My office is across the street from one of the best and biggest elementary schools in Tallahassee. It’s particularly convenient for the young moms working here to have their children in school across the street. For the rest of us, it’s a total pain.
Each day for about 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon, there are hundreds of cars on our typically quiet two-lane road. Usually it’s not a problem for me. Most days I’m working at my desk at 3 p.m. when all the kiddies and their parents are braving traffic to get home from school.
But then it happened. I ended up in traffic. Trying to leave my office early, I got on the road and got stuck in the school traffic jam. Cars were backed up, bumper to bumper, waiting for the children to get dismissed, come to the curb and load up. No one was going anywhere.
There was a guy in the truck in front of me. He was visibly upset, frustrated and angry about the delay. I couldn’t hear anything, but he was throwing up his hands, shaking his head and trying to look beyond the string of cars for a break in the traffic. But there was no apparent break ahead. Just a bunch of moms and dads, waiting for their chance to pick up their kids.
In frustration, the guy in the truck gave up. He turned right into a parking lot, pulled a U-turn back toward the road and then turned left to go the opposite direction.
Ironically, within seconds the traffic moved. I could still see the truck in my rear view window when enough cars had pulled into the school that traffic was able to get past and flow normally again. The guy in the truck gave up 10 seconds too early. He was headed the opposite direction when the rest of us, who had exhibited 10 seconds’ worth of additional patience, were on our way.
I often see the same problem within business. Too few people are patient enough to keep up the work even when it doesn’t feel like anything is happening.
Info-marketers work for many months to create a product and launch their business. Then they do some marketing and when it doesn’t immediately succeed, they are too quick to change their entire direction. It’s like the guy in the truck who was 10 seconds from moving forward and instead ended up heading in the wrong direction.
I’m in the process of losing weight. While I’ve lost 50 pounds in the last few years, I have a good 15 pounds to go. This requires planning meals in advance as well as dozens of daily choices to stick with the plan. No one element seems to make any difference one way or another. What if I eat a donut today—am I going to see an impact on the scale tomorrow morning? Probably not.
Life doesn’t have an immediate feedback loop. You don’t get to see immediate results from any single decision.
Contrast that with Las Vegas. If you gave someone a choice between going to work and sitting at a slot machine, most would choose the slot machine. With the slot machine, you get instant feedback. You know exactly where you stand. Las Vegas is rigged to give you the “mental candy” humans relish. However, it’s also rigged for failure.
The guy in the truck probably has no idea that he gave up a few seconds too early. Likewise, the people who change directions in their info-marketing business never realize they were so close to breaking through and becoming successful.
The choices you make each day make the difference of whether you get closer to your goals or remain stuck, even when you cannot see the results from one day to the next. Las Vegas may be more exciting, but it’s not going to unlock wealth and freedom in your life.
The info-marketing business depends on creating a plan and sticking with your plan even though you may not see the results on a day-to-day basis. I know it’s not the most exciting news in the world. But it is what works.
What do you think? Do you agree, or do you have a different plan for success? Do you have a unique way of motivating yourself? Scroll down to the bottom of the page to leave me a comment. I read every comment and reply when appropriate.