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Gradualism: Leveraging Time To Get What You Want

Business-Building Actions From Terry Brock

“Great ability develops and reveals itself increasingly with every new assignment.” Baltasar Gracian

We live in a world that wants everything now — or yesterday. We have little patience and seem to be constantly in a hurry. Just look at rush hour traffic and listen to the horns blaring away.

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Nature has a way of achieving greatness over time. The myth of the overnight success is told often with how it often takes 10 years to become that overnight success. This is something that successful people know — and the unsuccessful attribute to a mysterious thing they call luck.

This applies directly in Relationship Marketing. To build quality, value-for-value relationships in business requires consistent performance over time. You build trust in a relationship by seeing performance over time. A relationship which takes years to build can be damaged or destroyed with one terrible misstep.

The same principle is true in knowledge acquisition. To master a new skill requires time, money and effort (TME).  Most people give up too easily. They aren’t willing to pay the price to achieve their goals. If you ask average people if they want to be rich, you’ll usually get an enthusiastic, positive response.  However, if you detail what is needed to accomplish riches, average people back off and are not willing to pay the price.

Last night I was talking with a friend of mine who is physician working in emergency care rooms. He told me that to become a medical doctor who is board certified requires not only four years of undergraduate school and four years of medical school but internship and an additional four years of residency.  Oh, and by the way, when you’re in residency, you get paid barely minimum wage. Not many people would be willing to work for minimum wage for four years after going through medical school. Yet, this is part of the price emergency room physicians have to pay to achieve their goals.

In business and in your personal life success requires persistence and doing the right thing in the right way over time. Don’t try to do everything at once. It takes practice. It takes a lot of patience.

In Relationship Marketing this means being willing to be pleasantly persistent in what you want. Start in small, meaningful ways to establish and build value-for-value relationships and then proceed forward.  Remember that not all people will embrace value-for-value principles. Many people only see the short term and try to take all they can.  Ultimately these people hurt themselves.  Behaving in short-term mode causes more and more people to distance themselves from the takers.

Taking the long-term view pays off. This means we have to keep the goal in mind and constantly aim for it. Don’t be surprised when setbacks happen. Hey, that’s just the way things work. When those inevitable disappointments and setbacks happen, you can gain control of the situation with an attitude of, Oh, so this is a current setback? What can I learn from this?  See each setback as an excellent learning experience to become an even better person.

George Leonard wrote a marvelous book years ago called Mastery.  In that book he talked about the importance of continuing forward and enjoying the plateaus of life.  Sometimes you’ll try hard and just can’t seem to break through to accomplish what you want.  In those moments, don’t allow the frustrations to overwhelm you. Instead, step back and see the big picture. Know your goals and what you ultimately want to accomplish. Be willing to pay the price in terms of time, money and effort. Celebrate the small incremental successes as they materialize.

And here’s your challenge for today: Do something specific today which will help you towards those long-term goals in Relationship Marketing.  It might be to write a note (yes, handwritten!) to that important customer or prospect. It might be to make a quick How’s it Going call that is devoid of any sales talk and just connects with the person. Do something today to establish, build and maintain quality relationships. This is what matters in business and in life.

It is in the gradual, step-by-step methodology that we grow and accomplish meaningful success. Use time as your partner to continue forward — unstoppable in your goals and success.

Copyright © 2009, Terry Brock and Achievement Systems, Inc.  Terry Brock is an international marketing coach and professional speaker who helps businesses generate profitable results. He can be reached by e-mail at [email protected] or through his website at  Join the Twitter adventure with Terry through his Twitter address: TerryBrock

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