Success does not come from an action here or there. It is instead the consistency of effort. Success comes from the discipline to act on many things every day, all day, all the time.
At the beginning of this last decade, I wrote an article for a business website titled, “5 Things to Do Every Day for Success.” The piece was born from the frustration that many wanted my time and advice, but most wouldn’t follow it or act on recommended actions. The excuse was always the same, “I just don’t have time to do those things.” Translation: I won’t take the time to do these things. It was frustrating to spend time trying to help someone only to see them looking for a quick fix.
To protect my time and sanity, I developed a list of five simple things anyone can do every day. When someone did ask to meet with me for advice, I would tell them that I would only meet with them after they did these five things every day for one month. Most never did. The few that did follow through have enjoyed outstanding levels of success.
As we start this new decade, I revisited the five things to see if they still remain true:
#1 Get up early. It doesn’t matter if you are a night owl or not a morning person. It’s not about you. It’s about getting up before your customers and before your competition. It’s about getting up and having the time to do the extra things that many won’t do.
#2 Get informed. Watch the news, read the headlines, listen to the radio. Do a quick pass of your social media. Know what is going on in the world and your domain before you answer a call, return an email or post anything. Be one the first to know what’s going on. That’s where the opportunity comes from. And, if there is a problem, you may have time to fix it before anyone ever knows.
#3 Send something to someone who can give you money. It may be as simple as an invoice or a reminder. If you followed #2, you might have read something that reminded you of a client or a potential client. Send the link in a quick email with a short “thought you’d like to read this” note. Keep you and your business top of mind with others.
#4 Reach out to someone you haven’t spoken to in a long time. Think of a friend, family member, old neighbor, or a former client, boss, co-worker or employee. Do your best to keep the conversation about them – I was thinking about you, how are you, what are you up to these days, and let me know if there is anything I can do to help. Sometimes reconnecting can lead to the best adventures.
#5 Send someone a handwritten note. This old-fashion tradition may be the most powerful tool you have in your success toolbox. A handwritten note stands out and makes you memorable, whether it is a thank you note or just an “I was thinking about you” card. It doesn’t have to be lengthy or time-consuming, but it does have to be personal. Invest in some quality notecards and stamps. It will be one of the best investments you have ever made.
So, what do you think? Do they still hold true? Try all five every day for thirty days and let me know!