Mountain climbers don't conquer Everest on their first time out-attempting to do so would be a tragic failure. No matter what your goal, no matter what your baseline, small, incremental steps set you up for success. 5% More gives you a concrete strategy for realizing your goals and making changes that last.
How to Give 5 Percent More-or Less
Asking for 5 Percent More and not following up with action won't work. Dreaming about being 5 percent richer, or your kids being 5 percent higher in their class, or being 5 percent smarter doesn't just happen. I always tell people that dreams are for sleeping. Goals are for achieving. And you achieve your goals only by taking action.
Since my last book, I have had a lot of my close friends confide in me that they wanted to do something, or that they had a goal or an idea but never did anything about it. One of those friends whom I grew up with is named Lonnie. When I lived in the projects, we lived in a duplex; I lived in 13 and he lived in 11. Over the years, we have stayed in contact. He made a great life for himself and his family: he has a beautiful wife, two beautiful kids, a great house, great job, a boat, and many other material things. One day while talking about what I have accomplished and built through my business, he said that he "wanted to do something, wanted to make something, wanted to do something great." Well, Lonnie is one of the handiest guys I know. He can fix and pretty much build anything. So one day while he was working in his yard hauling things from his back yard to the front yard, mostly leaves and other debris, he came up with an ingenious way to move that type of stuff quickly, efficiently, and effortlessly. He came to me and showed it to me; then he created some videos showing the utility of it, came up with a name for it, and was just so excited about it. So I asked him, "What are you going to do with it?" He looked at me with his head down and said, "I know I should do something, but I don't know." I said, "Lonnie, you have been thinking about doing 'greater things'; you have been thinking about your invention for months; you actually created a prototype. So now, why not take it to the next level?" He was still hesitant, until I reminded him of the story about the older guy who should've, could've, or would've, if only he did. His time had passed and now he was sitting on his porch telling his grandkids about how great he could have been if he had only followed through on the thought he had. He would have built an empire; buildings would have been named after him; he would have every material thing any man could want; but he didn't. We all know this guy, the "if I had only" guy. Those guys are the ones who let societal norms and negative influences destroy their aspirations. It's a sad thing, and I did not want to see this happen to my good friend Lonnie.
So Lonnie took the next step. He had mechanical drawings done of his invention, he hired a patent attorney, and he is in the process of making his invention a reality. Now, could this flop? Sure, but he will never know if he doesn't give it a shot. This idea and the creation of it have not cost Lonnie a lot of money. But, through his thoughts and his physical manifestations of those thoughts with action, he now has a patent pending. That is an accomplishment in and of itself.
An Idea without a Plan Is Just an Idea
We have all heard the above axiom. We have all had a great "idea" but never followed through with it. We have all met the "if I had only" guy who also had a bunch of ideas. Many times, a person's ideas or dreams are not realistic and should just remain what they were. But what I have found in business and in life is that what separates the successful from the unsuccessful people is the determination to implement their ideas. This is a small part of the grand plan of building a brand, or turning an idea into a reality, but it is a key element of any type of success. If you truly believe in your idea and you have done the legwork to determine that your idea should become a reality, then you must implement your idea. You must take that small step like Lonnie did, which is turning his idea into a reality. I'm