On my way to DC to speak to a group on Capitol Hill over the summer I was reading a book called The Compound Effect. I read lots of different books and usually get a few tips, but this book really struck a chord with me. There are lots of large, game changing success ideas in this book (which I highly recommend you read), and in this post I am going to share the 2 that personally resonated with me.
Here are the 2 principles that I am going to apply to my personal and professional life.
Principle #1: Don’t Forget What Made You Successful
The first principle is to remember what got you to success. We often work really hard before we are successful, but once we are successful we get caught up in the day-to-day and forget what got us there to begin with.
This resonated with me with respect to my personal investment and participation in social media. I got into social media early, back in 2007. We were one of the first companies to use Twitter (people actually complained that a company was even on Twitter) and at the time MySpace was still a big marketing opportunity. I started my blog in 2007 (it started as www.ThisIsWhyImHot.wordpress.com – yes, I have come a LONG way) and I quickly embraced LinkedIn and Facebook.
It was actually my participation in Social Media that led to my initial business success. My first client was P&G, and they approached me because the brand manager had been reading my blog and following me on Twitter. He saw that I “got” social media and hired me on as a consultant. Much of my early business success came because of the reputation I built for myself on social media by sharing my insights, experiences and ideas, and by connecting with smart people and reading their stuff.
Now, my social media participation is sporadic at best. It is easy to get caught up in the millions of details of my business, and staying on top of social media by reading about it and working with clients. The reality of social media is that you get out what you put in to it. I need to renew my effort and enthusiasm for social media and get re-engaged again.
So, my first resolution is to renew my participation in social media. Read more blogs. Tweet more often (and have actual conversations) and write on THIS blog (and the Boot Camp Digital Blog) more regularly.
Principle #2: Make Small, Disciplined Changes to Get Big, Long-Term Results
The second principle that resonated with me in the book is the principle of discipline in small changes.
The idea here is that a small change – like cutting 125 calories a day or reading 20 pages of an improvement book each day – can have a dramatic impact over time. The key isn’t to make huge changes, but to make a small change and to be disciplined to apply it every day. Over time it will become a habit.
This again is where success comes at a cost. As my business has grown I’ve become busier, and just responding to email can be a struggle. While I often have the best intentions to make changes, the consistency and discipline in maintaining the changes can be a challenge.
The problem is that it is easy to make excuses – I travel too much, I don’t have time – but excuses don’t make you successful. Doing things does.
So, my indicated action is that each month I’m going to pick one small thing to change in my professional or personal life and work on it. The TOP of my list is Getting Things Done. A few months ago I began implementation of the GTD system, and I had soome really productive months where the system really worked for me and I was less stressed out.
I’m going to get back on track with GTD to organize my priorities and work. As a side note, if you have trouble managing email or priorities, I HIGHLY recommend this book.
So, there you have it.
If you haven’t read this book (I had never heard of it before I received a copy of it from James Malinchak) I highly recommend it. But don’t just read it. Apply it.
See you in my next blog post (which won’t be in 90+ days).