Have You Forgotten This Key To Success?

Everyone online is looking for the key to success.  Like everyone who has been trying to make a living online for any length of time, I find myself on several people’s mailing lists.  And from time to time, I really connect with someone, their way of thinking or their writing style or both.  And when one of these people sends me an email, I tend to hear what they’re saying. 
And one such email from Martin Avis made me remember what EVERY coach and mentor has ever told me about the most important key to success… and what I seem to forget every day.
Martin told the (apparently) true story of what happened in 1930 when Ivy Lee, a young management consultant approached Charles Schwab, the head of American Bethlehem Steel and one of America’s toughest businessmen.  Lee claimed he could improve the efficiency of Schwab’s company by 50% just by implementing one simple technique.  

Lee said if Schwab would get his company’s executives to implement the technique religiously for one month, he would give the advice initially free of charge.  Schwab could pay Lee whatever he thought it was worth at the end of the month.  A deal was struck.

At the end of the month, Schwab paid Lee $25,000 – over $275,000 in today’s money!

And the piece of advice?  

“Write down the most important things you have to do tomorrow.  Now, number them in the order of their true importance. The first thing tomorrow morning, start working on an item Number 1, and stay with it until completed. Then take item Number 2 the same way. Then Number 3, and so on. Don’t worry if you don’t complete everything on the schedule. At least you will have completed the most important projects before getting to the less important ones.”

It is simplistic advice indeed. 

And comes in many guises – I have blogged before about the importance of “pushing one car at a time“.  It can be summed up in one word.


Do one thing until you have got it going.  Then do the next thing on your list.  Schwab valued it so highly.  It works.  It brings results.  So why do so many people (myself included) still forget to do it?