PART 2 of 2. By IPC’s Helen Doick
Since sharing my thoughts last month on ‘not focusing on the goal’, I have had an incredible amount of responses to this. Interestingly, an overwhelming number of people have also felt a great understanding of the ‘journey’ and how you make that journey full of smooth and easy habit-forming actions that lead to success, which has altered drastically in their mindset since COVID. Responses involved hugely simplifying things and being less fixated on what was previously a guide to achievement or business performance. I absolutely could not agree more. Pre Covid was there a tendency to overthink and make our strategies for improving business harder for ourselves, with the goals and protocols to get there sometimes unnecessarily creating more friction and a hindrance. Maybe too many outdated attitudes of how ‘things should be done?’ Quite possibly! One of the most poignant conversations I have had is how changes to personal life are creating better steps for business life (a positive of COVID). We have seemed to force an attitude of stiffness when looking to improve success by using business measures that everyone else is using ( because they are told to), but to me it seems obvious that reducing friction in all aspects of life (which are right for your goals) will allow for a better journey and reaching our destinations. 2020 seemingly facilitated society finally having recognition of ‘humanity’ and the need to be less uptight about the little things that do not matter and dropping some of those pre-conceived ideas of how ‘we must perform in ‘business’. This seems to have reduced some of the grinding traction including where we work and in turn, reside and the lifestyle balance we were looking for, how and where we perform comms and work activities, giving more trust, freedom, and productivity. We seem to be moving along a little better!!
“What happens if it takes you a whole lifetime to make your first million? No matter how hard you work or how focused you are, most goals are affected by external factors. Pinning your happiness on them means putting it in the hands of someone else”- Linda Murray, Coach and Mindset consultant at Athena Coaching.
The original purpose of me sharing my thoughts about goals was the new journey we embarked on for IPC last year, its development, and in turn, launching: Your Project Your Way. Well, we certainly looked at many factors within the business and what needed improving. However, it was the discovery of James Clear’s ‘Aggregation of Marginal Gains’, that for me was the turning point to how we improve our service in a valuable and permanent way. The Aggregation of Marginal Gains is the concept of making small 1% improvements over time, which is more noticeable once aggregated in the long term. We looked at changing and mastering each smaller aspect of the business. Each service we provide to artists, clients, and agencies and how we better those services one step at a time, how can we reduce friction for our clients when it comes to working on a campaign and delivering production and integrated content to them, improving the functionality of the website, reducing friction internally for the team in our marketing strategy and process, use of automation and client relationship management systems. Ways to measure and reflect on what we are doing, all have become the increments to bettering IPC and its production services and platform for freelance artists. By commencing this journey the most important thing I have discovered for IPC is in fact there is no real ‘Goal’ per se. It’s a long-term journey of 1% steps with smaller gains and victories that are really the most tangible part of success.
“But what you learn along the way to success is more important than the achievement itself. The real key to sustaining success is acknowledging and embracing those smaller steps, milestones, victories, and habits we develop on the journey. After all, a destination is just one step in a journey that never ends, and who wants to stop there?” Szu-Chi Huang and Jennifer Aaker from fastcompany.com
Clears concept of ‘Aggregation of Marginal Gains’, really is the backbone to all successes. Not only has it become my method for developing IPC, but I have been witness to its backbone in all facets of life. Recently I took part in the Ultra Australia Marathon in the Blue Mountains, NSW. I myself did not run one of the ultra distances (only 11km for me), but my dear friend Jackie did. She entered the 100km and it was her first time doing so. Jackie is 72. Now not only did she finish, but she finished first in her category. The finish line was an overwhelming experience, I cried and I know everyone else did that day too. But when I asked her about the mental game she played over the 28 hours of gruelly mountain terrain, she said:
“I never thought about the finish line, it was the small little checkpoints along the way, each stop and step being 1% nearer to the end”.