Just Do Something (Issue 1133)

In which we are reminded that doing “one” of something important is better than doing “none”.

When I was 12 years old, I could do 100 sit ups. I could reliably run a mile in a little under nine minutes. I could throw a softball 90 yards. Not world-class fitness but pretty good.

Not so good now.

So, after happy decades in which I took my body for granted, I’m investing time each day in stretching; I’m investing time a couple of days a week for resistance training; and I’m investing time roughly every day to some form of cardiac stimulation.

And, then there’s my belly, my core.

If you go to YouTube or Instagram and search for “core” or “abs” exercises, there are hundreds of videos promoting one or another set of exercises. I picked one to start, ten 30-second exercises, a five-minute intensive workout for the abs.

The first day, I learned that, at the pace demonstrated by the flawless 20-year-old in the video, the best I could do was about 12 seconds of the planned 30 seconds for each exercise…. and those left my belly burning white-hot.

The second day, my belly creaked when I started the first exercise, the “V-Up”, and volubly pleaded for mercy when I started the bicycle crunches. I couldn’t get to even eight seconds of work.

Several years ago, I sat in a bank client’s conference room watching a Regional Sales Manager with his team. To reach their business development goals, his team had been living off “internal referrals” – leads provided by others in their bank – rather than developing their pipelines of new business through networking and other techniques.

Months before, I had helped the Regional Sales Manager introduce and launch with his sales team a structured, measured, strategic network-building playbook process. As we sat in the meeting, it became clear that only one of his sales team members had committed to the process. Everyone else had a reason “why they hadn’t” and “why they couldn’t” because they were too busy with other bank responsibilities.

At that point, the Regional Sales Manager stood up, looked at his team for a moment, and said, quietly, “Just…do….SOMETHING.”

As I was lifting my legs to begin the “knee up crunches” and thinking I should really take a break, get up, and check my email, I remembered that moment. “Just…do… something.”

One is better than none. If you can’t do twelve seconds of crunches (or network contacts), do eight, If you can’t do eight, do five. If you can’t do five, do one. Just do something.

Nick Miller is President of Clarity Advantage based in Concord, MA. He assists banks and credit unions to generate more and more profitable relationships, faster, with business clients, their owners, and their employees through better sales strategies and execution. Additional articles on Clarity’s web site.

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