I went for a walk with my wise daughter Claire today.
While walking, she told me, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”
Claire didn’t know where the quote came from, so when we returned to our home, we looked up the quote, and it is an ancient Chinese proverb.
Oh, the wisdom of the Chinese!
There are so many adventures I started as an ignorant fool.
I went off to college.
I got married.
I started a family.
I started a business.
I started another business.
I started a third business.
I started a fourth business.
I flew to Europe.
I flew to Europe two more times.
I ran a marathon. And then six more marathons.
I started a blog.
I wrote a book.
I started a podcast.
With each of these adventures, I had no idea what I was getting into.
Somewhere before I took the plunge into these new adventures, I decided each adventure was a good idea.
If I knew when I started each adventure the challenges I would go through; it is unlikely I would have begun the journey.
Some of my adventures have been worthwhile. Others have caused heartache and pain that haunted me for many years.
Looking back now, I’m grateful that I started each journey as an ignorant fool.
As I reflect on my life so far, the good I’ve received from my adventures has far outweighed the pain, toil, and heartache I’ve experienced.
If I had not been ignorant, I would have likely become so turned off by the challenges that I would never have tasted the fruit of success that came at the end of the journey.
I likely would have never started.
A month ago, I committed to writing a blog post every day for the next twelve months.
I now have eleven months until I reach the end of my commitment.
I earned my first dollar from my blog in July. $2.90. It may be the sweetest $2.90 I’ve ever earned.
I’ve printed out the email I got from Medium and placed it in a frame on my wall.
During June 2019, I had 55 new people view my website.
During July 2019, I had 106 new people visit my website.
The most viewed blog post I wrote was My Profit First Account Got Me to Ireland. 24 people viewed that blog post.
So things are moving in the right direction.
Progress is progress.
It will be interesting to see where August takes me.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned from each of my journeys is the value of persistence.
I’d love to hit a home run today with one of my blog posts. I’d love for it to go viral.
However, it’s unlikely that will happen today.
More often than not, what I do is ordinary.
More often than not, what I do goes unnoticed.
What I’ve learned is the daily persistent actions compound in an amazing fashion.
One year ago, I started the certification process to become a Profit First Professional.
The certification process is designed to take most people about six months to complete.
I was so enthralled by what I was learning that I wanted to make a lot of progress fast.
That is the way my personality is designed.
Once I get excited about something I go all in. I throw everything I have into it.
I decided a year ago that I would devote at least one hour a day on learning Profit First and taking steps to become a Profit First Professional.
I completed the Profit First Professional certification in about three months.
Then last fall I went to my first ProfitCon (the official Profit First conference).
I was excited to get to meet some of the other Profit First Professionals and see what I could learn from them.
After the first day of the conference, I recognized something about myself.
My one hour a day habit of working on Profit First had catapulted me to a level I didn’t expect.
I had done the work to become part of the cream of the crop.
My persistence in working on one thing consistently day after day created some amazing results.
I was so brilliant with this hour a day practice that I inadvertently stopped the one hour a day practice.
What an idiot I was.
How could I be so stupid?
It was working, and so I quit.
Then in March, I realized the folly of my ways.
I became aware of the fact that I had stopped my one hour a day practice.
I recommitted myself to putting my one hour a day habit back in place.
I am still amazed at how valuable that one hour is.
One hour of consistent focus action produces tremendous results over time.
Calvin Coolidge said, “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
Here’s the thing to remember.
Most of us spend our time on unimportant activities that are of no real significance.
Binging on Netflix may be enjoyable, but it will not produce significant results.
I’ve learned that one hour a day spent on my most important priority is worth more to me than forty hours of working on unimportant activities.
Too often in my life, I’ve paralyzed myself with fear.
I think a lot.
I’m a thinker.
At times I think too much and act too little.
I’ve been caught up in analysis paralysis more times than I can count.
For too much of my life, I’ve spent too much time learning and not acting.
Nothing has ever happened until I took the first step.
Once I took the first step, I got what I needed to take the second step.
One step is all that is needed.