Think small if you want big results

Having time off to think over the summer meant I came back to my desk on 6th September with more ideas than I could possible handle in two years and the Mark of old would have attempted to tackle them all at the same time. It is a terrible trait of mine – have idea, abandon everything else and just do it.

Well I’m better than that now – I’ve been around too long to know that’s a bad thing to do. There’s a lot of people who’ve been saying the same thing to me recently. Ed Dale brought it to my attention at the beginning of the year at the Going Pro conference (you can watch his speech here for free) If you want to change, move, grow, whatever… then you have to take small steps.

Small steps can lead to big change.

Step change without these small steps, rarely works.

You only have to look at the diet industry to know how true that is. But the same applies in the small business world too.

So having had all this time to think, I filed the big ideas, broke them up into small chunks and then started to tweak how I work. There’s a summary below.

  • I’ve been using Evernote for 3 years, but haven’t been using it well. It’s now on every PC. I’ve changed the folder structure to fit with where I am now (not 3 years ago) and I now use it everyday to file away ideas when I’m ready for them.
  • I had heard about a great way to manage multiple websites about 9 months ago and Tweeted it in fact, however had never tried it out. I’ve now got ManageWP up and running and am writing this post through it now. It’s a massive timesaver. I can now update plugins, WordPress core and deal with comments on 20 websites in single clicks. Nice.
  • I bought another whiteboard – one that I could wipe clean and is reserved for ideas – I’ve a separate one for targets and goals. I used it 3 times alone yesterday to mindmap scripts. It means you have to get up from your chair, and it gets you being creative. Great advice from James Schramko in this podcast.
  • I bought a mic boom for my voiceover work. It now takes me back to my radio days – I feel more professional (and I’ve been told I sound it too).
  • I now review Targets and Objectives monthly – it used to be quarterly – but things can drift. They’re written clearly on the (other) white board and there’s a countdown of the number of days left before the end of the month too.
  • Sales targets are updated weekly. I track progress and print it and stick it next to me so it’s in my line of vision all week. That’s a much more effective eyeline than Tweetdeck (which it used to be).
  • I’ve a blog post calendar. I know what I’m going to write and when over the next few weeks. As new ideas come in, I file them away ready for writing.
  • I’m saying ‘no’ more regularly, which actually isn’t a small thing. But it is really.
  • I’m pausing more. Rather than rushing in.

What are you doing small?

To sum things up, one of the most successful online companies on the planet does things in small steps too – so I thought this backs up today’s post rather nicely…