The Hail Mary pass with only seconds left on the clock-
The game winning home run-
The product launch that goes viral-
These are the things we dream about. But note, none of these big, dramatic actions are possible without a lot of smaller steps over time.
When I first started my resume writing business I thought my shiny new website and a few Google ads would lead to an overflowing of clients. I thought that one big action would lead to success. I was wrong. Building a successful business meant a lot of small steps. (Learn social media, create consistent quality content, build a client list, engage, engage, engage, write quality resumes, ask for referrals.)
Needless to say the above list is not a description of overnight success; it is a recipe for slow and steady growth over time. The same will be true for you no matter what your career.
Building a career requires many small actions executed over time, not any one big action. Here are three reasons why.
1. Big plans without checkpoints are doomed to fail. It is good to have a dream and to keep your eye on the end goal. But if you don’t have small checkpoints along the way you won’t be able to measure progress or make course adjustments. If you want to achieve your dream in a year, create monthly benchmarks. Have a five-year plan? Then use six month benchmarks.
2. Small successes feed big dreams. There as psychological benefits to each small success you make along the way. Think of the last time you were on a diet. If you wanted to lose 20 pounds in six months, you would weigh yourself each week and get pumped as the scale moved in the right direction. If you only weighed yourself at the end of the six months you may not have had the will power to make it through. Stack the deck in your favor.
3. Small steps guarantee success. Not every dream comes true. Some of your big goals will remain un-reached. However, if you plan and measure the small steps along the way then you are guaranteed to have at least a few small successes. These will then help you plan better for the next big goal. Just keep moving forward.
So what is your big dream? How can you break it down to guarantee yourself success?