I love the book, the Slight Edge. It helps remind me that success isn’t a single huge feat of daring do. Far more often it is the little, consistent things that add to over time. It is those things which are easy to do. And easy to NOT do.
For example, it is easy to eat a salad for lunch. It is easy to NOT to eat that salad but drive through for a Big Mac instead. But which of those two actions will put me on the success side of a healthy lifestyle?
Time Adds Up – To Success or Failure?
The trickiest thing about the slight edge principle is that these things which add up to success (or failure) are so easy not to do because not doing them once usually has no perceivable negative consequence. Whew! That sounds complicated.
What I mean is this. Eating one Big Mac will not give you a heart attack, right? Otherwise they wouldn’t sell a billion of ’em. But eating one Big Mac today. And another in a couple days. And another next week….times ten years. Twenty years. Presto! Heart attack!
The Slight Edge is SMALL
It’s the small choices. The hardest to make choices. To post or not to post. To comment or not to comment. To tweet or not to tweet. The next article. The next brainstorming session. Turning off that one TV show to write instead. Small. Small choices. They add up to stunning successes or quiet failures depending on which side of the razor’s edge you place yourself.
Slight Edge for Bloggers
So for bloggers, the application is easy. Posting one post to your blog today will not make you a blogging success. Just like me ignoring my blog today wouldn’t make you all hate me. But those actions, added up over time, either consistently move me towards the success I desire, or consistently move me away it. And the choice is completely and totally mine. Choosing just one “success edge” action step for your blog each day means that just within a single year you’ll have hundreds of posts or incoming links to your site – Wow!
How are you managing the slight edge principle? Are you waiting for a stunning, huge breakthrough event? Or are you placing yourself on the side of success with the every day, consistent actions you choose to take?
List three, small and doable actions that you will begin incorporating on a daily or weekly basis (think short-term here, remember?) to place yourself on the success side of the razor’s slight edge. If you’re having trouble thinking of three action steps, look back over your goals and specific PLANS and see how to break them up into actions.
Lorie Huston says
You’re absolutely right. It’s WAY too easy for me to not write when I have the opportunity, especially when I’m not facing any immediate deadlines. I never really stopped to think how many more blog posts, articles, tweets, etc remain unwritten because of lost time. Guilty as charged…LOL
1. Incorporate photos into all of my blog posts to add reader interest and additional keywording opportunities. Takes only a few moments time and adds a great deal to the posts.
2. Complete at least one “topic page” on my blog weekly which includes links driving readers to Suite, Examiner and other blog posts related to the topic at hand. (This is in addition to regular blog postings.) Probably takes 20-30 minutes to collect links and write a short summary of each with a brief intro to the topic at the top of the page.
3. Become more active on twitter, contributing more than just article links. Work to build more of a personality there, sort of a window into my non-animal interests. Takes only a few minutes a day to share a personal thought (only the harmless variety). Even a quote or joke works.
All small goals, easily achievable but with the promise of creating more traffic and more exposure over time. Thanks for the great post, Angela.
@Lorie – The amazingly powerful thing about the Slight Edge Principle is that it applies to EVERYTHING. Every area of life.
What are you reading? Junk books that do nothing for you? Or ten pages a day of a great inspiration, educational or motivational book?
What are you eating?
What are you spending? Spending on?
When you place yourself on the success of the line, the rewards add up to more than you realized, sooner than you may think. What is that saying about “Chance Favors the Prepared”?
Lorie Huston says
So true, Angela. I can see how this principle can give you an edge in accomplishing just about any goal. Sometimes just stopping to think about a decision (or about not actually making a decision) can be all the difference (i.e. do I REALLY need that Big Mac? is that new purse REALLY more important than paying the electric bill?)
I’m proud to say I actually found myself thinking about this earlier today when I knew I needed to get some writing done but I was wasting time procrastinating. It made me stop procrastinating and start writing. And now I’m almost ready to send my very first query to Cat Fancy magazine. I’m going to sleep on it overnight, proof read tomorrow with a set of “fresh eyes” and send it. WOOHOO. (Wish me luck!)
Erica Mueller says
This is my style of getting things done. 🙂 I am finally learning to take baby steps each day…
1. Discover/Read at least one new blog per day, preferably something in my niche. Comment on at least one.
2. Subscribe to a new blog once a week. By Friday of each week I want to have subscribed to a blog that I feel will really motivate, inspire, and teach me.
3. Guest post once a month. (not counting Blissfully Domestic contributions which I aim to do twice monthly)
4. Post at least 3x per week on my own blog.
5. Read. By this, I mean books. Good books. I have been an avid reader since age 4. I adore books and I like them in real, hardcopy form. However, since getting serious about blogging I’ve let my book-reading fall to the wayside. I miss it. Reading broadens our thinking, opening our minds to new ideas, feelings, and joys!
I have been posting just “to post” for way too long. I am going to post less, but better quality. Even if it is only 3 times a week.
I am going to stop comparing and looking at what other people are doing, and keep on the path of staying true to myself.
Finish up the “About” section of my blogs. Sounds so easy, but I have so much trouble with it. I’m not so sure why.
Thanks Angela, for making me think about what I really need to be doing in small achievable steps!
I am very guilty of waiting for the stunning event to come along. I tend to take action some action steps, but am easily distracted when comes to the mundane, and get sidetracked with time wasters. Thanks for the motivation to stop neglecting the maintenance and upkeep. Those little things really are important!
Margaret @ Pure Pearl Homestead says
I think this is exactly what I needed to read. We’ve just started our blog aboit 6 months ago and never dreamed how much work it would be and how slowly our readership would grow. It’s been kind of discouraging. But I think the idea of every little thing we do adds up and will eventually get us to success of we just keep at it is amazing. Thank you so much for the reminder!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it! It’s tough to get started sometimes – if you haven’t read the book, The Slight Edge, yet I highly recommend it. Very encourage and mindset-shifting. 🙂