By Bob Salvas
There is an old saying: “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”. This seems simple
enough. Yet I see countless business owners who claim they are striving for more success while not making any significant changes to
what they are currently doing.
One of the ways to affect change in a business is to hire someone from the outside, either as an employee or vendor, who has the
experience and skills to get that change done. Unfortunately, in today’s challenging business world, the business owner may have
limits as to how many vendors or employees they can hire. And even if they could afford it, there is still no guarantee that who they
hire would make the real change that the owner envisions.
Sometimes it is the small business owner who must change, and change can be daunting. But, the key to long-term success is to do the
small steps towards an identified worthy change on a regular basis. For example, if you were to do something simple like eat a salad
for lunch every day, you might not notice the change right away, but over time you would likely start to lose weight and feel
healthier. If you read a chapter of educational reading each morning, it might not seem like much, but over time you would increase
In his book, 365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life, author John Kralik was not living his best
life. He was inspired to write a sincere thank you note to one person each day for 365 days (this is a true story). At the end of
that year, his entire life was remarkably changed and improved. This was one small step done consistently (daily) over time and the
results were astounding. (side note: the habit of sending a hard copy thank you note in the mail to your clients and connections on
a regular basis is one of the best and simplest strategies to grow your business).
In his book, The Slight Edge, author Jeff Olson discusses those small steps done consistently as ‘a way of thinking that enables you
to make the daily choices that lead to the success and happiness you desire’. Jeff compares the results one gets practicing this to
compound interest. It is not just the daily thing you are doing, it is the habit and the momentum, the building on the previous
efforts that all accumulate exponentially until you see the bigger change you were looking for. In the end we are either progressing
towards our goals or moving away from our goals every single day. There is no ‘status quo’.
So, what do you want to improve in your life and your business? Maybe you need to network more; maybe you need to send a weekly keep
-in-touch email; maybe you need to make more outbound calls; maybe you need to send real thank you cards? Whatever it is, start small
if you need to, but be consistent! Consistency in marketing has always been important and consistency in your day to day actions is
important as well. Correct action taken consistently over time leads to amazing results.
Give some thought to what those correct actions are that you need to take. Write those actions down and then do them consistently
until they become a habit. Let’s sum up this idea with another old but poignant saying, sometimes attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson:
“Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”