The highest paid people in life have one primary and often-invisible skill in common. It’s invisibility stems from the fact that it isn’t flashy, you can’t flaunt it, you can’t even learn it. It’s a skill that simply must be demonstrated over a long period of time.
Ask someone on the street what they believe the highest paid skill-set is and you’re bound to hear answers such as selling, coding, learning, execution, networking, negotiation, innovation, leadership, and more.
All of the above are desirable and have their place, and depending on your business or your career, each may outweigh the other.
But none of these skills are valuable if you can only do them once or even now-and-then.
The reason why certain actors receive gigantic sums isn’t necessarily because they had one breakout performance, it’s typically because they’ve had multiple and can be counted on to have more.
The difference between an athlete with a multi-million dollar contract and one who makes the league minimum is also a result of this one thing.
Consistency Is the Highest Paid Skill in the World
Consistency in your results creates confidence in your reliability, which brings assurance and removes risk for the people who pay you; regardless if they are employers or customers.
The removal of risk combined with the reliability of results is priceless.
Consistently good actors allow movie producers to remove the risk of a lousy performance and dismal box office results.
Athletes who can be consistently counted on to get on base, make a catch or perform under pressure, time and again, reap the lion’s share of the rewards.
Which of these workout routines do you think gets you better results?
- going to the gym once a week for two hours, exercising until you puke and then taking a week off?
- or going to the gym every day for 30 minutes, putting in good effort, working up a great sweat, but leaving a little bit of energy in the tank?
The same holds true in business. Look no further than the biggest reason for the success of major franchises and companies such as McDonald’s and Starbucks. Do they have the best product on the market? Not by a long shot. But customers can rely on getting a “consistent experience” every single time.
The Market Rewards Consistency Much More than Quality
If, however, you combine consistency and quality, then you can create legendary companies.
Case in point: Apple.
One of the biggest reasons cited for using Apple products is: “It just works.” This is another way of saying that it’s consistent and reliable.
When you add Apple’s obsession with style and quality components, and you get the biggest company in the world with a raving fan base that can charge a premium for it’s product.
Are there better computers on the market than Apple? Probably. Are the companies who make these computers better at communicating their consistent results? If they were, I’m sure that Apple would be in trouble.
The examples are endless, but you can see that it’s consistency that is rewarded more than any real skill.
7 Steps to Develop World-class Consistency
First off, show up and do the work, even when you don’t feel like it—especially when you don’t feel like it.
1. Stop focusing on short-term results.
Life is not a microwave. It’s a slow cooker. If you’ve tried a pot-roast from both, you’ll know which produces a better meal.
2. Have a written рlаn that you refer to daily.
If consistency is tо bе a рriоritу, having a written plan with the most important activities will help. You’ll create a plan for keeping you on track and focused on critical behaviors.
The plan can be simple, but it serves as a reminder of what must be done in order to sustain consistent efforts which lead to consistent performance.
3. Create rules for yourself.
As an entrepreneur myself, I’ve always had a problem with authority and being told what to do. I don’t like following other people’s rules. However, I’ve had to set rules in place for myself and either hold myself accountable or have my business partners or mentors do that for me.
The rules that help keep me consistent are simple such as, “I work out when I wake up.” That’s a rule.
Another rule I’ve set is that, “I write something, a journal entry or an article, every morning before working with my clients or on my own business.”
When it’s a rule, you’re more likely to follow it.
4. Commit to habits, not goals.
If achieving goals was meant to be easy, everyone would have a wall of trophies and a perfect life. But the surest way to achieve your goals isn’t to chase them, but to create the right habits that automatically move you toward your goals almost effortlessly.
The best part about habits is that they don’t require willpower. They are automatic behaviors and either work for you or against you.
5. Track your progress.
That which we measure, improves. Even if you get off track and slip up, if you’re tracking your progress, it will remind you how far you’ve come and it will keep you going even when you feel like quitting.
6. Fall in love with the process, not the progress.
Since we’re wired for instant gratification and results, this can be difficult. But it’s easier when you celebrate small wins and take pride in the path you’re on, regardless of where it gets you.
The benefit of this mindset is that you’ll get much further because you’ll get derailed much less. It’s similar to the story of the tortoise and the hare. The tortoise was slow but consistent and ended up winning the race.
7. Remember: Consistency is a muscle that needs exercise.
The most highly paid and in-demand skill in life isn’t something you can learn in a book or school. It must be practiced and put into action “consistently.” It’s a never-ending pursuit with never-ending rewards.
As an employee, understand that employers and business owners deal with constant uncertainty. Having a reliable team they can consistently count on to whether these storms is priceless.
As a business owner, customers will reward you with their loyalty and repeat purchases if they can count on a consistently good experience.
Next time you’re stuck in your business or career and are feeling stagnant or you’re not achieving your goals, simply ask yourself where you’re failing to be consistent and how you can change course.Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.