You Control the Effort You Put Forth

When I say I’ve worked my whole life that’s a little exaggeration. I actually didn’t get my first paying job until I was 5 years old. 

We lived very near the fairgrounds of the Minnesota State Fair. My older brother, who was 7, lined up some work for us painting tractor tires in an area of the fair known as Machinery Hill. We were paid 5 cents for each large rear tire we painted. 

I wasn’t very good at it, in fact I don’t think I actually finished even one tire, but I did succeed in covering myself almost head to toe in cheap whitewash. At the end of the day the guy who hired us paid me a full 25 cents. I don’t recall why but I’m sure it must have had something to do with the superior effort I put forth even if my results were somewhat lacking. 

Anyway, I had a quarter and I was euphoric. 

My euphoria didn’t last very long because my big brother “forgot” to tell our mom where we were going all day. Since the fair was starting in a few days and my brothers had “disappeared” there in previous years she had a good idea where we were so she wasn’t terribly concerned. (Remember those days when that kinda thing was still safe?)

But she also made clear that the fairgrounds were no place for a 5 year old and my painting career was finished. 

I liked the quarter but what I  really liked was getting more money than my brother even though he painted more tires than me. Maybe that’s why I, to this day, try to give a superior effort. It’s something I can control. 

You can control it as well. You have complete control over the amount of effort you put forth in accomplishing anything. You may not have all the skills someone else has. They may have better tools, better training and more experience. You can’t control any of that. That however should never be an excuse for not controlling what you can. Your level of effort is completely within your control. 

You may not get a whole quarter for your effort but if you consistently give 100% effort you will eventually reap the rewards. You will be recognized. You will be rewarded. But only if you keep putting forth that effort whether the rewards and recognition happen overnight or not.

People who are persistent earn success. People who are consistently persistent keep it. 

Are you willing to put forth the effort to be consistently successful? 

On a another subject…Donald Trump and Joe Biden both say they “never miss a video from LeadToday on Twitter!” Well… they would say that if they had ever heard of me, or if one of them hadn’t been kicked off Twitter. The videos they aren’t talking about are something new I’m trying on Twitter. It’s called “Super Followers.” For $5 a month, that’s 17 cents a day, people can follow a part of my Twitter stream that is for subscribers only. It features short videos of me discussing leadership topics, sales tips and ideas for better overall relationships. I’m assuming there will be far fewer Super Followers than the million or so people who regularly follow me on Twitter. That will give me the opportunity to answer questions more throughly than I can on regular Twitter. Most of the answers will come in the evening cause we all have day jobs, right? Think of it as ”mentoring on demand!”

My goal with SuperFollowers is to build a better connection, one where I can help more and have a greater impact. I’m hoping it gives me a chance to mentor to a wider audience. It’s still new, we’ll see how it works. It’s a $5 dollar investment that may be the extra “push” you need to get to where you want to be. I’d be honored to be able to help get you there. 

You can find more information by clicking the Super Follow button on my Twitter profile page IN THE TWITTER APP. http://twitter.com/leadtoday Give it a try if you’re so inclined, and if you are, be sure to let me know how I’m doing and how I can be of even more help.

Small Steps to Success

One of the primary reasons more people don’t succeed is that they try too hard. Well, not really too hard, they actually try to succeed too fast. The desire for quick success causes the passion for success to flame out even quicker. 

We hear about so many overnight successes that we all want to be one. What we don’t hear is how many nights of hard work, perseverance, and dedication it took before that big night arrived. Oftentimes it’s many years of nights. 

I don’t think I’ve met anyone who wasn’t willing to work hard for success. I have however met many people who were not willing to work very long for success. By very long I mean more than a day or two. Yes, literally a day or two. I’ll bet someone has statistics on how many people join a fitness club and only go one time. The last numbers I saw it was something like 70% of the people make it to the club less than three times total. The good news for the clubs is that the direct payments from bank accounts for the memberships continue on much longer. 

Dieting is another great example. Millions of people are on a diet this very day. More than half of them will quit by tomorrow. No worries though because millions more will begin again the next day. Dieting is a huge business because most people on a diet don’t actually make the effort required to succeed. They want to buy weight loss. What they can’t buy is the opportunity to actually lose weight. 

Succeeding at anything takes effort. Often very little effort. Yes, you read that right, very little effort.

Here’s what I mean by that.

In 1981 Jan Carlzon was appointed CEO of Scandinavian Airlines System. The company was facing huge challenges and had just lost $17 million dollars. They were one of the lowest rated airlines in Europe. 

By 1982 they were one of the highest rated airlines in the world and made a profit of $82 million dollars. In 1983 they were named Airline of the Year by an industry trade association. 

People wanted to know how Mr. Carlzon accomplished this amazing turn around. Clearly he had made huge changes within the company. But Jan Carlzon surprised people by telling them he didn’t make any big changes. Instead of trying to find one or two things were he could make a big change he looked for 100’s of areas where he, and his people, could make small changes. No one in the organization felt as if they were being asked to make sweeping changes that required Super Hero efforts. They only had to make a small change. 

There is a Chinese Proverb that says, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” So it is with all success. 

If you want to be more fit don’t try to do 1000 sit ups. Do one more today than you did yesterday. If you want to lose 20 pounds don’t try to lose 20 pounds. Lose 1 pound 20 times. Even if it takes 20 weeks or 40 weeks eventually you’ll wake up one morning and get on the scale discovering that “overnight” you lost your 20 pounds. 

Success doesn’t require super human effort, it requires consistent human effort. Few people would describe their journey to success as one that includes leaps and bounds. Most would describe a journey of trips and stumbles. Most would say their success was built on lots of little things done over a substantial period of time. 

Successful people make progress and they know that even a tiny bit of progress each day will eventually get them where they want to be. Do you know that too?

On a another subject…I’m trying something new on Twitter. It’s called “Super Followers.” For $5 a month, that’s 17 cents a day, people can follow a part of my Twitter stream that is for subscribers only. It features short videos of me discussing leadership topics, sales tips and ideas for better overall relationships. I’m assuming there will be far fewer Super Followers than the million or so people who regularly follow me on Twitter. That will give me the opportunity to answer questions more throughly than I can on regular Twitter. Most of the answers will come in the evening cause we all have day jobs, right? Think of it as ”mentoring on demand!”

My goal with SuperFollowers is to build a better connection, one where I can perhaps help more and have a greater impact. I’m hoping it gives me a chance to mentor to a wider audience. It’s still new, we’ll see how it works. It’s a $5 dollar investment that may be the extra “push” you need to get to where you want to be. I’d be honored to be able to help get you there. 

You can find more information by clicking the Super Follow button on my Twitter profile page IN THE TWITTER APP. http://twitter.com/leadtoday Give it a try if you’re so inclined, and if you are, be sure to let me know how I’m doing and how I can be of even more help.

One Small Step

Sometimes success begins by taking a mighty leap of faith. Sometimes, but not very often. Most often, success begins with one small step.

As small a step as it often is, many people just can’t make themselves take it. They might see success somewhere on the path they want to take but it appears to be a long way off. Between where they are standing and the success they seek are obstacles called risk, failure, effort, problems, lack of financing and other various unknowns.

Those obstacles cause many people to wait. To wait for the obstacles to magically disappear. To wait for someone or something to remove the obstacles for them. These people have a desire for success but their desire is small when compared to what they have told themselves are huge obstacles.

But here’s a funny thing about obstacles on the path to success…the closer you get to them the smaller they turn out to be.

But sadly, many people will not get to experience that because they never take that one small step that starts them down the path to success.

The journey of your success will always begin with the small step of taking a risk. Whether in business, in personal relationships, or in life, all success most often starts with that small step made with a hefty desire to be more. To be better. To make a difference. To leave behind a legacy that’s not soon forgotten.

Despite what you may have heard or hoped, success in NOT available to everyone who wants it. It is only available to those who are willing to work to achieve it. That work includes overcoming any and all obstacles. That work includes maintaining a “can do” attitude, even when you’re surrounded by a pack of “can’t do” people. That work includes making an effort every day, not only on the days you feel like it.

That work includes taking one small step on the path towards success. Sometimes that’s the hardest work of all. The question isn’t whether you want success, the real question is whether you’ll work hard enough to achieve it.

Well, will you?