Little Things Don’t Mean A Lot, They Mean Everything

January 23, 2014

Little Things Don’t Mean A Lot, They Mean Everything

“Little things don’t mean a lot, they mean everything.”

My great mentor and friend Harvey MacKay once told me that. Harvey is a businessman and an author of many books. When I met him 12 years ago, he always told me that most of the things he would teach me would be the little things - because when you add them all up, they equal a lot.

Today I recognize what an important statement that is, but maybe in my earlier days I didn’t quite have that understanding.

Here’s an example:

When I was in school, at Syracuse, ESPN was just starting out. It was the late ‘70s and most of what the network would broadcast was car racing. My friends and I would sit in our living room and just watch, but we could never understand why someone would enjoy watching a car drive around a track 500 times.

During one race I watched, I only paid attention to two cars during the entire race. One was red. The other was blue. The blue car won the race by two lengths over the red car.  Just two car lengths meant the difference between winning and losing in a 500 mile race?

How?  What made the difference to get the blue car ahead?

The crew?

The driver?

The weight of the car?

The amount of pit stops?

The time spent in the pit?

The gas?

The motor oil?

The weight or size of the tires?

The amount of sleep the driver got the night before?

The driver’s plan for the race?

The knowledge about the other drivers that he had?

The amount of time the driver and crew practiced?

The answer is simple: all of the above.

On any given day, any one of those things can make the difference in order to win a race.

Are you paying attention to the little things, so that when your race is over you win by two lengths?

Here are some of the little things you can do to put yourself ahead:

  • Write that thank-you note.
  • Make the follow-up call to make sure everything is okay.
  • Take the time to get to the funeral, event or party someone took the time to invite you to.
  • Make a small donation to support a friend’s or client’s charity.
  • Check on a friend or relative that isn’t feeling well.
  • Walk around the office to say hello to your co-workers.
  • Eat well and lay off sugar and fried foods.

What are the little things that make a difference to you?  Post and share them!




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