We live in a fast-paced world where virtually anything we desire is a click away. Instant gratification is commonplace, and it’s normal to expect big results from very little effort. With a simple click, you can get goods and services delivered to your doorstep – sometimes in a matter of hours. As a consumer, the results feel immediate, but as a business owner it takes time and small steps taken daily to generate big results.
What About Overnight Success?
Of course, that's not always the case. Sometimes big results happen from a one-hit-wonder scenario. You've seen it with breakout books, songs, and the same thing happens in the business world. A mention on a popular podcast. A shout-out or solo email from an influencer who happens to like your product. It happens. It's not likely, and not something we'd ever count on, but it happens. And it makes things look easy, doesn't it?
And sometimes success comes completely out of the blue. The problem with that is the difficulty pinpointing what made the magic happen. Taking one big action at just the right time may create a buzz, but it’s not usually sustainable over and over again. Attracting customers, delivering goods and services, and generating big results doesn’t come from occasional effort, they come from taking small steps consistently over time.
Do you see the problem here? Our instant gratification culture tells us we need to be an overnight success. When we don’t see results quickly, we are at risk of:
- Quitting too soon
- Missing an opportunity
- Failing to invest in our customers or products
Don't let that happen to you. Instead, embrace your inner turtle. Small steps and consistency win the race very time. Of course, that's easier said than done.
Some Tasks Feel Too Big
It can seem overwhelming to tackle the monumental tasks that come with running a business, but these tasks can be broken down into smaller tasks that are manageable. Taking small steps over time always generates big results. When a task feels too large, breaking it down helps minimize the effort it takes and offers you time to strategize, streamline, and create protocols that make things easier. It also makes you smarter and more efficient with your time and efforts.
For example, let's say the big thing on your running to-do list is to write and publish a book to establish yourself as an authority in your field. That can feel overwhelming when you look at everything you need to do and realize everything you don't know how to do (book formatting, cover design, marketing, AMS ads … the list goes on).
Break it down into smaller tasks and only worry about what you need to know right now. Make deciding on a topic a task for this week. And coming up with a rough outline for your book. Maybe write the first chapter. Keep it simple enough that it's easy to take action. Set yourself a task of adding 500 words to your book every day. That's easily doable and creates momentum. And it gets you one step closer to having that book published. Those daily steps add up quickly.
Some Tasks Feel Boring and Worthless
A lot of tasks feel insignificant in the greater scheme of things, but they build on one another. This culminates in big results – sort of like compound interest. Doing the next right thing – no matter how big or small – adds up and the effort translates to your success. Stick with the tasks that feel tiny and realize that no task is unimportant, and all tasks work together for the best interest of your business.
For example, sitting down to write a daily email can feel like a chore. Or how about keeping up with all those social media posts. We all have tasks we like and those we avoid (accounting anyone?). Yet all of them are part of doing business and all of them add to the big picture. Sit down and write that email. Break it down if you need to and check each item off the list as you go along. Create the new email. Write a subject line … you get the idea.
Creating one pinable image or posting one little thing on Facebook doesn't seem like much. But it counts. And it adds up. Keep going and remember:
Small Steps = Big Results
Small steps done consistently add up to big results. It might feel like things are moving slowly and that you aren’t making an impact as quickly as you’d like, but your investment will pay off if you keep at it. Work on it one task at a time. Show up every day, even if it's just for a few minutes. Your customers and your profit-and-loss statement will thank you for your consistency and effort.