Reduce the time that elapses between thought and action. More importantly, strive to have the time lapse approach zero. Your mantra will soon become “More Done!”

Looking back on the past couple of years, it’s hard for me to imagine the progress we’ve made in our businesses and pet projects. If someone were to tell me that my vision of owning broadcast television stations in four regional markets would actually have come to fruition in that time, it would have been hard to believe. After all, so many things had to come together to make this a reality: meeting the right business partner at the right time with the right opportunity. A rigorous and delicate financial and regulatory qualification process would have to fall into place just right. And that’s not even covering the dozens and dozens of other contingencies that were sure to arise during the process. Surely, this grand vision would be difficult if not impossible to accomplish.

And it would not have been accomplished had the vision remained in the planning stage. Only when we began taking steps toward realizing these objectives did the path start to open up. This is an important lesson in business and in life. It’s easy to get caught up in the thinking and planning stage of an important venture. After all, the motto goes, failing to plan means planning to fail. That is true to some extent obviously. One would not show up to battle without armor and weaponry, and one would not show up to play a tennis match without bringing a racket and shoes. Lack of preparation is a major factor for many failures in life. But there’s also a danger of overthinking and over-planning that can be just as fatal to reaching one’s objectives.

This is especially true when the endeavor is complicated and contains many unknown processes and steps. In those cases, it’s hard to imagine and plan for every possible scenario. The only way to discover the terrain is to explore it. Obstacles often arise in places one doesn’t expect, but so also do detours and shortcuts. It’s all part of the process of the journey that, once begun in earnest, seems to take on a life and momentum of its own.

I used to often repeat the saying, “The victory is in the struggle,” when referring to life’s sometimes arduous challenges. But over the years, having been blessed with so much success—whether in politics, business, media ownership , authoring books, real estate—that I have grown to truly enjoy the process. It is no longer so much of struggle for me because I am now confident that hard work inevitably leads to great rewards. Now I find just as much joy in the journey as the destination itself.

Taking that first step is so important that it is often better than all of the planning and preparation in the world. Actually taking action brings us into direct confrontation with reality in a way that thinking and simulating scenarios cannot do. Many people who know me view me as a pretty conservative person. Generally in my personal habits, my religious views and my political perspective, that is true. But when it comes to pursuing opportunities and taking on challenges that I think will better me and the world in which we live, I am quite a radical. It’s hard for me to say no to anything that is positive, uplifting and potentially transformative.

Often I will take action without so much of a clear-cut understanding of how a scenario might play out. It is quite possible that I would never have achieved my dream of television ownership. It is quite possible that I would not have had so much success in the media as an entrepreneur and media personality. In fact, if I were to really sit back and think about any of these ventures before starting on them, I would no doubt have thought myself out of even trying. After all, so many people around me have done so—people who were more talented, better positioned politically or who had access to more resources at the time. They thought about how difficult the journey might be, but I thought about how rewarding success would feel.

The ultimate harm in overthinking things comes from the dissipation of the will. After all, willpower is like an exhaustible muscle. It only has so much utility before it ultimately gives out. That is why striking when the iron is hot has always been such an important factor in ultimate success. Acting upon opportunity when it presents itself often helps us leapfrog the sometimes arduous process of sorting and sifting through opportunities for the right one. But more importantly, taking action toward a goal—especially a goal that involves the participation of others—helps commit us to taking further action even when the going gets tough. Imagine getting the inspiration to swim across a river. Halfway across, your willpower gives out and you want to quit. But then the fear of drowning kicks in and propels you to the other side. And so it is in life when some endeavors, once begun, cannot be abandoned until they are completed.

But perhaps the most precious gift gained from moving from thought to action is learning what doesn’t work. Part of the process of success—in fact and inevitable factor—is discovering what doesn’t work. But even failed attempts can usually be harvested. Perhaps the material from a book project that I may have started and not completed can later be used as a format for one of my other media ventures. Perhaps the business partnership formed initially to promote one project will evolve into a friendship or rewarding relationship down the road. After all, anything’s possible. But you’ll never know until you start.

Williams is sole owner of Howard Stirk Holdings Network TV stations affiliates and executive editor of American CurrentSee online magazine.