Success Leaves Clues

I looked at him and said, “I could really use a win right now.”  How would you describe a win, he asked. I went on to account for big, momentous moments that left an indelible impression.

Big success, fancy experiences, or moments when I felt like I could touch the sun. As I recounted these stories to JD, I realized I described events that took a long time to create, or even happen.

Sure, I defined a win but failed to account for how much time and effort that win required.  There were hundreds of tiny wins leading to the big win, but I never documented them.

Much like grains of sand, I let them slip through my hands, forgetting what each represented: HOPE.

I once met with a business coach and he told me success leaves clues, so a few weeks ago I started to collect clues, or what I called small wins. Whatever happened–no matter how small–I’d add them to a list.

No, really, I placed a large piece of white paper behind my office door where I kept a running list of wins.

  • Having the courage to request an email introduction.
  • Potential collaborations.
  • Arranging a meeting with somebody I deeply respect.
  • A brainstorming session with a friend.
  • Conversations about equity deals.
  • Strategically building toward dream partnerships.

While these are not locked-in deals, contracts, or achievements, they’re the start of possibility.

I never want to forget the small moments that (slowly) become the big moments.  Or maybe they DON’T, but simply looking at a mounting list of gratitude serves as proof that we’re doing the work.

The courageous work to build a new idea.  The humble work of squashing a project.  The hopeful work of growth, despite the odds stacked against us.

I hope the same for you.  Nah, let’s do one better: Can you keep a list of small wins?  It’ll create a path that leads to your future success.

Success leaves clues,