Playing The Game of Cause and Effect

open to possibilities
An open slate, a blank page and a clear mind makes possibilities endless which can be opportunistic or scary. From Chris Blakely’s Flickr photostream.

Every day we face the blank page, it’s hard to know whether we are doing the right things at the right time. All the choices we have as well as all the noise which intrudes on our lives can create a lot of angst. Sometimes it’s easier to simply be reactive. Put yourself in a place where someone else is telling you what to do.

The reality is many people do need a boss regardless if they call themselves an entrepreneur. When you don’t know what to do and you have to decide, take responsibility and get something done then that means you have a commitment and a belief to something.

Tacticians have no problem seeing a direct correlation between cause and effect. They respond to a customer and they get a support issue closed. They make a hundred calls and they get a meeting with someone.

However, for someone pursuing something more strategic without rails to run on, cause and effect work a bit differently. What you do today may be one brick you are building of a house that you see in your mind’s eye. Keep laying a brick a day and over time you will see the structure emerging. You can work off of a blueprint, but many times, there is not one to follow.

Doing That One Thing Relentlessly

John Grisham wrote in a disciplined and continuous way a little each day to produce the dozens of novels he famously published.

The act of writing consistently as a habit became deeply embedded that the ensuing success happened as a result of brick upon brick producing a complete work.

I don’t think that the trappings of success are what they appear to be. It’s not pure luck, but it’s not pure determination either. I think it is a choice to do something highly strategic repeatedly. There’s a lot that falls out from the consistency. You learn to see the periphery and the mastery of the core and the edges creates separation from the masses who merely dabble.

If you were given a choice of only one thing to do every day, what would it be? What do you think would make the largest impact on your business? Here’s some ideas:

  • Meeting one new influential person
  • Writing a thousand words
  • Reading 20 pages
  • Praying
  • Going for a walk
  • Sharing your pitch

There’s a lot that is not on the list that may matter more in your world. Pick that thing and commit to it every day. You are flipping the magic of innovation on its head. The execution and mastery reveal the genius over time as you cause an effect to take place. Of course this takes patience and the ability to keep going. It’s a game of hope and realization. But once you have experienced it, I am not sure a better strategy exists in such a world of relentless noise and choice.

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