Does the following describe you or perhaps someone you know?
- Work in bursts of highly creative, passionate periods and in between nothing much.
- Get very enthusiastic about something but this fizzles out once the initial high has gone or the hard graft starts.
- Love the idea stage – and have plenty of them – but rarely get much further than initial implementation.
This chopping and changing, the to-ing and fro-ing, the flip flopping…it’s that approach which severely hampered the growth of my business, until a few years ago.
And the one thing that’s made (and is still making) all the difference to my business’ success, profitability and growth is this: Consistency.
In my business and my approach, this now shows up as:
- An ongoing focus on growing and building just 3 core projects, not starting up a new one every few months.
- Moving my attention, energy, time and effort between these 3 projects every few weeks, to give me solid, focused time on each one, instead of trying to work on them all at the same time.
- Sticking with a core set of offerings for each project, and not releasing something new every few weeks or months, nor constantly fiddling about with what’s on offer until I can do so with informed feedback.
- Honing in on and consistently communicating a few core brand messages, with a consistent approach to marketing, using an organised schedule.
- An overall doubling of income within 18 months.
- With at least 80% of that income now recurring, on a monthly basis (a specific goal of mine).
But if you’re one of those flit-from-one-project-to-another types, how do you find that consistency?
In conversation with Jonathan – one of the types I described above – we were discussing something closely related which, I believe, may hold the answer.
Here are the questions we discussed:
- What makes someone who is motivated on an ongoing basis to make changes, do stuff and maintain consistency?
- What makes someone struggle to find that ongoing motivation to make changes, do stuff, find some consistency?
We figured out our approaches were at opposite ends of the spectrum. Whereas I’m motivated by pleasure, Jonathan is motivated by pain – and it shows up across our whole lives.
Here’s what I mean…
- I’m a neat freak and tidy up, not because things get to a stage where I can no longer find stuff (pain) but because I enjoy the feeling of calm and organisation when everything’s in its place (pleasure).
- Jonathan, on the other hand, only tidies up when he realises he can’t find what he wants or I have a fit because things are so untidy (pain).
- I go to the gym (and still did when I was 37 weeks pregnant) and focus on my wellness, not because I’m feeling strain (pain) in my body & niggling symptoms of not being truly well, but because I enjoy the feeling and sensation of mobility, strength and vitality it gives me (pleasure).
- Jonathan only goes to the gym when he’s fed up with holding his stomach in and feels “it’s time” to do something about it (pain).
- I put a lot of focus on strategy, planning and organisation across my business, not because things aren’t working or I’m not where I want to be and I’m fed up with this (pain), but because I enjoy the sense of having some control of my own destiny and knowing I can make things work in the way I want them to (pleasure).
- Unlike Jonathan who follows a pattern of taking a few steps forwards and a few steps back with his own business ventures, only ever resolving to “get a plan together” when things aren’t going so smoothly (pain).
I am consistent because I always seek pleasure, proactively; it’s my default setting. Jonathan’s inconsistent because he aims to avoid pain – and pain isn’t a default setting, it’s sporadic. Which means his approach is reactive and lacks…consistency.
Can you see how closely inter-related they are? Pleasure and Pain. Proactive and Reactive. Consistent and Inconsistent.
So if you struggle to find consistency, take a look at what motivates you…
Do you proactively seek pleasure, taking action on a regular, ongoing basis to achieve it? Or do you re-actively avoid or deal with pain, only taking action when it’s necessary?