There’s this great story about Jerry Seinfeld and his writing discipline. He bought one of those big, old school desk calendars and hung it on his wall. Every day that he wrote, he would draw a red “X” on that that day.
Seinfeld’s goal was to link together as many days as possible without breaking the chain.
This is the difference between a discipline and goal. A discipline is something you do every day, without fail, forever and ever.
I write here daily; the last break was in August, 2010 when I took 13 days off while I was in Tibet visiting base camp on Mount Everest. Had I known how well China Mobile worked in the Himalayas, I would have published on those days as well. With sensory overload from Tibet, there would have been no missed days.
I never want to break the chain. Writing is one of my disciplines.
You can miss a day of prospecting, and it may not hurt your overall sales results. But prospecting is a discipline, not a goal. It’s the kind of activity that produces the outcomes that make it worth your not allowing a break in the chain.
Some other endeavors that are disciplines include following up on your existing clients and nurturing your dream client. The chain might not be daily when it comes to either of these endeavors, but linking together activities that are completed without exception is how you produce outsized sales results. Maybe you follow-up with your existing clients monthly, building a chain of 12 activities taken without failure.
When it comes to nurturing maybe you send a message of value to your dream clients six times in 13 weeks; without a break, and without a missing a commitment.
Goals are important. You need a target because you need to know what you’re aiming for so that you don’t drift. The way you actually reach your goals is with discipline. You reach your goals by not allowing break in the chain.