The 1% Rule: How to Grow Your Business

I was having lunch with a friend the other day and I found myself repeating advice I heard on a podcast a while back. I cannot for the life of me remember who the person was, but the advice has stuck with me ever since.

My friend is a former teammate and someone that has great potential, he’s just not sure how to get to his destination. I found myself mentoring him with words of encouragement. 

We talked about his dream to have his own sport-specific training company. Natural questions arose like, “When do you take your certification tests?” and “What have you done since we last talked about this?” and “Do you have any current clients?”

We covered a lot of ground over a brief lunch, but I want to share the most important piece of advice I gave him. Today we’ll discuss The 1% Rule of how to grow your business regardless of your industry.

End Game (first)

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We need to know where we’re going if we’re ever going to get there. My buddy wants to have a sport specific training company that allows him to work with high school and collegiate level athletes to train them for speed and agility, allowing him to open the door for his ministry to young men. He knows where he wants to go.

Great start!

This is something I’ve talked about before when I reference goal setting, if we don’t set goals we’ll never achieve them (check out some of the older posts about goal setting, goal achieving, and sticking to your goals). I told him that it’s great that he knows where he wants to go. But what has he done to get there?

His answer was “not much” which he eventually changed to “nothing” after a little poking and prodding. I told him that wasn’t anything to be ashamed of, but if he really wanted this dream to come true he had to start somewhere. He had to get moving and get 1% on the way to his goal!

Starting Small (last)

Sometimes we look at enormous goals like writing a book, running a marathon, or building a company and we become paralyzed by the magnanimity of it. After we know where we want to go with our business (or our goals in general) we can break them down into small segments, it doesn’t have to be as daunting of a task as it looks.

After we have our end goal it is time to take the big picture and break it down into smaller, more achievable segments. For some, this is very clear cut and we know exactly what we need to do. If you want to start a website your first step will probably be buying domain name. If you are in the physical space and you need clients, you probably want to start prospecting as soon as possible.

Whenever we break these massive goals down, we are able to think about them in terms of percentages complete. 100% being finished or maybe if we’re in the middle of them, they’re 50% complete. Either way, it helps us measure where we are in relation to the end goal.

The first rung on this ladder is 1. The second is 2. The third is 3. Yes, this seems simple, and it is. But remember, simple isn’t always easy! We cannot achieve 2% if we never achieve 1%. I advised my friend to identify his 1% and achieve it as fast as possible.

If we can equate 1 day to 1%, we’ll be way more than 100% to our goals by the time a year has passed. The beauty of this theory is that there are 365 days in a year. We all have the same amount of hours in a day and days in a year, what we do with them is what separates us.

Every Day (middle)

That’s great Mike, but I already have a business. So what?

Are you working towards your end goal by at least 1% each day? Are you knocking off those little segments of your end goal that you chunked off when you started? Or are you just running around like a chicken with your head cut off reacting to perceived fires in the workplace?

I know I’ve been caught up in vanity metrics, wasting time, and overall spinning my wheels. But I have also had those days when I know I moved closer to my goals.

Staying focused on the bigger picture and knocking off 1% every day is the only way to long-term success. We have all heard about success hacks and shortcuts. But those are the exceptions, not rules. Plus, I guarantee there are backstories much more lengthy than the press ever hears when it comes to these companies and their growth.

1% Realized

As we left lunch, I repeated myself and reminded my friend to find that 1% today and get started as soon as he could. As soon as I left I drove past CSU where we played football together and saw another former teammate of ours that is in the exact industry my buddy wants to enter. He was one of the people we talked about over lunch, someone my friend should reach out to.

I immediately texted him and told him to swing by the school and reconnect. Minutes later I got a text back, he’d already achieved that 1% for the day. Momentum has to start somewhere, he just needed a little push to get going. It wasn’t rocket science, he just need to take that first step.

What do you want to accomplish that seems too massive to take in? Leave me a comment below about what your 1% looks like, I’d love to hear from you!

Have a great week!

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