17 Minuscule Actions That Produce Massive Results In Business and In Life

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You probably haven’t noticed, but 2 months ago I added two links to the bottom right corner of this blog. One for the Web host I use and one for the WordPress theme I use.

Nothing special. Just small links that, again, you probably never even noticed.

Baker actually suggested I do this a good 6 months ago, but I just never got around to it.

In the past 2 months, those tiny links that almost nobody notices have resulted in an extra $600 (ok, something like $570) in affiliate commissions. Not extravagant, but wow, pretty amazing for something that took 5 minutes. They’re both products I’ve used since Day 1 of this blog so I can feel good about recommending them as well.

And this got me thinking.

Where else can we make tiny improvements in business and life that will produce massive results?

If you’re familiar with the Japanese philosophy of kaizen, you know how important small, consistent improvements are.

Following are 17 ways we can massively improve our businesses and our lives.

Business

1) Send just one e-mail per day to somebody you respect, but have never connected with. Nothing crazy, just a few sentences saying “hey, I really like your work.”
2) Schedule Skype chats with people you’ve connected with via e-mail/twitter. I’ve done this so rarely it’s sad. Especially because I always come away from these chats incredibly energized.
3) Test a new sales page headline.
4) Test out a new place to advertise.
5) Create more quality content. This could be a whole list unto itself. Maybe a future article? :)
6) Form a mastermind group to bounce ideas off of and to have people who will hold you accountable.
7) Read a new (or classic) business book and take action on what you learn.
8) To get noticed by someone “out of your league” send them a lot of traffic or make them a bunch of sales. (If you’ve listened to the HTLA interview with John Reese you already know this.) If you don’t already have a big audience you can do this with paid advertising (like Google Adwords or Facebook Ads). I assure you it will be worth the tiny investment.
9) Write one really good guest article and send it to somebody with a huge audience.

Life

10) Say “hi” to more people. In actuality, and I’m guilty of this, most of us probably go days (weeks? months?) without introducing ourselves to someone new. You can start small. Say “hi” to one person and see what happens.
11) Eat at least 1 piece of fruit/veggie with every meal. That doesn’t seem like much, but it’s a lot more than most people eat.
12) When you’re bored read a book instead of turning on the TV. If you’re not sure what to read, check out the awesome comments here.
13) Remove one cause of stress from your life. Maybe it’s a messy desk. Maybe it’s a toxic friend. Whatever it is, removing the stress will make you feel better.
14) Put yourself on a 30 day trial. Maybe you’ll stop drinking alcohol? Or maybe you’ll exercise for just 1 minute every day. Or maybe you’ll write in a journal. There are countless things you can test out for 30 days.
15) Stretch. But I don’t mean physically. I mean do something that makes you a little uncomfortable. It could be something small like going to the movies alone. Or maybe you’ll be brave and sing karaoke for the first time. You don’t have to do this every day, but regular stretching will do you wonders.
16) Scratch something off of your bucket list. If you don’t have a bucket list, do something you’ve always wanted to do but, for whatever reason, haven’t yet.
17) Relax.

What other small improvements can we make in our businesses and our lives?

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{ 41 comments }

Jessica Swanson

Love this list Karol! I think that there’s NOTHING more important than small, even miniscule steps toward your goals. So many people think that they need to make giant leaps every day (and only end up falling in the process)! And, I suppose I would add: ENJOY the process, because even after years in business (and life) it’s still always going to be a journey…

Karol

Thank you so much for adding your thoughts Jessica!

As for enjoying the process. I wholeheartedly agree: http://www.ridiculouslyextraordinary.com/enjoy-the-process/ ;)

Todd Caraway

Good Morning Karol!

So, I woke up this morning and of course, the first thing I did was check my subscribed RSS feeds from my phone and after reading your post today, I had to get out of bed and to my computer to send a comment. This post sucks! Nah, I’m just kidding…I loved it. Very simple, yet could really make an impact on numerous areas of my life.

I used to do #10 all the time, but sometimes in society, after enough people look at you like you’re crazy, you stop, but I’m going to start that again. So what if they think I’m crazy. Somewhere along the lines, I’ll make someone’s day.

There is something about all of them that I’m excited to try out. I’m not sure what it was, but this article really struck a chord this morning….which should I work on first? Maybe 11, because I’m hungry!

Thanks for all the awesome posts and information. Keep it coming!

(Sorry for the long post),
Todd
P.S. Hopefully I’ll get my new website up and running soon. I may have some questions for you soon, if that’s cool?

Karol

Todd, thank you. So good to know that I forced you to turn your computer on to comment. ;)

And yes, with #10 you will probably get some weird looks. I’ve had a lot of people (both men and women) completely ignore my “hi.” hehe

?ukasz

I have a problem with #12, way too long list of books waiting to be read.

Another mayor issue for me is meeting new people. Definitely this is nice nudge to do something about it :)

BTW, I don’t remember last time being bored.

Karol

Haha! I know. But too many books to read is better than no books. :)

Meeting new people is an issue for almost everybody. I used to really suck at it. I’m still not great, but I’ve been getting a lot better the past couple of years.

And congrats on never being bored!

Oh, and isn’t it nice that my site doesn’t mess up your name anymore? :) Woohoo for adding Polish characters.

?ukasz

Yeah, it’s nice, although I missed it initially.

Mars Dorian

Heya Karol,

I luv the principle on Kaizen. “Send just one e-mail per day to somebody you respect” – that tip, is just pure magic – we always take it for granted when people do grrreat stuff online, and we forget to thank them for it.

In the past, I always tried to do the big, epic things, but that wasn’t helpful at all. Tiny changes everyday result in major changes after a few months.

15) is essential, too. I try to stretch myself every single day – it’s amazing how much you grow once you make that commitment to get out of your comfort zone !

Nice list – I appreciate it ;)
Rock your destiny !

Karol

Thanks Mars!

Congrats on using tiny changes to produce major changes. :)

Courtney Carver

Love Love Love this list and need to try almost every one. (perhaps that will be my 30 day trial!)

I would also add, don’t check your email before 10 am. You run the day or the day runs you!

Karol

Thanks Courtney! Awesome that you like every one, but I think doing every one in a 30 day trial will be overkill. ;) (Meaning, probably ineffective.)

Casey Friday

Karol,

Wow. This is exactly the type of content I wanted more of, after reading HTLA. I really love how concrete each piece of advice is.

I would add: try to smile for 4 hours straight, no matter where you are (e.g. in private or in public). It freaks people out (in a good way), and it feels fantastic. It’s a great way to stretch!

Karol

Awesome, thank you Casey!

If I smile for 4 minutes straight my face muscles start spasming. 4 hours would be an intense test of mind and muscle! I like it. :)

Greg Rollett

Karol – great stuff dude. I was just listening to an audio thing on my iPod this morning and the guy speaking (Preston Ely) was also talking about stretching yourself. By stretching yourself you force yourself to adapt. The reference he used was sales managers telling their employees to buy a Benz or have a baby. The reason was that having either of these would force them to make more money to support their lifestyle changes.

Now not going to that extreme, but adding a little something extra to your life is certainly an important factor for freedom and personal success.

Karol

Thanks Greg!

Yeah, I wouldn’t advocate that extreme either. :) I actually don’t think most people would succeed with that type of pressure. The few that do are the ones we hear about as opposed to the many who don’t (who keep quiet).

That said, if your personality works with that type of pressure those type of things can work well.

Melissa Gorzelanczyk

Love this list, Karol! All of these tiny projects all up to something great. Or should I say, ridiculously extraordinary.
;-)
Have an awesome week.
Melissa

Karol

Thank you Melissa! :)

Jaryd

I’ve noticed this is a theme that is becoming increasingly popular in the minimalist/frugal/location-independent lifestyle blogs: take ridiculously small steps. Now do another one. And another. Eventually, you’ll see real progress with what felt like very little effort. This is so valuable for people to discover because fear of committing and failing is worse than not even trying for most. This gets rid of that commitment and puts them on the path to growth.

Thanks for the great writing, Karol!

Karol

Thanks Jaryd. You put it well. :)

Jeremy

Karol,

I just want to start out by saying you truly are Fantastically Awesome, or whatever you call it…as is this post.

I’m always amazed by people who’s brains think they way yours does. Anyway, thanks for the tips and inspiration. Going to try to do each of these over the next 17 days, starting today by upping the ante on my sites affiliate advertising.

BTW, after looking into it, bluehost offers significantly less in affiliate commissions through their site than through Commission Junction (crazy but true).

Thanks, Jeremy

Karol

Hey Jeremy,

I call it Ridiculously Extraordinary, but … you know … semantics. ;)

Thank you for your nice comment! I mentioned it elsewhere in the comments, but attempting all 17 at once may be too much and will probably be ineffective. The point is one small step at a time.

And I was not aware that BlueHost’s own aff program pays less than through CJ. Really weird since CJ takes like 30%.

Cheers,
Karol

Nate

All great tips! #1 is something that I really should start doing. It’s so simple but I’m interested in seeing the results that would come from doing this each day for a month or so. Thanks for the great idea!

Karol

You’re welcome Nate. Let us know how it works out. :)

Rosa

Little things do add up to big things.
I been working on number 10 and I am surprised at how good it makes me feel and how it puts a smile on the other person’s face :)
thanks Karol!

Karol

That rocks Rosa! Thanks for spreading some love into the world!

Kim Miller

Karol,

This wasn’t in your article, but I saw your call to action for your RSS feed at the end and I thought, “Whoa! Maybe that one little step will get my subscriber numbers up!” which I’ve been struggling with. Thanks for the tips and info!

I started to do the one fruit/veggie at each meal…helped me lose 25 lbs!

Kim

Karol

Hey Kim,

Interesting observation. ;)

I don’t believe it will get subscriber numbers up an incredible amount, but it might help a little. What helps the most? Increasing traffic. :)

Congrats on losing 25lbs! Fantastic!

Cheers,
Karol

Lach

Great list Karol. I’m starting to implement more of these in my life; especially #1, #10, #15 and #16. Really enjoying your blog as well as the case study you posted on the A List Blogging Bootcamp. Cheers.

Karol

Glad you enjoyed it Lach!

Joe Wilner

Karol,

Great post. Congrats on your affiliate success. I agree with your ideas of reaching out to other professionals we respect. You never know what can be gained by just asking. I also think focusing on learning new skills is very valuable. Thanks!

Karol

Thanks Joe. Learning new skills is definitely valuable. :)

Jonny

Karol,

Bucket list never really did it for me, I prefer the term “Lifelist”

- Jonny

Karol

Semantics … I call it a deathlist since we want it done before we die. :) Post on that is on the queue actually!

Jonny | thelifething.com

True, though surely better to aim for something to “achieve’ during life than “get complete” before death?

- Jonny

Phil

Hi Karol,

I have been subscribed to your blog for a while, but this is my first time to comment. I just want to say that these articles are my favorite. Simple, digestible, substantive. Thank you.

- Phil

Karol

Thank you for making your first comment Phil.

Rob Adelphia

Karol,
Okay, I am going to shamelessly plug you! The reason this site(you) rock so much is…(the envelope, please)…the right combination of information and the inspiration to attack. Evident here and the Freedom Fighters Course. I am going to use number 6 as a base and incorporate 14,15,16 into the mix.
Thanks for giving back and keeping it real.
–Rob

Karol

:) Thanks Rob!

Skylor

I am starting a business and its been in the works for about a month now. I constantly hear the same feedback from everyone. What an incredible breath of fresh air, these tips are fantastic and so simple. Thank you!

Karol

Congrats on starting a business Skylor! And thank you, I’m glad these tips help you!

Steph

Hi Karol!
Love your suggestions ^_^
Personally, I like to smile at children. The giggles you get are amazing and can get you through an entire day feeling awesome and relaxed. It has the nice benefit of making the people around you smile, too.
Have a nice day, Karol *waves and smiles at you*

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