Everything we know, everything we do consists of fundamentals.
Language consists of the letters of the alphabet, basic sounds and pronunciation. Arithmetic consists of numbers and the basics of adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing. Any task, any effort, however complex or involved, can be reduced to the fundamental principles and functions of which it consists.
I’ve intentionally used the word “consists” several times, as it is the root of the first CPR principle – Consistency. Just as everything – EVERYTHING – consists of fundamentals
- Fundamental concepts
- Fundamental principles
- Fundamental elements
- Fundamental techniques
– “consistency ” is the first — in fact, the fundamental — component of Small Business CPR.
At its most basic, the dictionary definition of Consistency is
- always acting or behaving the same way
- adhering to the same principles, course (of action), form, etc.
- the way a substance holds together
- of the same quality: especially – good each time
Hmmm… that may seem like a lot of different definitions, but when you consider it, when we say that something or someone is “consistent “, especially in a business sense, we usually mean all of those things, don’t we? We mean that the person or thing will pretty much be the same, time after time.
And we kind of assume that this… well, consistency , is based on some underlying principles or standards. And when we say “consistent“, we usually mean that the quality of the thing, in the case of a product – or of the person, in the case of a service – is not just acceptable, but is good each time.
So you can see why “consistency” is the first – and most important – element or principle of Small Business CPR. Which is all well and good… but how do you and I get from understanding consistency, to achieving it on a (I am sooo sorry for this) consistent basis…?
Breaking it Down
It’s actually quite easy to understand how consistency works — at least in theory. Like most fundamentals, it’s not very complicated. Neither is basic multiplication: but remember how tough memorizing those “times tables” were (do people still memorize multiplication tables in this age of “calculators everywhere”?).
Here’s the “quick and dirty” on achieving consistency, regardless of what you do or how long you’ve been doing it. You simply list every task required to do everything you need to do to conduct your business, making sure you haven’t left out anything essential, and then make sure you always do every task, every time.
Sounds simple… but not so easy, right? Just like multiplication, or riding a bike, driving a manual transmission automobile or many of the things we now do with ease that once seemed quite formidable. The mere thought of compiling the list of EVERY TASK is enough to immobilize most of us with “analysis paralysis“; but the good news is that we don’t have to do it all at once.
How do We Get There?
Just as we learned the letters first, then the sounds they make, then simple words, sentences and so on, compiling the “consistency task list” is not an event, but an activity that will occur over time. You can start easily by grabbing a pencil (Not a pen – trust me) and paper, or opening up you favorite word processor or spreadsheet program and plug away. It doesn’t really matter, as long as you start.
As comfortable as using your favorite basic writing tool may be initially, the experience BTI has coaching entrepreneurs and Small Business owners and operators has led us to recommend an excellent tool for compiling your “consistency task list“, and many other brainstorming and list making activities as well. Like many of the tools we recommend, it’s web-based, there’s a smartphone app for all platforms, and its FREE!
This tool is called Workflowy, and is available at, quite logically https://workflowy.com. Simply click the link, create a free account , and start compiling your “consistency task list“. Start anywhere , and don’t worry about what order things are in, or whether your list is complete. The beauty of Workflowy is that, at any time, you can rearrange the list, move things around, make subcategories (like an outline) and much, much more.
Once you’ve created your Workflowy account, you’ll be able to look at part of MY Workflowy list which I’ve publicly shared for the readers of this blog. The link below allows you to see my original notes for the “Consistency” part of the CPR curriculum:
I use Workflowy to organize all the concepts of the Small Business CPR curriculum. It’s what we in BTI refer to as “eating our own pudding“. We apply CPR to our own businesses – that’s how we’ve developed the concepts, and how we know it works.
So whether you use Workflowy, a word processor, or a pencil and paper — start compiling your “consistency task list” TODAY! You’ll find that, as you make your list, you’ll think about all the things you know to do, and discover many things you do “automatically “, “by instinct ” or “without thinking “. By identifying them and writing them down, you’ll find that fewer things fall through the cracks.
Fewer things will be overlooked. Less hassle and stress getting things done. And, most importantly — more consistency in the pursuit of your daily business. That, after all, is the point and purpose of CPR…!
Start slow… and have fun! More to come…