What Can I Do Today? Small Steps for Big Success


The end of Q1 is in sight. How are you progressing on your 2024 goals? Taking small, sometimes even seemingly inconsequential steps consistently is the key to making miles of progress. What does this look like for you, as an advisor?

  • Firstly set a plan. Decide what you want to achieve and write it down.
  • Work backwards. What does the first step look like?
  • Take action on that first step. Then keep taking the next one step, over and over.

You’ll reach your goals, and likely do it sooner than you imagined.

Related: Nurturing Bonds: Building Connections with Clients’ Children


We’re closing in on the end of the first quarter. Where are you relative to your 2024 goals?

You know I’m a huge advocate for having the longer-term goals very clearly kept in front of you. Most important, however, is having those incremental steps in front of you constantly so you know those small, yet super important activities you need to be executing constantly to earn the right to expect success regarding your overall objectives. . .

I’m talking about taking pride in the seemingly small but important steps.

I connected with an advisor a couple of weeks ago who said, “You’ll never guess how many referrals I’ve received already!” His objective was to receive eight referrals every quarter, 32 this year. He said, “I’m already up to number seven!” and this was in the start of February.

And I said to him, “Fantastic! What do you put that down to?”

He said, “Well, it was that little habit I started regarding your advice I took in writing notes for my clients after each meeting, sending them pieces of helpful information, relevant to their lives. I started that at the beginning of Q4 last year.”

I said to him, “Imagine if I had have told you then, ‘Imagine having seven new referrals by the beginning of February from doing that.'”

He said, “I wouldn’t have really thought much about that. I wouldn’t have believed you. I just needed to take care of the very next step, and that’s exactly what you told me to do.” It was, and he has, and now he’s succeeding with that. Take pride in doing the small steps well, even if it’s just that incremental, feeling-like-a-baby-step activity, do it thoroughly.”

I was reading an article that Lewis Hamilton had done with a reporter several weeks back, and he was mentioning his focus on just taking care of the 1% improvement constantly. This guy’s seven-time world-champion Formula One driver, and here’s what he said, “I’ve always been looking for how do you get that extra 1%.” He’s seven-time world champion, but he’s still interested in 1%. He goes on to say, “As an athlete, that’s always what you’re doing. Since I’ve stopped drinking, I’ve just been feeling so much better, so much more clarity. I sleep better. I wake up in the morning, and I can still get up at 5:00 a.m.” Now for him, seven-time world champion, cutting out alcohol was improving by that 1%. He’s still hungry to keep improving.

What does that look like for you, as an advisor? Maybe it is getting that language ingrained regarding referrals. Maybe it is thinking about now dripping on existing clients. How do you drip effectively on Centers of Influence?

Instead of wanting to add five new referral partners, come back to the small step. What can I do today to set up a process where I then continually repeat it so I can expect success by just taking this first incremental step and following up on it thoroughly? And that’s the key: taking these small steps, but continuing to take small steps constantly. That’s how you make the long miles.

So, to do this most effectively,

  1. List them. Take a look at what you are looking to improve on most.

  2. Work it back. Then what’s the first step? What does that first step look like?

  3. Execute it. No matter how seemingly insignificant it seems at the time, put that first step into action.

Set a plan, think about the first step, write it down, and then take action on it. In eight months time from now, you’ll be amazed at just how far you’ve come by simply taking those little, tiny, small steps.

I look forward to bringing you another Distraction-Proof Advisor Idea next week.