The 1% Solution

There is a 1% rule of thumb in social media.  According to Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba who coined the phrase “1% rule,” out of every one hundred users on let’s say Facebook, 1 person will create all the content and posts and the other 99 will read it, react to it, but not become involved in any significant way.  That is a completely staggering statistic, but one that provides a huge opportunity for that one person out of 100.

And so it is the same in business.  Out of every 100 people, only 1 is proactive in reaching out in some way every day, while the other 99, react, wait for an opportunity to present itself out of coincidence or luck, or both.  However, it also presents a huge opportunity for that one out of 100 that is proactive.

There is another adage in business involving one percent: “Improve your business by one percent everyday.”  Now there is no possible way to determine what one percent of your business ACTUALLY is, but the theory is compelling and can improve your capacity to create business dramatically.

If you are a singer, I assume you practice everyday you are not working. A lighting technician, will hopefully be spending time everyday in pursuit of researching new lighting techniques and equipment.  A dancer goes to class. But, what are you doing everyday to bring in more business?

Just as you hone your craft everyday (at least by 1%,) you need to hone your business chops everyday… by 1%.  This generally means: Do at least one thing, one call, one email, spend time working on goals (I’ll cover that in depth in a latter post,) even just developing a general plan of attacking new work.  The object though is undertaking AT LEAST one thing.

Personally, I carve two hours out of my day, to work on new business and business opportunities that are diversifications of my core craft which is running an agency.  I conquered the 1% rule some time ago and now split my time 70% core business, 30% new business.  I’ve found that most of the 30% I execute off business hours, but the beauty of technology is that now more than ever it is possible to do. It extends the day and can be used whenever the inspiration strikes.

Consider this:  If you were to commit to improving your business by only 1% per day, after one year you would have improved your business 365%!!  Even if you take holidays, some weekends and a vacation off, you are somewhere in the range of a 300% improvement!!

Where to start?  Today, sit down and write a list of everyone you can think of that you know in the business.  Put their emails next to their names if you have them.  Go WAY past the people you know well.  Aquaintances are fine, writing their names down will help you think of other people you do know well and some you’ve forgotten about.  Plus, there will be situations that come up down the road that may shed them in a new light.  Create this master list and you will find a myriad of uses for it.  Build it and update it monthly.  If you do this on your computer, make sure you have a written copy also, as it quickly becomes an irreplaceable document.

Once you’ve built this phone book, I challenge you to contact someone from it everyday.  Phone, email, Facebook. Whatever.  Take one step at a time and you will find soon enough, that you will contact more than one each day.  It becomes a habit and it gives you great confidence in yourself and your ability to reach out.

Try it. No, do it!!  As Yoda said, “There is no try, there is only do or do not!”


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