Do the little things
I have written previously about dreaming big. There are several books about the need to not have small dreams. If we set our goals too small and we achieve them, then we are likely to rest on our laurels. On the other hand, if you have this huge dream, it may be difficult to comprehend where to start.
So, where do you start, how do you go about your plan, what are the steps to take etc?
Of course, it is good to set huge goals
To many entrepreneurs with big dreams, the next step after writing everything down is making some calls or trying to land that first contract. Never mind if it is small or big, but just to get the confidence to even speak to the right people or make the call. Unless you are a natural at this, it is easy to dance around the issue and procrastinate. There is always something else to be done. But there are few things more important than trying to speak to prospective customers. So make a few calls everyday for a few minutes and it gets easy with the more calls you make.
The compound effect
The compound effect comes in the form of doing the little things consistently done over time. This is about small increases, doing them everyday will improve performance and get us closer to the destination. The book ‘ how to live on 24 hours’. It is really about savings a few minutes here and there. So, rather than a couple of hours watching the TV or surfing the internet, that time could be spent on self improvement or helping to build your business. It is the doing of the little things, the saving of time, the getting up an hour early to work on your future plan or to try to get into shape or whatever your plan for the future happens to be. These little things, done consistently over a period of time amounts to the big difference. In the book, the author gave an example of the compound effect of a penny doubling itself everyday. The impact over time is substantially better than starting with a lump sum that grows very little at a time.
Make small sacrifices
Great things happen when we make small sacrifices. I remember reading about the Michael Phelps, probably the greatest Olympian of all times. His routines were basically to get up in the morning, train for a couple of hours before school and repeat the same after school. Those few hours helped him to be like everyone else. Whilst most Olympic swimmers train for 6 days a week, Michael believes that by training on Sundays, he has an advantage over the others. He trained 52 times more than the others. At 6 hours a day, that amounts to 312 hours a year or over 1248 hours between Olympic Games.
Big result from small things
Olympic timings are always a fraction of seconds. The difference between the winners of the 100 meters in the Olympic and some of the great sporting events are about seconds. Most sporting endeavours are calculated in minutes. Here is another example, in golf, the winning shots are only a few shots, but the prize money between the top five players can be significant. The margins between the winners and losers can sometimes boil down to the little things.
Entrepreneurs must therefore try to do the little things consistently over time to get amazing results. We have to be willing to do what the others are unwilling to do to get the results few will eventually get. Some people call it going the ‘extra mile’. That is the mile that everyone has been given up on. Mohammed Ali famously said that he started to count his revs after he became tired.
If you are a start up, this may mean a call to investors of the company to interest them in your product or service. There will be a lot of rejections but you must make the calls to stand a chance of selling your products or offering your services to others.
Serving others first
Offering your services to others is really about helping the potential customers or clients to meet their own needs. They may not even know that they need our products or services. It is our job to let them know about our wonderful products and services. Most of us many years ago did not know we needed a mobile phone with a camera or that we will in due course be inseparable from our music as we go about our daily work. We must be happy to tell the world about the products and services that we have spent all this time putting together.