Research has shown that of all forms of human motivation the most effective one is progress. Why is that? Well I’m glad you asked… It’s because a small, concrete win creates momentum and affirms our faith in our further success.

This is both simple and profound. You could say it’s common sense. Indeed it is but one of my early mentors used to say ‘Common sense isn’t very common.’ And I’ve found that to be true over the years myself. I’d add to it that most people disregard the ‘common sense’ stuff as too simple. They write it off as being insignificant. When in fact all these simple truths put in to practice are what brings about success in any endeavor. Most people would rather chase unicorns, fruitlessly hunting for exciting, sexy, new shiny objects and trendy ideas that will magically solve all their problems. Unfortunately, that doesn’t exist. Common sense may not get your heart racing but it works.

So, back to progress being the most effective motivation. Why is this relevant to you and your independent optician practice? First and most importantly is YOUR OWN MOTIVATION and desire to improve and grow your practice. Without you sustaining your own motivation nothing will change. Your motivation is the driver of change in your practice. And you need to realise that the most effective source you have for your own motivation is progress.

Progress is your goal not perfection. Don’t allow yourself to focus on all the things that you have not done or not figured out yet. Don’t wallow in self-pity and get over-whelmed at the magnitude of the task at hand. Or the thousands of steps between where you are now and where you want to be. No. Focus on the next step. That is progress. Make your goal to make continual progress on many fronts and as quickly and frequently as possible. Don’t beat yourself up about how long everything seems to take either. That won’t serve you. If that’s your problem make your goal to go faster. Don’t obsess over taking your practice from 0mph to 100mph in 1 month. That won’t work. Instead worry about going from 10mph to 20mph. That’s progress. Then go to 30mph. Build momentum.

A former Stanford professor of psychology, Henry Eyring wrote “My experience has taught me this about how people and organisations improve: the best place to look is for small changes we could make in the things we do often. There is power in steadiness and repetition.”

OSA has been growing strongly over the last 8 years but the fact is members do quit. Some quit after 3 months. Some after 12 months. One even quit after 2 weeks. These practice owners are the ones chasing unicorns. They are looking for magic and miracles. They are not interested in making small improvements in the things they do often. The best thing YOU can do for yourself and your practice is to fall in love with PROGRESS.