Take five good swing every day, eventually the tree will fall
By Tammy Johnston
At least once a year I make a point of reading The Success Principles by Jack Canfield. This book is my version of the Bible as it is the Coles Notes version of everything I have been reading, learning, studying, and experiencing for over 30 years. There is so much condensed wisdom in this one book (and also in the abridged audio book) that it needs to be in everyone’s personal library.
The Principle that is jumping out at me is Principle 23: Practice the Rule of 5. The idea is so simple as to be mind boggling. Do five things EVERYDAY, no matter how small, to move you towards your goal.
Quoting Ron Scolastico, who told Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield when they were seeking advice on how to best market their new book Chicken Soup for the Soul he told them, “If you would go every day to a very large tree and take five swings at it with a very sharp ax, eventually, no matter how large the tree, it would have to come down.”
Well Mark and Jack took the advice to heart and both of them started to do five things every day. Day in and day out for over two years. The evidence of their success is all around us. The first Chicken Soup for the Soul book has sold more than 8 million copies in 39 languages and has spawned 104 additional books selling more than 130 million books as a series to date.
The biggest mistake that most of us make is trying to do everything at once, expecting instant results, and giving up or getting distracted when we don’t achieve immediately. We can’t eat junk food for years then decide to eat only organic super healthy foods for one week and expect to feel like an Olympian and look like a super model. We can work out for 6 hours one day a week and expect to be healthy or happy.
We can’t do one big marketing push using all our budget and energy and neglect it for the rest of the year and expect anything other than very spotty results.
What we can do is decide to cut out one doughnut a day and trade it for a few carrot sticks today and tomorrow and the day after that and repeat to infinity. We can decide to cut out one pointless TV show and go for a 30 minute walk instead today and tomorrow and the day after that and repeat to infinity.
We can decide to send out five marketing letters to new contacts, or better yet existing customers, today and tomorrow and the day after that and repeat to infinity. Are you starting to see a pattern here?
Come up with a list of things you can do to move yourself and your business forward so you never have to worry about a shortage of opportunities to take advantage of. To give yourself the visual and kinesthetic reminder to follow the Rule of 5 put five loonies in one pocket at the beginning of your day and as you do one of the decided up tasks (be it marketing, systematizing, or whatever) move it over to the other pocket.
Don’t finish your day until all the loonies have moved. This also helps you to remember that the steps you are taking are worth money to your business.
Now go out there with your ax and take five good swings. I’ll be listening for the tree to fall in the forest.
“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.”
Tammy Johnston is the President and CEO of The Financial Guides. www.thefinancialguides.com.