing some of the other (more exhausting) types of action above. When you’re in Massive Action, you’re getting shit done. You’re achieving in a big way. And you know it.

I’m always here to help you determine where you are and where you want to go. And the great news is that our first call is always free!

Stephanie Sheldon