Jerry Seinfeld is arguably the most successful comedian of all time. While most professional comics play clubs, Seinfeld fills symphony halls. His net worth is estimated at more than $800 million -- much of it residuals from "Seinfeld" reruns, a TV show that is generally considered to be one of the greatest comedies of all time (although, around The Madow Brothers offices we think it's "Curb Your Enthusiasm," but that's a different story altogether).
So how did he do it? Jerry's success secret started with being a great comedian. And in order to achieve that, he set a very small goal: Write one joke per day.
Not five jokes, not 10, not the best 60-minute monologue in history -- one joke per day. Then he would take a big red marker and cross that day off of his calendar. Once Seinfeld started doing that, a big chain of red X's formed, and the goal became not breaking the chain.
The genius behind this strategy is that monster-sized goals can overwhelm you, but achieving things in small increments is a less intimidating system. Things magically get done. Just don't break the chain.
What are some simple things you want to do every single day to serve your patients better and grow your practice? Ask for a referral? Contact a patient with outstanding treatment needs? Meet an influential member of your community?
Whatever it is, do it every day, consistently, and don't break the chain!
Now how about your personal life?
Want to get off the couch and become healthier? Walk for 15 minutes per day. In a year, you just made it from Baltimore, MD, to Steubenville, OH!
Want to learn how to play piano? Practice for 20 minutes per day. In those 7,300 minutes (one year), you probably could learn Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor (you may know it as "Moonlight Sonata").
Want to have a great relationship? Do something nice for your partner every day (we'll leave this up to your imagination).
Want to finally put that story you've had in your head on paper? Write just 300 words per day. In a year, you will have written 109,500 words, which is longer than the average novel.
Have you always wanted to be a dental speaker and share your knowledge with others all across the country? Work on this goal for a few minutes each day and watch it become reality!
The main thing is -- whether it is dental or personal -- set a goal, figure out how to do it in small bites, and then never break the chain. Who knows, you may become a more successful dentist, a more outstanding team member, or even the next Jerry Seinfeld. And there is definitely nothing wrong with that!
In 1989, Richard H. Madow, DDS, and David M. Madow, DDS, founded The Madow Brothers with the goal of helping their fellow dentists achieve success and happiness in their practices. For more information about their e-letters, audio series, New Patient Mail marketing program, Dental Powerhouse group, their live presentations (including "How To Love Dentistry, Have Fun, and Prosper," "The Ultimate Dental Boot Camp," and especially "TBSE"), and more, check them out at www.madow.com.