Do What You Do Well Consistently
“Success is not a knowledge problem, but a consistency problem.”
When I first came across that sentence in sales expert Weldon Long’s book, The Power of Consistency, I had to stop and double back. I knew I and my team had to consistently perform at a high level in order to have a successful business, but it had not occurred to me before that consistency was the key to business success. By the time I finished the book, however, Long had me convinced he was right.
Think about a top athlete or performer of any kind. Their success depends on their ability to execute at a high level over and over again. When they don’t, it makes headlines. When we talk about successful companies we use words like “reliability” and “dependability,” which is just another way of talking about consistency.
No one can be consistently excellent at everything. The key, says Long, “is to define just one or two things that ensure success and do those things consistently.” And you probably don’t have to do a lot of internal analysis to figure out what those one or two things are. “You already know what to do to create wealth and success in your business,” assures Long. “You just aren’t doing the things you know you should be doing on a consistent basis.”
In addition to doing great design, what are your strengths? Maybe you have a talent for engaging with clients and earning their confidence and admiration. Perhaps you’re a great marketer or salesperson. Or maybe you run your business efficiently, know how to hire and manage the right people, have a knack for finance, or have worked out how to position your firm competitively in your market. Whatever it is, that is where you should be spending more of your time and resources.
You may be thinking, that sounds too easy. Shouldn’t I be challenging myself to achieve big, ambitious goals? I’m a big believer in setting goals, the bigger the better. But Long reminds us, “our lives and careers are not defined by the big moments of recognition everyone sees. They are defined by the little moments of action or inaction that nobody sees.” Big goals are achieved through the accumulation of many small steps.
Consistently do the right things day in and day out, and you will eventually reach your goal. Try to take on too much or the wrong things, and you expend your energy and resources on things that don’t produce the results you want. Stop trying to be the best at everything and do more of what you do well, the things that bring in business and produce highly satisfied clients.