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The star quarterback is missing his throws. The hot point guard can’t buy a bucket.
In sports, when a star player struggles, the casual fan will typically point to some large, macro issue. However, talk to a former athlete or listen to the coach during the interview, and you’ll hear something much smaller (and surprising). That’s because the coach and former athlete understand that the micro determines the macro.
Perhaps the quarterback is missing throws because his communication is slightly off with his linemen and receivers. Maybe the star point guard is missing shots due to slightly off mechanics and struggling to read the space given to him.
This same scenario plays out in both business and fitness.
Typically, when someone is looking to grow their business or take charge of their health, they’ll focus on the macro while neglecting the micro. This approach is backward. Succeeding in fitness and business starts with the micro. To achieve success in both arenas, here are three simple truths that you must keep in mind.
Related: The Science Behind Baby Steps: How to Tackle Goals Big and Small
Your results are invisible at the beginning
The pursuit of success comes with a duality at the beginning. There’s excitement and anticipation of achieving your goals. However, on the other end, something is lurking: the absence of visible results. In business, you’re emailing, but no one is replying. You’re calling people, but no one is answering. You’re creating content, but no one is reading it. You’re promoting your product and services, but no one is buying. In fitness, you’re eating healthy and exercising, but the inches don’t seem to be coming off.
With the initial excitement wearing off and no visible results to show, entrepreneurs will face the temptation to abandon the ship (i.e., their goals). However, as Jeff Olson states in The Slight Edge, “results are invisible at the beginning.” Just because you have an absence of visible results doesn’t mean there’s a lack of invisible activity. Don’t give in to the kryptonite of entrepreneurship and fitness: impatience and the need for immediacy.
It takes time for an ice cube to melt, and it will take time to build your business and body.
The ice cubes sitting on the kitchen table may look like nothing is happening (i.e., absence of visible results), but they’re melting, albeit slowly (i.e., invisible activity). Change can be frustrating because it can seem like nothing is happening despite taking the “right” actions. But all those tiny actions and victories accumulated daily are quietly stacking in the background to become something significant.
Keep calling, pitching, writing, and exercising because though you may not see anything right now, it doesn’t mean nothing is happening.
Related: Why Startup Founders Must Go Slow to Go Fast
Avoid the “complacency virus”
The virus of complacency stops many entrepreneurs from getting what they truly want. When you’re suffering from this virus, you’re essentially given an anesthetic before hitting the operating room. Over time, you become immune and dull to what you’re becoming. A telltale sign of you suffering from this virus is creating explanations and minimizing things that you once didn’t tolerate.
Complacency is the silent killer to both your business and fitness goals.
“It’s only a few pounds.” “It’s only one client.” “It’s only one workday.”
Complacency destroys progress and growth along with making meaningful changes unlikely. When you’re complacent, you’re unlikely to adapt to the ever-changing environment. When you’re not adapting and growing, you’re moving in the opposite direction: becoming obsolete. Neither weight gain nor a decrease in business performance arrive overnight. Instead, they act as slow asphyxiation where you don’t even realize it’s happening. Don’t mistakenly think your current status quo will continue “as is.” What got you here won’t get you to the next level. Comfortability equates to losing your edge, getting replaced, and packing on the pounds.
Flipping the switch doesn’t need to be complicated. Start with an honest self-assessment of yourself. Be brutally honest. Have you lowered your standards, values, and goals? Have you lowered them because of your obstacles, environment, wavering levels of inspiration, or some other crisis? Gaining awareness and giving yourself a reality check is necessary to create the urgency to change (or recommit to your actual business and fitness goals).
Related: 5 Ways to Fix Your Fitness and Undo Pandemic Pounds
Operate with an investor mentality
Whether it’s stocks or bitcoin, both require a commitment for the long haul. You’re not just thinking about today, next week, or next month—you’re thinking about five, ten, and 20 years and beyond.
You’re a chess grandmaster who is thinking 15 moves ahead.
Unfortunately, this is the opposite of how many entrepreneurs go about changing their bodies and business. Many weight loss and business programs promise to change your life, body, and business in 90 days. Will you get some results? Absolutely. Will you completely overhaul your life? Not likely.
Ninety days isn’t enough time to fundamentally reshift your habits and identity. Anyone can follow a program for 90 days, but what’s next? Often, it’s nothing but an empty void that is primed for old habits to return. This is why you see people lose weight with these fitness challenges, only to regain all the weight back months later. This is why you see many have a great quarter only not to duplicate it the following quarters. Everything comes with a cost. When opting for short-term pleasures, you’re often unknowingly signing up for long-term frustration.
As you go about your fitness and business goals, pause and assess if the way you’re going about it is something that’s sustainable well beyond 90 days. Instead of a 90-day program, think in terms of a 365-day program (or at least 300 days). After all, we’re only human.
Just as a tiny crack in the dam can serve as the impetus to the damn bursting and flooding the area, one small crack in your infrastructure could serve as the impetus to you not getting what you want. Focus on the micro and leave no stone unturned, and before you know it, that dream business and body will morph into your new everyday reality.