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Life has so many components, from going to school to being a successful professional, hanging out with friends in high school to creating a family, and playing with toys as a kid to taking vacations as an adult. (Well, I don’t think men actually ever give up the toys!) To fully appreciate all life has to offer, one must often endure stress and take care of the small stuff.

If one wants to build a brick house, he or she has to lay each brick carefully and make sure there are no mistakes. It is both looking at each brick and looking at the totality of the house, not to mention everything in between. A successful marriage is not about taking off to Paris, it’s about first making sure that both partners are communicating and getting their needs met. Being a good parent is not about buying a child the latest and greatest toy, it’s about instilling good values, ensuring that their children are on the right path to becoming contributing members of society (and sometimes being the bad guy).

I am a big Lakers fan and what impresses me about Kobe Bryant is the fact that he is frequently the first one out there shooting free throws. He can easily rest on his accomplishments, but he wants more and is never satisfied.

Once I came into the office on a Thursday and saw my business cell phone was out of battery. So I plugged it into the charger and for some reason I didn’t turn it on. I was out of the office Friday so I did not check my messages until Saturday. It turned out that I missed a very important call regarding a potential speaking engagement that I assumed needed to be returned right away. I was excited to get this particular message because it was a huge milestone in my company. I could not wait to return the call, and was pretty disappointed in myself that I did not check my messages more often or I did not carry the phone around.

The call came from the East Coast, so on Monday morning before my manager got into the office, at precisely 6:00 a.m., I had my father return the call and relay that I was available to do the speech and that my manager would call back to discuss the details when she arrived at work. When we called, they made a great point to mention that they were impressed I called so early in the morning. Honestly, I made the phone call because I was a little bit paranoid but, deep down, mostly because sometimes we have to sweat the small stuff.

Like I said before, life is made up of many parts and I believe that truly successful people do agonize over the small stuff. One of my mistakes in the beginning of my career was not focusing on the minutia of making phone calls each and every day, which for a speaker is like Kobe shooting free throws. It’s tedious, boring, and I even feel bad asking my manager to get on the phone, but now I understand that that’s what is going to get me booked and on the road. There are times when we are having a wonderful conversation about marketing and we both love talking about planning. In these times, we both agree that we have to stop talking about success and focus on actually making it happen.

Timelapse - Lighthouse (Oct 2012) from IMK Digital Multimedia on Vimeo.

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