I often enjoy the newsletter, which recently included an excerpt from Sharon LaBelle’s book The Art of Living, which distilled Epictetus’s The Virtuous Are Consistent as follows:

To live a life of virtue, you have to become consistent, even when it isn’t convenient, comfortable, or easy. 

It is incumbent that your thoughts, words, and deeds match up. This is a higher standard than that held by the mob. . . When your thoughts, words, and deeds form a seamless fabric, you streamline your efforts and thus eliminate worry and dread. In this way, it is easier to seek goodness than to conduct yourself in a haphazard fashion or according to the feelings of the moment. . . 

It’s so simple really: If you say you’re going to do something, do it. If you start something, finish it.” 

(Emphasis added.)

Consistency in any field builds on itself and builds momentum. And momentum creates at least part of the streamlining referred to in LaBelle’s summary of The Virtuous Are Consistent.

So here’s this week’s question: when it comes to business development, how consistent are you? Do you yield when it isn’t convenient, comfortable, or easy to carry through with the plans you’ve set for yourself? If so, what’s one step you could take today to shift that pattern? Can you…

  • Make the follow-up call?
  • Start the article and lay plans so you’ll also finish it?
  • Finally launch that blog or video blog or podcast you’ve been thinking about?
  • Figure out what you’ll say when you introduce yourself, or when someone asks who your ideal client is?
  • Draft (or revise) your bio sketch so that it reflects not just what you’ve done, but also what sets you apart from others in your field?

Chances are that you have a list (at least a mental list) of those nagging tasks that you’ve allowed to slide through the cracks. A lot of mental and emotional energy goes into avoiding what has to be done, so stop dropping the ball. Here’s how:

  1. Develop a list of your must-do activities. They may include repetition or they may be one-offs, but you have to be clear about what’s included. Maintain the list in a form that allows you to add and remove tasks as necessary.
  2. Set a specific time for your business development activity. I recommend daily activity so that you won’t be thrown too far off track if you miss one appointment. Consistency, however, is the key.
  3. Keep your appointments with yourself. Even (maybe especially) when you don’t want to.
  4. Design accountability for yourself. You can buddy up with a colleague, share your promises with your mentor, use an app, or just use the Seinfeld “don’t break the chain” method on a calendar. How you do it is much less important than that you do it.
  5. Start small. Don’t decide that you’ll do everything on your list if you’ve been letting things slide. Pick one key action and do that consistently, then add on. Just like deciding to jump off the sofa and hit the gym for two hours every day when you haven’t done any meaningful exercise in three years is destined to fail, grandiose business development plans tend not to stick. 

What can you do today to develop consistency in actions that will build your practice? What are you waiting for?

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply