Vail Valley: Pay attention to the little things |

Vail Valley: Pay attention to the little things

Michael Norton
Vail, CO, Colorado

Were you ever doing something so routine – something you have done hundreds or even thousands of times before – and then got just a little distracted? If lucky, you experienced a near-miss or close call. If you weren’t so lucky, hopefully the damage was minimal.

It happened to me again while skiing in Beaver Creek this past week. I was cruising down Larkspur, a run I have skied at least a couple hundred times over the past 10 years, and just started thinking about everything other than skiing. I was adrift, deep in a daydream, on autopilot and before I could say “wipeout” my tips were crossed and I found myself angling sideways, one leg in the air trying to save my pride and avoid the cartwheel and yard sale. This time I was lucky, it was a near miss and I pulled myself together just in time to remain upright. This time.

Isn’t it the same for all areas of life? Disregarding the details, the little things, or losing focus for just a split second could create problems and possibly disaster. Taking things for granted, being complacent or nonchalant causes us to take risks that could otherwise be avoided if we simply paid more attention to each task, job, action, relationship, or person in our lives.

Take the time to get refocused and we will be amazed at how the little things in life can positively impact and influence the most important aspects of our life. Do we have employees who could use a shot of appreciation and recognition? Have we scrutinized our budgets for the small items and opportunities that could make or save us more money? Do we assume our loved ones know how much we care and love them, do we tell or show them each and every day, several times a day? What are all those little things that we did personally and professionally that created success for us in the past, and are we still doing them?

For all of us in sales, we know how fierce the competition can be. Paying attention to our customers, focusing on them, their needs, and their goals while applying our attention to their details will separate us from the pack.

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It is so easy to get caught up in winning the game or the end result that we forget all the hard work, planning and preparation, dedication and commitment, and the focused attention to detail required to succeed.

Sometimes it’s OK to daydream and cruise for a while, but putting our personal and professional lives on autopilot will never yield a more profitable business or stronger, healthier, and happier relationships. We have to live and be in the moments of our lives.

As you begin the New Year, commit to the people in your life. Put that extra effort into paying attention to the little things, and you will experience success like you have never known. How do you focus on the details and little things? Tell me about it at and make it a better than good week.

Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker, and CEO of He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.

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