Goals: Do Something Every Day

02/03/2023by dang tin0

Do Something Every Day

“My success evolved from working hard at the business at hand every day.” Johnny Carson

Many studies have been conducted over the years to try to determine why it is that some people are more successful than others.

Hundreds, and even thousands of salespeople, staff and managers have been interviewed, tested and studied in an attempt to identify the common denominators of success. One of the most important success factors discovered, over and over again, is the quality of “Action Orientation.”

Successful people are intensely action oriented. They seem to move faster than unsuccessful people. They are busier. They try more things, and they try harder. They start a little earlier and they stay a little later. They are in constant motion.

Unsuccessful people, on the other hand, start at the last moment necessary and quit at the first moment possible. They are fastidious about taking every minute of coffee breaks, lunch hours, sick leave and vacations. They sometimes brag, “When I am not at work, I never even think about it.”

A Story Of Failure

We use to have an employee who was always late. When we spoke to him about this, he explained that his reason for being late was the traffic. We suggested to him that he leave earlier so that the traffic would not be a problem. He was shocked. He said, “But if I left earlier, and there was no traffic, I might arrive at work earlier than my starting time. I couldn’t possibly do that!”

Needless to say, we soon let him go and hired someone else with a greater sense of responsibility and commitment. We heard later that he has continued on with the endless round of part time jobs and unemployment that has marked his career throughout his life. His attitude has set him up for failure time and time again.

The Law of Compensation

In his famous essay Compensation, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that you will always be compensated in life in direct proportion to the value of your contribution. If you want to increase the size of your rewards, you must increase the quality and quantity of your results. If you want to get more out, you have to put more in. And there is no other way.

Napoleon Hill found that the key quality of successful men and women, most of whom started at the bottom, many of them penniless, was that early in life, they developed the habit of “going the extra mile.” They discovered, as the old saying goes, that “There are never any traffic jams on the extra mile.”

The Quality of Self-Made Millionaires

In one study of self-made millionaires, researchers interviewed thousands of men and women who had started with nothing and who had accumulated more than a million dollars in the course of their careers. These self-made millionaires almost unanimously agreed that their success was the result of always “doing more than they were paid for.” They had made it a habit from their first jobs to always put in more than they took out. They were always looking for ways to contribute beyond what was expected of them.

Life Long Career Success

When I speak to a graduating class of business students, they often ask me, usually with some concern, if I can give them some suggestions or ideas on what they can do to be successful in the world of work. I always give them the same advice. It worked for me when I was a young man and it works for everybody, at every stage of his or her career.

My advice consists of two parts. First, as soon as you get settled in at your new job, and you are on top of your work, go to your boss and tell him or her that you want “more responsibility.” Tell him or her that you are determined to make the maximum contribution possible in this organization, and that you would very much like “more responsibility” whenever it becomes available.

When I first started doing this as a young executive with a large corporation, my boss nodded and smiled and thanked me for my interest. But nothing happened, at least for a while. Every few days, I would report to my boss and mention, in parting, that I wanted “more responsibility.”

Your Chance Will Come

After a few weeks of this, my boss gave me a project to study and evaluate. I jumped on it like a dog jumping on a bone and ran off. I worked day and night, and throughout the weekend, tearing that project apart, gathering research, reassembling the details and putting together a report and a proposal. On Monday morning, I was back to my boss with a complete proposal on the project. He was obviously surprised. He said, “There was no rush. I didn’t expect anything back from you for a week or two.”

I thanked him for his concern and told him that, “This project evaluation is complete, as you requested. And by the way, I would really like more responsibility.”

Things began to change for me very soon after that project evaluation. A week later, I was given another small task, completely outside my range of duties. Again, I grabbed the task and completed it to the best of my ability. A week or two later, my boss gave me another task, and then a week later, still another task.

In every case, whatever it was, whether I knew anything about it or not, I immediately went to work on it, often on my own time, and on the weekends. I would get it done and back to my boss as fast as I could.

Move Fast On Opportunities

This brings me to my second piece of advice for anyone who wants to be successful in his or her career. Once you get the responsibility that you have asked for, complete it quickly and well, and get it back to your boss as fast as you can, as though it was a grenade with the pin pulled out. Move quickly. Don’t delay.

It is absolutely amazing the positive impression you will make on other people when you keep asking for more responsibility, and when you get the responsibility, you complete the task quickly.

Very soon, my boss had marked me down as the “Go-to-guy.” Whenever something came up that he needed handling immediately, he called me rather than any of the other executives, some of whom had been working there for several years. In no time, I began to move up in the organization.

Be Prepared For Your Opportunity

One day, he threw me a task, like a football to a tight end in a close game, which I caught and ran with for a touchdown. By acting quickly, flying a thousand miles and working day and night, I discovered a fraud and saved the company two million dollars. If I had delayed even a couple of days, the money would have been lost forever.

After that success, the dam broke. First I was given a large assignment, and then responsibility for an entire new division, and then another new division, and then a third. By the time I had been working for that company for two years, I was running three divisions involving almost $50 million dollars worth of business activities and managing a staff of more than 50 people in three offices.

Meanwhile, my coworkers were still coming in at 9 o’clock sharp, going for lunch with each other and quitting at 5 o’clock to go for drinks at the bar. They muttered and told each other that the reason I was moving up was because I was “lucky,” or the boss was playing favorites. They never learned the importance of asking for more responsibility and moving fast.

A Secret Of Success

The retiring president of the US Chamber of Commerce, many years ago, told a story at his going away dinner. He had become one of the most respected businesspeople in America, and overseas. He had developed the kind of reputation for high quality work that every person in business dreams of having.

He said that when he was a young man, unsuccessful and frustrated, he came across a saying written on a brown lunch bag and posted on a high school bulletin board. As he passed the bulletin board, something caused him to stop and he read the words on the lunch bag. They said, “Your success in life will be in direct proportion to what you do after you do what you are expected to do.”

He told the audience that these words changed his life. Up to that time in his career, he felt that he was doing a good job because he was doing what he had been told to do, what he was expected to do. But from that point onward, he resolved that he would do far more than what was expected of him. He resolved that he would always go the extra mile and to do more than he was paid for. From that day onward, for the rest of his career, he got up a little earlier, worked a little harder and stayed a little later. He moved faster from task to task and from customer to customer.

And here is what always happens. The faster he moved, the more experience he got. The more experience he got, the better he got at his job. The better he got, the better results he got in the same period of time. In no time at all, he was being paid more and promoted faster.

By moving faster and always doing more than expected, he had shifted onto the fast track in his career and began moving ahead rapidly. He was soon promoted into a new department, then hired into a new industry, and given a new area of responsibility. In each case, he had one strategy. Do more than you are paid for. Do more than others expect. Go the extra mile. Get busy. Get going. Take action. Don’t waste time. And he never looked back.

Wisdom of A Founding Father

Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time, who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done, if we are always doing.”

Later, he wrote, “The rising sun has never caught me in bed in my entire life.”

The Time Will Pass Anyway

Here’s an important point. The time is going to pass anyway. The weeks, months and years of your life are going to go by, in any case. The only question is, “What are you going to do with this time?”

Since the day is going to go past in any case, why not start a little earlier, work a little harder and stay a little later? Why not put yourself on the side of the angels? Why not develop a reputation as the “go-to-guy” (or gal) who everyone looks to when they need to get something done quickly and well? This will do more to put your foot on the accelerator of your career than anything else you can imagine.

Get Going and Keep Going

There is a key to high income called the “Momentum Principle of Success.” This principle says that it takes considerable energy to get yourself into motion and moving. But it takes much less energy to keep yourself moving, once you get going.

This momentum principle explains success as much as any other factor. Successful people are busy people. They get up and they get going, and they keep going all day long. They work all the time they work. They are constantly in motion, like moving targets.

Plan Your Time Carefully

Successful people plan their days and hours, and even their quarter- hours very carefully. In every study, there seems to be a direct relationship between tight time planning and high income. The highest paid professionals in our society, from whom come fully 25% of self-made millionaires in America, are lawyers, doctors and other medical professionals. Every one of them manages their time in terms of minutes spent on each case, or with each patient.

The people who earn the very least in our society are those who think of their time in terms of the day, the week or the month. They have no problem wasting the first half of the day. They justify this by saying they will “Catch up in the afternoon.” Sometimes they waste the first couple of days of the week. They think that they will catch up later on in the week. Sometimes they waste the first one or two weeks of the month.

The Fatal Flaw In Monthly Quotas

I have worked with countless sales organizations over the years. Fully 80% of the salespeople in these organizations, all of whom work on monthly quotas, take it easy for the first three weeks of the month and then suddenly go into a state of frantic activity during the last week, working desperately to make enough sales to hit their quotas.

But not the top people. The top people work on the first day of the month with the same focus and intensity that they worked on the last day of the previous month. They hit the road running, like the roadrunner, with his legs moving under him. They put the “pedal to the metal” at seven or seven thirty in the morning. They beat the rush hour traffic by getting in before anyone else, and they beat the rush hour traffic in the evening by staying and working long after everyone else has rushed out to sit on the freeway.

Generate Continuous Energy

Mentally and physically, the faster you move, the more energy you have. The faster you move, the more positive you feel. The faster you move, the happier you are. The faster you move, the more enthusiastic and creative you become. The faster you move the more you get done, the more you get paid and the more successful you feel.

Apply the momentum principle to your life. Once you start going, keep going. Allan Lakein, the time management specialist said, “Fast tempo is essential to success.” Tom Peters said that all successful people have a “bias for action.” The key to getting more things done is for you to select your most important task and then to start it with a “Sense of urgency.” This is the real key to success and high achievement.

Do Something Every Day:

1. Resolve today to pick up the pace in your life. Move faster from task to task. Walk quickly. Develop a higher tempo of activity.

2. Imagine you were going away tomorrow for a month and you had to get caught up on everything before you left. Work as hard and as fast as you do just before you leave for vacation.

3. Practice tight time planning. Imagine that you only had half the time available to get the job done and work with a sense of urgency all day long.

4. Continually ask for more responsibility, and when you get it, complete the task quickly and well. This one habit will continually open doors of opportunity for you.

From now on, resolve to get up one hour earlier and get going immediately. Work through lunchtime and coffee breaks. Stay an hour later to get caught up and ready for the next day. These additions will double your productivity and put you onto the fast track in your career.

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