Small Change

Change is important. There is no debating that. Change is necessary if we want to learn, grow, develop, or get better. The question is whether learning, development, and getting better comes from big changes. . . . or the small ones.

We have the tendency to focus on the big, sweeping changes as the true catalysts for improvement. They are exciting and bold, whereas the small changes can feel mundane, not leading to anything significant. It is hard NOT to consider big changes, as our current world is full of them. We went from going places to. . . . going nowhere. From meeting in-person to doing everything virtually. From eating dinner with friends at a crowded restaurant to greeting the DoorDash guy with contactless payment while wearing a hazmat suit. Our world is a never-ending array of big changes, and we’ve gotten used to it.

But let’s not discount those small changes, the ones that, if repeated, can make a big difference down the road. This is known as the 1% Rule; small, incremental changes, repeated regularly, can and will lead to exponential growth over time. I like to use a golf analogy when explaining. If your clubface is open or closed just 2 degrees, it will result in your ball landing 40 yards left or right of your target on a 200-yard shot. Put another way, a few very small mistakes on my golf swing result in my very BIG slice!

Let’s look at a different context. Earlier this year, my then 12-year-old son, Jack, started doing pushups and situps each night before bed, trying to build some muscle. In COVID, with gyms shut down and without much opportunity to exercise outside of walking the dog, I decided to join him, doing 50 situps and 40 pushups to start and end my days. That was in April. I slowly added to those totals every few weeks, and I am now up to 100 situps and 65 pushups 2X daily. I am stronger, I can feel the difference in my core, I can see the impact in the mirror, and I can put up more weight in the gym. This is not meant to be any type of brag, but simply an example of a small change (5 minutes of exercise twice a day) that built upon itself and resulted in a big difference down the road.

The best part was, it wasn’t hard to make the commitment, because it was so small. THAT is the key; find some little thing you can do to start yourself down a path of transformation, whether it is in your business or career, your health, your personal life, or your financial wellbeing. It starts with having a goal in mind, a vision for what you want your future to be, and working backward from there to what you can do right now to get started. Then, get started!

So. . . . what is the big change that you want to see in your life? And what is the SMALL change that you can make right now to get you moving toward that change? Whether it is a few pushups and situps each day, socking away $25/month in a savings account, or making one more cold call each day before shutting the office door, it all counts, as it gets you going. Start small, keep it up, build a habit, and build on your results. And the big changes will come.


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