Small steps can feel too easy

Last year I was experiencing excruciating pain in my knees especially if I had to sit still for more than 30 minutes. Driving became a huge challenge. After I had to stand through a movie at a local cinema I decided it was time to get this checked out. My local Osteopath is excellent. Dr. Dan checked me over and told me the problem in my knees was actually due to inactive butt muscles (gluts) and overactive quads. This was the result of sitting for too long without regular breaks while working at my desk.  He gave me a set of 11 simple stretches to do each day. They took me less than 15 minutes. I felt they were too easy and wondered whether these small steps were achieving anything. After a week my knee pain was still there as bad as ever. Dr Dan had explained that my problem had developed from bad sitting habits over several years and that the pain would not disappear overnight. After 4 weeks of diligently doing my stretches each day I noticed I could drive 2 hours before the knee pain became bad. And after 8 weeks of diligently doing my innocuous stretches most days I realised the pain had completely gone. Almost a year later I still do my stretches about once a week. I can report I have had absolutely zero pain in my knees even when I flew 14 hours Sydney to San Francisco in economy class.

It is often surprising what can be achieved by consistently taking small steps in the right direction. Doing a small number of the right things every day can achieve great results.

Consistently taking small steps is the best way to achieve any large goal.

Like my grandpa used to say, “You can cut down a large tree in your back yard with a blunt axe if you take 5 decent swings at the tree in the right spot every day! It might take a few weeks but eventually that tree will come down if you do something every day.” He was trying to help me learn the lesson that large projects are always easier when broken down into small steps.

Small steps do not always feel very effective

In a day when we want things done quickly we can easily fall into one of two traps:

  1. We are seduced by the silver bullet – we can easily be seduced by the one sized fits all answers. I have learned that the so called ‘silver bullet’ does not exist. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Con men rely on this lazy side of our human nature that wants to believe there is a quick and easy way to growth and riches.
  2. We do not understand how to build to a plan – often if a business does grow fast it overwhelms the capacity of the owner and current team. Growth brings more challenges. Bigger is not automatically better. The riskiest time in a business is if it is growing without a plan. It is important to make sure you have good foundations in place to support any growth that comes.

Consistently taking small steps is the best way to achieve sustainable business growth

Small steps that you could be taking to grow your business might include:

  • Create a workable business plan that helps you and your team know where you are headed
  • Write a regular weekly blog or run a webinar that serves the needs of your market and helps you grow your marketing list
  • Invest the time to listen to and encourage your team members for a few minutes each day
  • Go through every regular function in your business and establish a clear written procedures and process – so everyone knows what to do and ideally why each function is important to the business
  • Take the time to train every new staff member in all aspects of their role. It will feel like extra work for a while but save many headaches later
  • Make sure you know your costs and monitor them for everything your business does. It is amazing how profitability is frittered away if costs are not monitored.
  • Work with all permanent employees in terms of their personal growth pathway that helps them see their future in the business
  • Take a few minutes each day to think, so you know what are the 3 most important things you must achieve each day.

Knowing the right small steps

I needed some professional assistance to know what small steps I needed to take to fix my knee pain. I could have battled on and suffered the pain for a bit longer and I could have damaged my knees permanently too. It is good to have the services of a professional business mentor. This will ideally be someone who has real business experience.

A good mentor will help you see the big picture of your business clearly and also help you solve those stubborn ‘nitty gritty’ problems that stubbornly refuse to go away. A mentor also helps keep you accountable to do what is really important, which most of us seem to need with so many demands and distractions all around us.

Free offer:

At we start the 2017 work year I would like to offer you a free 30 minute conversation to help you solve a problem or to check over your plan to grow your business. Click through to: and fill in the short questionnaire and I will call you in the next few days.

INTEGRATE: Why Work Life Balance is a Myth | John Drury

Integrate: Why Work Life Balance is a Myth and what you really need to create a fulfilling lifestyle

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