The Power of Consistency

Consistency is a necessary ingredient in success. It’s strange, because most people do not seem to know its true power.

Whenever I start a project there’s that initial excitement that always keeps me going for weeks to sometimes months.

When it wears off things can get rough, that is when you truly want to know you’re doing something you love.

I don’t even want to count the amount of projects I’ve started and given up after the initial steam.

Even when you’re passionate about something, you still have to whip out your discipline to keep going through the dips. When you get through that first valley, the results can sometimes be quite amazing.

How long does it take? That’s a hard question, because there are no set time limits in the universe. You can start a blog about a subject you love, run out of steam after one month – while still loving what you do – and have to just go through the motions for six months before things start picking up.

So often with blogs you lose your initial motivation when you see that no one is reading what you’re writing, but it all comes back as you put in the work and after six months you start seeing hundreds of people coming to appreciate your reading every single day.

The 4 Laws of Consistency

1. Discipline. Having a well-trained discipline muscle comes in handy when you run out of steam, as I said above. You can build your discipline in many ways. A few things I like to do is do any chores that pop into my head, such as taking out the garbage, washing the dishes or whatever else you might think of. Of course, I’m not flawless and often fail to do these things (okay, okay… extremely often ;)), but when you push yourself just a little bit more each time, your discipline muscle grows.

2. Patience. We live in a quick-fix society. I consider myself to be a very impatient man, but I overcome this by figuring out a realistic time-frame for what I can expect with the amount of work I am putting in. It’s hard to arrive at exact answers, but a ballpark figure always helps. For example, if you’re starting a blog in a good niche, you can expect anywhere from 12-24 months until things start happening, if you work hard.

3. Taking Action. Taking action and doing stuff that matters has to be one of the biggest secrets of success. It’s tough and it’s grueling at times, but that is why you want to do something you’re passionate about. If you love what you do, you’ll enjoy the process so much more. Working your ass off in a bank would kill my soul, but working on this blog day and night just gives me more energy, because I know where I’m heading. So don’t just sit on your ass, take action and be consistent!

4. Focus. You have to take action, but you cannot just take random action. It has to be on tasks that matter. Remember the pareto principle? 20% of the tasks you do are responsible for 80% of your success. When it comes to blogs, a few tasks I’m focusing on right now are writing content, making connections and guest posting. Outsource as much as you can so you can focus on the truly important things.

Enjoy the Process

Being unhappy until you reach your goals is a bad way to go through life. That’s why you should focus on having goals that enhance your life right now. It always comes back to doing something you’re passionate about, doesn’t it?

Interesting how that works. Millions of blogs are started all the time and most of them just die a slow death, because people think they can make a quick buck blogging. Being passionate about making more money doesn’t last. Find something that does.

The 4 Effects of Consistency

1. The hockey stick. The funny thing is that progress usually doesn’t happen in a linear fashion, so you might see 100 daily readers on your blog on month 3, but on month 4 something happens and one of your articles goes viral. Now on month 5 you suddenly have 500 readers. It’s the hockey stick effect in action. You never know when it will smack you in the face.

2. Passion. The number one benefit of being consistent has to be being able to follow your passion and even make a living doing it. I’m not one of those people that believe everyone can make a living just following their passion. There’s a lot more to it than that, but I do believe if people work hard – or even partner with someone who knows what they are doing – they can succeed quite brilliantly.

3. Value. The more consistent you are, the more people you reach and the more value you are able to give. My goal is to help and connect with as many individual souls as possible in the coming year. As more and more people read, comment and e-mail me, I feel better and better. It’s an awesome feeling, especially for me since I’ve come from playing poker to make lots of money to writing this blog and focusing entirely on helping you, the reader, rock your life.

4. Results. We all want results. We want more readers. We want more connections. We want more love. We want more things. And some of us even want more money. There’s nothing wrong with that. We all have our paths to follow. Consistently doing the right things leads to amazing results. How can you know what the right things are? Find someone who’s doing what you want to do and model them.

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Comments

  1. I think you hit on one of the key points of anything we do in our lives. Consistency is the key to success in everything. For me, I know that if I don’t surf for 3-4 days in a row, the first day back is always challenging. But on the days that I’ve done 4-5 days straight I’m surfing at the best of my abilities.

    • That’s exactly the way it is for me too. I’ve been reading a lot of your posts and I’ve noticed that you’re currently in almost the same phase I am now. Focus + Passion + Action. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Great thoughts on consistency and it’s value in realizing our dreams. One thing that helps me to build consistency is setting boundaries and scheduling my time. The pattern of doing certain things at certain times is very powerful. I only started my blog about a month ago but already when 10am rolls around i find myself needing to be working on my next post.

    One thing i have realized recently in that being consistent can build passion. My writing started as a tool to help myself change, now however the writing in and of it’s self has become a passion of mine.

    • Yeah keeping a schedule works for a lot of people. I myself am not using one right at the moment. I would probably be more efficient with one, but I don’t resonate with it right now. Do what feels best and the results will follow.

  3. Great post, Henri. I too believe that slow and steady wins the race. The problem is we’re constantly being sold romantic notions about passion and drive almost to the point that there might be something wrong with us if we start a project without that initial uncontainable enthusiasm. And to feed that problem, there’s enough among us to buy into it hook line and sinker. But alas, selling consistency doesn’t sound exciting and yet, as you say, a necessary ingredient to success.

    • I completely agree with you, Belinda. It’s easy to read sales letters promising you fast success, even though they require just as much work as anything else. A lot of people are hopping from one thing to the next, which is preventing them from focusing and really “making it” online.

  4. Hi Henri.

    Good call there about our discipline muscle. The more you and I use it, the more we are able to maintain it. I see high value in self-discipline, and only the winners are able to implement it, while others ignore it. It takes a lot to maintain it.

    On that note about patience, I do agree, but also have an addition for those who are short on patience. They can put some powerful actions in place right now to get quicker results. No one should need that much patience, as that time can be spent putting out more energy. Big results can come in hours to those who are demanding.

    Well laid out post here.

    • Thanks for commenting, Armen. I do agree that from one standpoint you do not really need patience, but if you’re looking for monetary gains then you definitely need to take action while also having patience. Thanks for your awesome thoughts!

  5. In fact it’s not an easy thing to be consistent as we human is more than easy to lose our focus unless we had trained ourselves to face that matter.

    I love the 4 laws of consistency that you’d mentioned above. A nice thing to be practiced. Thanks!

    • Consistency is not easy, that’s a fact. Whenever we lose focus, we can only jump back on and keep going. Thanks for your thoughts!

  6. Great blog post Henri! I totally agree that consistency is crucial for success. And as you say, focus is key. Sometimes it’s what I struggle with, trying to focus on one or a few things. But if you do, with the passion, consistency, and commitment you mention, results will come.

    I didn’t know you also maintain a blog (sort of stumbled on it thru Pat’s blog). You are indeed a machine! :-)

    • Thanks for stopping by, Anand! I just started this blog a short while ago. Results are inevitable if you are consistent!

  7. Brett - DareToExpress.com says:

    Solid post, Henri. I especially loved that you highlighted enjoying the process – because if we don’t enjoy the process, we won’t be consistent. Simple as that. Most of the time, we’re actually on a plateau – the flat part of the hockey stick. We have to learn to love the plateau if we’re going to stay in the game and see real improvement.

    Have a great day!

    • Funny you should mention that. I actually thought right after I wrote this that I have to write another one just on the plateu, which is where we spend most of our time, just like you said. Awesome comment, Brett!

  8. Henri, discipline is what I need to commit to more in 2010!! Also keeping the ‘big rocks’ in my life first and let the other stuff fit in later.. It takes me awhile to get a rhythm but once I do and it becomes a habit I’m good to go.. I have to keep reminding myself that baby steps are okay otherwise perfectionism gets in the way,.. many blessings to you into 2010! ~Jenn

    • Perfectionism can creep in easily. I have to keep reminding myself to take small steps and do my best. Thanks Jen!

  9. Great post Henri,
    I couldn’t have said the thing about quick-fixes better myself. We are living in a world where quick-fixes are something that people want. Each and every day it seems as people are getting more lazy. “Can’t I just take this pill to lose 10 pounds?” It doesn’t work like that. Therefore I would add: realization. It’s important to stay real and actually understand the process. If we have no direction and no feeling of what is possible and what’s not, then the process will become excruciating. The others steps in regards to making ones dream come true are so true. The hockey stick is really important. It’s the purpose of struggling even when it seems there are no benefits. Then suddenly the “aha” moment or “yes” moment appears. It might take a long time but the wait is worth it.

    By the way – I found this website through ScottHYoung’s – great content in here!
    Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks, Anders! :)

      It’s all about embracing the plateau. We’ll spend most of our time there anyway, so why not just enjoy it? This is why it might be good to pick something you enjoy doing, so you won’t get sick of it when you run into all those challenges.

  10. Thank you for the great post, fellow Finn. I like the way you addressed the topic of “enjoying the process”.

    In many—if not most—cases, people are working toward a goal or a certain state of being. One might decide to take up cross-country skiing to lose the extra meat he gained over the holidays. Or another person might start weightlifting because he wants to look like John Matrix from Commando. In both cases, the goal is to reach a different state of being.

    But the thing is, if there is no passion when the action (skiing or weightlifting) is taking place, it will easily start to feel like a chore. We have to learn how to develop passion for the activity if we want to be consistent in the long run. This means that we should enjoy the process, as you said, and not focus too much on the end result. When the activity becomes a passion, the activity itself will become the goal, and the rest will naturally take care of itself.

    • There is great truth in your words, Eric. If you love what you do then the results will come effortlessly. If you don’t love weight-lifting, then you really should consider finding something that resonates with you, which in turn will help you lose weight, keep it off and stay healthy (and happy). Thanks a lot for stopping by!

  11. Excellent post on consistency. I’ve applied it to many things in my life and have produced great results. Consistency is key. Great share Henri.

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