Small steps can feel too easy
Not long ago I began 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 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 sitting for too long without movement 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.
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. A couple of years later I can report I have had absolutely zero pain in my knees. I am no longer fixing a problem. I have made movement a much more regular part of every day.
Consistently taking small steps is the best way to bring effective change.
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:
- We are seduced by the silver bullet – we can easily be seduced by the one -size-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.
- 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 fast 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
- Break down your big goals into a logical series of smaller steps that help your team know what is next
- 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 clear written procedures and a process – so everyone knows what to do and 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 overheads are not monitored closely.
- Work with all permanent employees in terms of their personal growth pathway that helps them see a future in the business
- Take a few minutes each day to think, so you know what the 3 most important things are 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 was so good to seek out the services of a professional.
The same is true in business. 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. They will also help you focus on and solve those stubborn ‘nitty gritty’ problems that refuse to go away. A mentor will help keep you accountable to do what is most important to achieve your longer-range business dream.
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 make a time for a conversation.