Vail Daily column: Inching our way to success |

Vail Daily column: Inching our way to success

Michael Norton
Climbing to Success

I’m sure you have heard the old joke about how to eat an elephant, and obviously the answer is “one bite at a time.”

It seems like many of the people and companies I work with lately seem to be looking for a quick win or faster gains. They are looking for the grand slam or home run instead of the singles and doubles of work and life. Intuitively we know that to achieve lasting success more often than not there is a journey involved. We can even see the road or path that we will need to travel in order to succeed, and yet we still try to find a way to get there sooner.

For some it’s only about the destination. For others it’s about the experiences along the way that provide fun and satisfaction.

Zig Ziglar used to tell a few stories when trying to illustrate the point of making radical changes in small steps. And one of my favorite short stories he often shared was about how hurricanes, tornadoes and floods get all the attention but termites do more damage each year, proving that radical changes can be made in very small bites.

We call it inching our way to success. If we want to lose weight sometimes we think we should be able to drop 20 pounds over night. But those who understand lasting success realize that the better approach is to focus on losing small amounts of weight until the goal is reached.

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Companies looking to increase revenue understand that this is something that doesn’t happen over night either. They recognize that in order to make those gains, they must train their staff, plan, improve processes that create efficiencies and work from a strategic plan that can be executed.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are some things that result in a quick win. And those wins are awesome. But those events don’t happen often. So when we get our hearts and heads around the fact that true sustainable success comes as we do the small things consistently, take positive steps everyday towards our goals and objectives, and recognize that when we are inching our way to success we are actually positioning ourselves for those bigger wins and gain that will happen over time.

How about you? Are you all about the destination and the big win? Or are you more about the journey and a sustainable plan that will ultimately lead to your success. Either way, I would love to hear all about it at, and as we inch our way to success, it really will be a better than good week.

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

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