Do you know the number one mistake first-time gardeners make?
It's not getting soils wrong, over watering, or planting in the wrong season. First-time gardeners regularly make one fatal mistake – attempting too much.
And so it is for entreprenuers. Attempting too much, too fast is always a recipe for failure. Strike-while-the-iron-is-hot is blowing in the entrepreneurial wind. We "Type-A's" need to find a way to lower our sails, drop anchor, and watch the wind.
We need a better way to grow. A sure-fire way. A way that works. It's not fancy or fashionable – it's tried-and-true. Here is the secret to growth: Start small.
Small changes are simple to manage
Entrepreneurs can make decisions but it's difficult to manage them? Our hands are full. Schedules are tight. The last thing we need is some large scale life-change decision to oversee.
For example: Do you want to read more books? Instead of saying, I am going to read a new book every month. Say, I am going to read one chapter from any book every week.
Instead of trying to power through one book, give yourself the freedom to peruse many books. This is manageable. This is easy. Start here. As you progress you can adjust your goal.
My goal this year is to read twenty-four book in twelve months – that's 2 books per month. That's a big goal, seeing that in 2013, over half the American population only read 5 books or less.
Why am I setting such a huge goal? Because I started small. I've been reading early in the morning hours for almost a decade. I managed the small decision of reading in the morning and now I am able to ratchet up my goals to continue growing.
Remember, whenever you decide to grow, it's not just a matter of making a decision but managing it.
Small changes create regular wins
Creating an environment of winning is the byproduct of choosing small changes over large ones. For example people set the goal to write a novel all the time. That's a goliath goal. A better decision would be to write 100 words every weekday for the next 90 days. Now you have the opportunity to win everyday.
Everyday you can experience encouragement and motivation. Which are gasoline and matches that fuel momentum. If you get momentum behind you then growth is inevitable. But first create small changes so you can win easily and routinely.
Small changes create habits faster
This is the most important benefit when making small changes over long periods of time–by a long shot. Habit formation is one of the most profound features of the human body.
By making small positive changes on a regular basis you are strengthening a positive habit. Here's some growth wisdom: every decision you make strengthens or weakens your bodily habits. Every single one. It's like building a wall. Each brick is a decision. When you make a positive decision you add a brick to the wall. When you make a negative decision you tear down a brick from the very same wall.
Can you now see why consistency is key? You need a lot of bricks to make a wall. And you need a lot of decisions to make a habit. It's an amazing feeling to experience the the ease of a decision or an action due to habit formation. Never lose that. Keep stacking bricks. Never tear them down. Habit formation is a priceless gift of the human body.
All entrepreneurs long for growth. We don't want to stay where we're at. We want to move forward. Small changes are the way you do it. It's not a sexy concept. Most people are looking for shortcuts and quick fixes, don't be one of them – reject it all.
There is a time-tested, reliable way to grow. It's worked for thousands of years. And it will go on working for the next thousand. It works for me and it will work for you. It just takes one small decision.