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Quantum success is exciting. A diet that shreds 20 lbs in a month. The 90 yard punt return. The extreme makeover (emphasis on extreme) or the "overnight successful business."
But massive success doesn't happen independently nor quickly, but rather it is the result of tiny, daily improvements. Jim Collins calls this the flywheel. Many tiny good efforts over time (think patience) constitute unstoppable success. The Japanese call this incremental improvement, combined with patience, Kai zen. Companies like Toyota and Sony have used Kai zen for years to create incredibly successful products such as the Lexus and the Walkman.
Likewise our small, daily financial decisions can add up to a lifetime of financial success.
For example you want to save for a dream vacation. What should you do?
1. Plan the cost.
2. Search the destination's attractions.
3. Study and brainstorm what inexpensive ways it can be had.
4. Eliminate any spending that doesn't help with your goal.
The quantum change comes when all of your little efforts create enough momentum to get your dream vacation within a few months after setting the goal.
Similarly massive failure happens after many, small changes. This is called dwindling.
Dwindling is similar to kai zen in that they both embrace slow, small changes. But dwindling means small changes for the worse.
- Failing to track money daily.
- Routinely forgetting to take 20 seconds to check our bank account.
- Never consulting with our spouse about a purchasing decision.
- Ignoring creditors.
- Avoiding mail.
- Eating-out too much.
Never underestimate the power of little choices to create quantum success.
For good or bad.