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There are a lot of different tips out there about how to best optimize a business, or set things up so that you will always be able to continue moving from strength to strength in your professional life.
In other words, there’s a lot to be said about the best ways to “grow forward.”
James Clear, author of the highly popular book “Atomic Habits,” likes the idea of emphasizing “1% improvement” every day – a concept which echoes the idea of “kaizen.”
Of course, you still need to focus your energies professionally, and not just try to be all things to all people. Nonetheless, here are a few reasons to focus on small, incremental improvements in your professional life, as a path to overall success and thriving.
Because incremental improvements are actually tangible
Incremental improvements are beneficial, first and foremost, because there are actually tangible. In any given situation, you can very likely think of some practical steps you could take, right now, which would make things marginally better.
Assuming your business had a field, garden, or similar outdoor area, for example, you could quite easily look at it and determine that Topsoil, Mulch and Stone Delivery might help to make the entire area more productive and aesthetically pleasing in just an afternoon.
The same principle applies across the board. How could you be “1%” better as a team leader, today? Well, how about working to make your presentation just a tiny bit more concise at the next meeting?
Because small, incremental improvements are sustainable
Major, sweeping transformations are not the kinds of things that you can actually do every weekend – nor should you even want to do them every weekend.
A great thing about small, incremental improvements is that they are sustainable. There is no immediately apparent practical reason why you can’t continue to make things “1% better” every day, forever.
Among other things, each minor improvement doesn’t represent any major shaking up of the company structure, nor does it require a massive gamble, or a large investment of resources.
Because major transformations are difficult to envision and accomplish – but small changes can achieve the same end result
As mentioned before; major transformations are difficult to envision and accomplish. They take a lot of vision, they take a lot of resources, they involve high levels of risk, and it’s often difficult to get people on board for such sweeping plans.
Not only are small, incremental changes far less “threatening,” and far more sustainable, but in many cases they can actually end up achieving the same end result – or an even better end result – than an ambitious and large-scale plan that was conceived as such from the start.
If you work on improving your marketing materials by 1% every day, and if you take that task seriously, and carry it out for a full year, isn’t it likely that your business will be in a dramatically different place by the end of that year than it was at the start?
As the old fable has it, “slow and steady wins the race.” As long as you are continually moving in the right direction, dramatic changes can accumulate over time.