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Small things make a big difference, business goals, success

Little Habits Make the Difference

by Stephanie Kormos, CPA, CA

At the end of the work day today I picked up a book that has been sitting on my shelf for a number of years that I had yet to read. The book was by John C. Maxwell, one of my favorite authors on leadership.

The last sentence of the first paragraph in Leadership Principles for Graduates reads “The only way to achieve real success is to do it one day at a time”. How fitting for how I’ve been feeling lately.  I have previously written about how if we spend 15 minutes each day working toward a goal, we will have dedicated 90 hours towards that goal in one year. Fifteen minutes in a day doesn’t seem like that much but over a longer period of time it can really add up. So let’s go back to John Maxwell’s book. He has some powerful ideas about daily habits building on one another:

  • “You are what you do daily.”
  • “You first form your habits; then your habits form you.”
  • “It is just as easy to form habits of success as it is to form habits of failure.”


Yesterday I was having a discussion with my fitness coach about how my goal is to improve at something every single day, yet I’ve felt like my development and progress has been flat lately. Particularly after some horribly failed attempts at working towards a handstand push-up. He reminded me to focus on the fact that I actually held the hand stand (against a wall) for a few seconds. Believe it or not, this was huge progress. And it came by training and trying the handstand over and over.

While reading Maxwell’s book I felt reminded that in order to achieve success, I don’t need to overcome some huge obstacle but rather continue working toward my goals a little bit each day. Those small achievements are big when added up over time, and may actually be the fun part.

This principle can be applied to business as well. Think about the small things you can be doing daily to make your business better. Maybe it’s calling your customers to see if you can help them with something. Maybe it’s going that extra mile on customer service so that customers feel comfortable coming into your shop or restaurant daily. Maybe it’s taking those extra few minutes to listen to an employee when they’re having a bad day or when they want to celebrate their own achievements. Every day you can do something small to help make your business better. What will you do today to make you successful for tomorrow? 

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