Hi, this is Mike Lipkin and it’s time to finish 2017 on a high. I’m breathless with exhaustion and excitement in equal measure. Floods, fires, shootings, earthquakes, taxes, nuclear threats, political upheavals, regulatory changes, corporate restructures, intensified competition, heightened client expectations, and global anxiety are just a few of the reasons why I’m exhausted.
Economic growth, new technologies, innovative clients, fabulous partners, budding breakthroughs, expanding networks, impending program launches, potential alliances, rising personal mastery, robust good health, and fresh possibilities are just a few of the reasons why I’m excited.
There is so much happening everywhere all the time that it’s easy to get confused, overwhelmed or just downright distracted. It’s easy to believe that the odds are stacked against me, or that the world is just too big for me to make a difference. When I read about Jeff Bezos – CEO Amazon, Mark Zuckerberg CEO Facebook, Elon Musk CEO Tesla, Indra Nooyi CEO Pepsi, or Ruth Porat, CFO Alphabet, it’s easy to feel insignificant. I’m not changing millions of lives or making billions of dollars.
But here’s what I know: I’m doing what I can to have an impact. I may not be able to change the world, but I can change my world. I can be the master of my domain. I can chunk down the universe into manageable pieces. I can be great in a space that I can make my own. I can do a lot by doing the little things that mean a lot.
The great mistake is not to do a little because you think you cannot do a lot. Procrastination is the hiding place of people who have resigned themselves to mediocrity. They have resigned themselves to irrelevance because they’ve hit their personal walls and turned back. I’ve learned that walls are there to keep uncommitted people out. They are there to protect us from the two guarantees of failure: ambivalence and doubt.
This fall, go looking for the next little thing that you haven’t yet done. Go looking for the small act of contribution or value-add that can make a big difference to one person. Go one step further. Follow through where previously you may have stopped short. Amaze, surprise and wow others by your special extra touches. Call someone with an offer of help or insight. Invest minutes in outcomes that can pay out for years.
Here are a fifteen small actions that are achieving great impact for me:
- – Create new content like this video that inspires people and expands my presence.
- – Call 20 clients a week with whom I’ve worked in the past but with whom I’m not working now.
- – Work out every day.
- – Read or listen to a book a week.
- – Every week, meet with 3 members of my network for breakfast, coffee, lunch or drinks.
- – Think of new ideas that I can introduce to current clients that will help them win and remind them that I’m thinking of them all the time.
- – Plan my next vacation together with my wife so that we both have something to look forward to.
- – Dedicate my time and money to a worthy cause like the United Way so I can give back and build my capacity.
- – Spend time with a coach that enables me to see my world differently.
- – Explore new ways to package and distribute my message with best in class publishers and marketers.
- – Reach out to 5 friends, colleagues or associates a week that I know would love to hear from me.
- – Remind myself to make every conversation a masterpiece.
- – Thrust myself into situations that stretch and test me.
- – Learn from every failure and make the next call or pitch immediately. No self-pity parties allowed.
- – Earn 1-2 hours of downtime every day and enjoy them with fine company, food and wine.
What are the little things that make a big difference for you? Do them and tweet me at @mikelipkin #lipkinslittlethings
Great begins at the granular level. God is in the hundreds of details of the hundreds of things around you every day. As yogi berra said, you can see a lot by observing. Pay attention to the things that count. Do the things that others aren’t prepared to do. Relish the opportunity to do even more. Take nothing for granted.
Let me conclude with Lipkin’s golden rule: Live today like you’ll have no regrets tonight. You can’t do it all, but you can do all you can. Set yourself your own checklist of little things. Experiment with different actions. Trial and error is the only way to discover what’s right for you. Look back and be proud of what you’ve done. Look forward and be audacious in what you will do. This is Mike Lipkin and until the next time remember: tomorrow, today will be yesterday – make it memorable.