Episode 24

Episode 24: What You Do Today Matters


What you’ll learn in this episode:

It’s the new year, and just about everyone is talking about their resolutions and future plans.

While focusing on the future is important, we should remember that there are things to do today that assure that our future goals are reached.

Today, I’m going to give you the three ways your actions today will impact your future results and show you how those actions don’t need to be any more than 1% bigger every day to reach your biggest goals.

Here’s a glance at this episode:

  • Your future results depend on the things you do today.
  • Making big changes is fine but taking small steps over time can also have big results.
  • It takes money to make money, but it doesn’t take a lot of money to make a lot of money.
  • Automation is the secret to maximizing results.
  • Get just 1% better every day.
  • Your thoughts and beliefs affect your results.

Mentioned in this episode:

10k Accelerator

Profit First, by Mike Michalowicz

The Mom 2 Mom Show

Work/Connect with me:

10K Accelerator

Business and Rejuvenation Retreat

Coaching programs

[01:00] Jessica: Well hello everyone and welcome back to this week’s episode of the practical mindset podcast. I’m Jess Miller, and I’m so excited to have you here.

[01:10] At the beginning of the year we talk a lot about goals, where we’re going and what we want to create. We have our eyes and our intention focused largely on the future and what’s to come.

[01:20] And although I think being future focused is very important (myself, I am futuristic is actually one of my strengths on the gallop strengths assessment, and I love dreaming and scheming and focusing on what’s to come), and knowing where you want to go is crucial to getting to the right place and producing the things you want to produce, I want to offer that the true key to hitting your goals and creating the results you want (and I would argue creating massive results and exceeding your goals), both in your life and your business, is instead to stay focused on what you’re doing today.

[02:00] Your outcomes, and the things you produce, are the results of what you do each day. They are the lagging indicators of whether or not what you do each day, in every moment, is actually working and is connected to the thing you ultimately want to accomplish. Your outcome is also not the thing you have direct control over. However, the actions that we take and choose to take each day, are the things that we can control, and they are ultimately the pieces that are the building blocks of our results, and ultimately our success.

[02:35] These actions also don’t need to be massive leaps. There’s this fallacy that you have to take big bold steps to make significant change. And not that I am opposed to big bold moves, but the most significant power I have seen is in the small, incremental and consistent shifts sustained over time. It’s the 1% growth, or the 1% better, created over and over the really creates major change.

[03:08] To that end, what we do today is also not finite, it’s part of a bigger system of things, and over time the things we do build on themselves and compound in an exponential way, creating results in ways that are so much bigger than the whole.

[03:25] I remember the first time I learned about this concept in real life. I was in my 20s, right out of college. I had moved to a new city and I was running pretty consistently at the time. I had never run big races, I just ran for fun to see how far I could go and to keep in shape. But upon moving into town I connected with some other runners who had decided they were going to train for a half-marathon. They were all doing it, so I decided I would join too. I remember the panic I felt after I committed to doing the race. My brain was screaming “what are you thinking? Are you nuts? You’ve never run over 4 miles! You have to be out of your mind!”. I considered backing out, but something told me that I could do this if I came up with a plan to make it happen and committed to taking the steps.

[04:24] So back then in the dark ages, I went to the library and bought a small book (more like a pamphlet) by Hal Higdon about running a half-marathon. And I followed the plan. And every day it gave me mileage to run and training and nutrition I needed to follow. Some days I hated it and didn’t want to go. I also needed to get up really early some days to run before work, and some days to squeeze it in whenever I could, but I did it. I showed up every day and figured out how to make it happen. And every day I ran a little further and a little further, and a little bit faster. I improved that 1% over and over. And before I knew it, it was the day of the race. And not only did I run the race, and finish, but to this day, that race was one of the fastest times I’ve ever run. And has set me up to run so many other half-marathons, and to do so many other training programs, from what I learned and what I accomplished at that race. I remember standing on that finish line and thinking “I cannot believe I ran 13 miles and survived it”. Literally it felt like a miracle.

[05:52] When we become fixed on that end result, and we see it as separate or not attached to what we’re doing each day, we miss out on the small and significant things that have the biggest impact on achieving the outcomes we want. When I was running that race, it wasn’t the 13 miles that mattered, it was me running the mileage each day, some days just 1 or 2 miles consistently, that built up to me being able to complete the race.

[06:23] When I work with my clients, I see this phenomenon come up in all sorts of ways – whether it’s with the money they want to earn, the consistency they want to build, the network they want to foster – all of these things are the result of the small, incremental steps that they take each day, and not some destination they arrive at in a swooping moment.

[06:44] It’s the commitment and connection to the day to day that allows them to reach their goals – regardless of what the goal is.

[06:52] So here are three ways that what you do today has the biggest impact on the results you’re creating in your business.

[07:01] #1 is what you do each day with your money.

We have all heard that it takes money to make money, and that making your money work for you, and compound over time, is one of the best ways to build wealth. But did you know how massively powerful doing that is?

[07:21] I did a little research before this podcast, and I discovered something that totally blew my mind. I discovered that if you start out with $10,000 and you earn 1% each day for year, compounded daily (meaning that it as it grew that money compounds and continued to earn 1%), in a year you would have $377,000. 377,000! That’s over a quarter of a million dollars!

[08:03] Now, earning a rate of 1% each day compounded over a year is not highly probable, but my point of the example is to show what happens when you take something and you compound it (do the same behavior) over time, even with a tiny amount – like 1%. What happens in situations like this though, when we think about a goal of $377,000, our brains immediately go to that big number.  How would I create that huge sum of money? Where would I get that from?

[09:09] But if we pause for a second and think about the incremental investments that you actually need to make each day for growth over time to be significant, they’re small. If you take $100, and you wanted to just save 1% each a day, it’s $1. Most of us can come up with $1 each day (and most of us actually are coming up with a lot more than $1, but we’re spending it on Starbucks or something else – and that’s a podcast for another time).

[09:45] When I work with my clients, I teach them about the concept of paying themselves first, something I learned from the book Profit First by Mike Michalowitz, which I highly recommend. The basic principle is that you shave a certain percentage off the top of every dollar you earn, and you put it into another account (for you – you pay yourself first) before you do anything else. After you take that amount off the top, the rest of it is yours to use in your business for things like your expenses, taxes, etc.

[10:29] We start with a small amount of 5%. So basically for every $100, you would save $5, leaving you with $95 in your account to use for your business.

[10:44] Over time, that $5, consistently siphoned off into a separate account grows – both by your consistent deposits AND by earning interest and compounding over time.

[10:57] One of my clients most recently was bringing in consistent revenue, but wasn’t saving consistently. Once we put this philosophy into place for her, and then automated what she was saving on a consistent basis, she has been able to run her business in the black, with a safety account that has 6 months of operating costs sequestered, and she has saved enough money in a year to put a down payment on a house and to buy her dream car. She’s now opening up a 529 and funding it significantly upfront for her newborn. The attention to the things she’s doing each day with her money, compounded over weeks, years, decades, is completely changing the trajectory of her life. And it can change yours too.

[12:20] And she’s not the only one. I’ve done this for myself in my business and in my personal life. We’ve taken the same behavior I use and teach in my business, and we’ve applied it to the 529s we now have for our kids.

[12:30] And it doesn’t happen overnight, or in a big swoop, it’s the commitment to those $5s a day, every day, for a year, that makes it. It’s the cumulative, compounded effect of what you’re doing today that really moves the needle.

[13:05] So my question for you all is what can commit to doing with your money today that’s going to move you closer to your goals? What is one tiny shift you can implement today – maybe it’s siphoning off 1% or 5$ – that over time will make a massive difference in your life.

[13:27] The second thing is what you do with your actions and habits (it’s the concept of getting 1% better every day).

Committing to being better than you were yesterday, growing and getting better each day, is what takes you from good to great. Most people show up with little intention about how they want to be or what they want to be doing. As a result, they often short change themselves on doing the things today that will get them to where they want to go. But highly successful and productive people focus on where they want to go and get there by committing to the actions necessary today to get them closer to their goals. They have figured out that by doing the work, and continually improving (even by just 1%), there will be a major impact on their overall performance.

[14:20] Imagine if you just focused on 1% every day for a month? So, in 30 days you would be 30% better than you are today? Imagine if you kept that up for a year? 300+% better! What would your business and your life look like if you just committed to 1%?

[14:42] I promise you, in many ways your life would be unrecognizable. If you were 300% better, it could like something taking you 3x less time. Or creating a program that was valued at 3x the price. Imagine what your revenue would look like in your business if you 3xed the value of your most profitable offer. Or what if you were able to run your day 3x more efficiently so that you had several more hours with your family, or more hours of sleep. Or you invested your money in a way that made you a 300% return.

[15:25] It all starts with 1% each day, cumulative and compounded over time that moves the needle.

[15:38] So again, my question for you all is what is one way you could get 1% better with how you show up and things that you’re doing? What would committing to being better than you were yesterday, just by a tiny bit, look like for you and your future?

[15:58] The third thing is what you do each day with your mind

Your reality is a result of your perception, and your perception is made up of what you think about things around you. Those thoughts thought again and again over time make up your beliefs. Many of us go through our day on autopilot with our thoughts, never taking the time to become aware of them or to consciously choose them. We walk around with beliefs that are never challenged or explored, and thus we are often unconsciously wandering through life in a way that doesn’t serve us.

[16:34] When you decide to take your power back and choose your thoughts consciously, your experiences and how you show up completely shift. Over time we change how we view the world, change who we think we are, change who we think other people are.

[16:50] And because perception is reality, we start to change everything about our reality for us, even when nothing around us has actually changed. And as a side note, as we record this in 2022, still in the pandemic, this is crucial.

[17:10] There is also so much research that’s coming out now about the mind-body connection, about our abilities to heal, cure disease, and to live literally a healthier life through the power of our brains and our thoughts on our bodies.

[17:27] So although “it’s all in our head”, what the research is showing is that our mind has a profound effect on not only what we’re thinking, but on how we’re feeling and on how we’re physically showing up. It literally can change everything. And we’ve also seen evidence that things around us, outside of us, also shift.

[17:50] Have any of you ever had that experience where you “put the message out to the universe” and then all of a sudden it’s as if someone heard you and it was answered? You wanted that speaking opportunity, and voila, you get an email from someone looking for a last-minute fill in. Or you open yourself up to trying new things and someone reaches out to hire you for something that’s in your wheelhouse but a little out of your comfort zone.

[18:18] Last January I decided to make guest speaking a focus and priority in 2021. And speaking in general, it was part of what brought me to all of you, and to putting this podcast out there. But I had committed to making guest speaking a priority. Out of nowhere, I will never forget it, I was sitting at my desk on a cold and snowy January morning and I got an email from a friend of mine, saying that NBC10 was looking for a guest speaker and asked if I would join a segment on their Mom2Mom show. I literally thought it was a crank call and maybe they had mixed me up with another Jessica Miller. But through the sweating and heart palpitations I went, and it was amazing. I met new people, created a whole new network with the crew (they are amazing down there on NBC10 btw, you should all check out the Mom2Mom show with Maria Sansone. It’s fantastic!) and I had so much fun and grew so much in those moments.   

[19:25] And here’s the magic of it all, of focusing on today and believing that what you’re doing now, in this moment, really matters. Whether it’s the money or the actions you take or the thoughts you shift, where the biggest impact is for people, and I see this over and over with my clients, is who they become as a result of these tiny changes. What they come to understand about themselves and what they are capable of, and what they can create, from recommitting each day to the small things that are the building blocks of the much bigger things and the much bigger dreams that they want.

[20:09] At the end of the day all we have is what’s in this moment. All we have control over is this very moment. Not a minute from now, not five minutes from now, not five minutes ago, not yesterday – RIGHT NOW. In this moment. What you’re doing today matters.

And this is available to all of you too. Each and every single person listening to this podcast.

And what I promise you will find is that with small, consistent changes that you make, starting right now – today – in this moment – is that you can truly be and have whatever you want in this world. Just by making a few tweaks today, and each day of your life.