Why Losing Weight and Growing a Business Are Similar Endeavors

Since it's resolution season, maybe you've decided to lose 10 pounds. No judgements from me, folks, because i've got another 22 to go to hit my goal.

But everyone who's succeeded at weight loss will tell you the same thing: Making massive changes to your lifestyle all at once means that you will struggle for a week before finding yourself in front of the bakery counter asking if they have a bulk-rate discount.

The success usually comes from making a small change, easing it into your life, embracing it, and adding a new small change next. This isn't a strategy for overnight success, this is one for achieving small but steady results, week over week, for the long haul.

Does achieving small but steady results week over week also sound like a sound business strategy? It should. And the process is the same.

Take lessons from companies who chose not to make small changes to a shifting market and customer landscape, and instead waited until too late to make drastic overnight changes. Names like Blockbuster or Borders Books.

Even the once mighty giant Microsoft still hasn't figured out that the world doesn't need Windows and Office anymore like when we all needed the same programs to open each other's files. Now, with cloud-based email and productivity software, and free operating systems, the standardization Microsoft rode in on isn't necessary. Watch as they thrash around, trying to re-brand themselves as being mobile-friendly, cloud-friendly, and family-friendly, when all they want to get you back to the office and write another memo on Word.

The answer is small changes, every day or week. Shift course ever so slightly, much in the same way that the tastes and needs of your audience is changing. Pick one small thing, change it forever, and it will become part of your new-work style.

It's the secret to getting slimmer and fitter, and its an effective strategy for keeping your business growing.

And it beats purging, any day.

James Ellis is a Chicago-area digital strategist with Google Analytics certification. That said, he still has dreams where he wears sun god robes and people throw little pickles at him. You can get in touch with James at saltlab.com to tell him how many ways he's wrong.

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