What's In Your "5"?
Paul Castain

Mark Victor Hanson was interviewed in Success Magazine a few months back and shared some great advice he field tested after writing Chicken Soup For The Soul.

Mark and co author Jack Canfield had published the book (no easy task since it had been rejected by 144 publishers) but they had a much bigger dream for the book and that was the best seller list. Once again, they knew this would be no easy task and that it would require a daily focus to move them toward their goal; inch by inch!

They came up with a plan to take 5 actions everyday toward their goal. Some days it was a struggle for them to come up with something new,
creative and exciting. Other days they were able to brainstorm ideas that quite frankly were pure genius! During the OJ Simpson Trial (the first one) they had heard that the Jury had been sequestered. They thought perhaps if anyone could use a little Chicken Soup For The Soul it was them! They sent copies to the jury and when they reached a verdict and all those news cameras were around, guess what book they were holding? Think about the virtually free advertising they received as news coverage went out to who knows how many millions of viewers. Nice ROI on a simple question each day of "What 5 actions shall I take?" huh?

Today, there are over 30 different "Chicken Soup" books that have sold over 56 million copies. Not bad considering the rocky start!

I'm wondering if we can benefit from the concept of a daily focus of 5 actions toward a particular goal.

Perhaps there is an account we want to grow
We'd like to be top sales rep in our organization
Find that dream job
We'd like to shed some pounds
Get closer to God and our family
Conquer the world
Write that book
Take that dream vacation
Buy that home
Become more valuable in our profession

I've been embracing this Daily "5" concept now since July and as simple as it is, it can be challenging to not only come up with 5 actions, but follow through with all the other things on our plate. I had thought about lowering the bar to a Daily "3" but then its too easy to do maybe 1 action item. 5 is where I've kept it.

To keep myself from clinging to my comfort zone I continually ask myself "In what ways can I change up my 5 and be more creative?" Otherwise I will just do the same things day in and day out and that isn't always a good thing. I, like the rest of us, need to continually look for new ways to improve my game and my creativity. This has certainly helped!

Just in case this sounds way too simplistic, I would like to invite you to think about: The power of a daily focus of 5 actions over even a 90 day period. Over a 6 month period, A year? How much ground could you cover with a relentless daily focus of 5? It's actually quite deadly when you do the math!

Action: Revisit your goals and dreams and dedicate yourself to 5 daily actions towards the fruition of them. Challenge yourself to try different things, make note as to what is working, what isn't. Make it a study!

So, having said that, I need to ask you . . . What's in your "5"?

Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics (CGX) one of North America's leading general commercial printing companies. Paul has over 25 years of sales and sales leadership experience and has trained, mentored and coached over 2,000 sales and sales leadership professionals. Feel free to email Paul and visit his company's website

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