Small Successes = Steppingstones to WOW

Building a business and reaching goals are a process, plain and simple. Even the most meteoric rise to fame and fortune was not as overnight as may have appeared. A look back at any successful business owner’s story reveals a series of small successes that served to pave the way as steppingstones to more success.

I was inspired to write this blog while power washing 56 paver steppingstones that create a meandering pathway throughout my vegetable and flower garden. Seeing that water woosh them clean in a matter of a few minutes each was exciting to witness. It was the instant gratification I needed in that moment. 


That morning I found myself impatient with my garden wishing my harvest was a bit more robust. Yet there were blossoms all around, evidence of progress. I had picked a squash, cucumber, and luscious herbs. It was only after placing those steppingstones back into my garden that I realized how much progress and bounty was all around me in my garden. 


I was preparing for a garden party at my home and the steppingstones needed a bit of TLC. Beautifying those steppingstones gave me something to feel good about for when visitors enjoy my garden retreat area with me. Are there areas of your business that could use a little TLC?  Do you need to look at recent developments in your business, especially what feels unmotivating, from a different perspective?



To follow are five ways to reframe your thinking to realize how much progress you are making.


1. Problem Reveals Opportunity: I moved all the garden steppingstones to my sloped driveway to efficiently do them all together in one location. What was revealed was how much the driveway needed some TLC. So now, this steppingstone project created the need to power wash my driveway before the big garden party event. Yes, I would be lying to you if I said I was overjoyed at this added project being revealed. However, what it really revealed to me was how I had so easily overlooked how discolored and unattractive my driveway had become. In essence, I had been accepting "lesser than" in one area of my property while taking great pride in another area. 


How could accepting lesser than be showing up in your business? What in your business are you not paying attention to that may be having an unintended negative impact? What could be reaffirming simply by finding any inconsistencies and bringing everything to the standards you desire and aspire to represent?

Bottom Line Rule #11

Branding is an ongoing operational investment. 


2. Mundane More Motivating: It is easy to be so focused on what you are trying to achieve in the long haul that you overlook what may need to be tended to in the short-term. Before I decided to power wash those steppingstones,  I was thinking the garden looked okay as is. Then while in the local home improvement center choosing some flowers, those same steppingstones all pristine and new made me realize the ones I had in my garden needed TLC. I had been putting off cleaning them because it seemed so mundane and time consuming. Yet, once I started washing them, the sense of instant gratification was highly motivating. 


What have you been putting off that could provide a sense of instant gratification by tackling and getting it done in your business? How could you make this a team initiative that gets everyone engaged? If it is something you really don’t have time to do, why not delegate it and realize the gratification that comes from getting it accomplished while you are accomplishing something else? 

3. Setbacks Fuel Insights: My landscapers came in to clean out some ivy and put down mulch throughout my garden. A couple of the workers, not properly educated in advance, weed whacked several of my vegetable plants to oblivion. Some of these plants I had grown from seedlings. It was disappointing and deflating that all that work was for not, and I was uncertain I would be able to start all over due to the timing being later in the growing season. When I went to the garden center, I was encouraged to replant and given guidance that gave me hope that all was not lost. 


Have you had a recent setback in your business that has you a little deflated?  Just as I learned more from my gardening snafu experience, we all learn the most when something doesn’t go as planned. Instead of allowing the setback to deflate your spirit, allow it to inspire insights. What do you now know you could do differently? What do you now know not to do? How could this setback actually be a blessing in disguise? What has been revealed to you that you didn’t know before?


4. Seems Too Simple:  In previous years, I had a steady and bountiful crop of tomatoes, and yet last year it was a dismal and disappointing bounty. I had been planting these tomatoes in this spot for years with a wonderful harvest. The simple solution? Rotate my garden plantings. As a farm girl, I knew this but had forgotten this over the years. Another thing I did was add flowering plants throughout my vegetable garden to attract bees to the blossoms. What a simple difference this made! It is gratifying to just sit and watch those busy bees at work doing their job.


What is something simple you could do in your business that you are overlooking or not considering because it seems almost too easy of a solution?


Momentum-Building Decision #20

Look first for the simplest solution
before assuming it is a complex problem.


5. Patience is Progress: Anyone who knows me knows that I am one of the most impatient people you will meet. It is something I must work on in myself on a daily basis. I believe that is why gardening is a perfect hobby for me. It forces me to be patient. It takes time from sowing that seed to growth to harvest. And within that time, if being appreciated, there are many signs of progress leading to the bounty to be enjoyed in the end.  The first sprout from the seedling ... the first blossom from foliage ... the first budding of vegetation ... the first hint of color showing signs of a nearing harvest — all evidence of progress.


 Growing a business also takes patience, along with constant nurturing in a variety of ways. What do you need to weed out of your business, in order to reveal the true opportunities for growth? What do you need to support more effectively in your business to deepen the roots of understanding or capacity? What do you need to learn so you can realize a more fruitful outcome? 


Consider the above insights as inspiration for embracing a more positive and enlightened mindset. Then each day at the end of the day, make it a practice to pause and acknowledge your small successes. Appreciate how each one of them are steppingstones to your business’ future growth and prosperity. 


Yours in economic vitality,