Underestimating those small decisions can lead to this…

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DetourI decided two weeks ago that I wasn’t going to answer the phone when my wife called. It was a snap decision but I just didn’t feel like it. Yup… didn’t feel like it. I was preoccupied and didn’t want to be lectured about something that I knew I hadn’t done. (I deserved the lecture for the record) Come on people – you all know you’ve done it, screened your calls and didn’t answer your wife/husband. [GASP]. This quick and fairly innocuous (or so I thought) decision led to major consequences later.

You ever see those Mentions show up in your Twitter stream?

Twitter doesn’t always have my full attention. Neither does Facebook. I have a life and kids and kids and kids – okay you get it – and a full time job. I’m not always in the mood; don’t feel like it. I see that mention show up and sometimes (and it isn’t always) I don’t respond. I might respond later – or not. I mean to. I want to engage. I usually do. But it’s those times where I should and don’t. What did that cost me? 5 Mentions and only 4 responses. What small ripple effect does that have for me later?

Love that red numbered glow that having updates brings in Facebook.

People comment on your status updates or Like something you’ve done. The number 5 flashes before your eyes and you investigate what got hits. 4 of them you tackle right away. Like this, comment on that. That last 1 goes awry and you forget to comment. Does that 1 matter?

Respond to blogging comments

You write a total blogging masterpiece which blows the doors off of anything else you’ve written before. A dozen people take the time out of their day to say something about it “You suck!” “Love what you said!” You only respond to 11 of them. That 12th one – – just too darn exhausted to do it.

You get 6 brand new HOT sales leads and you jump all over them.

You make your calls, respond to emails and get 5 people excited. That other one… You just didn’t have the energy to get it done. You feel happy about the 5 you crushed but that 1 got a half assed effort or nothing at all.

Back to my story

Remember that phone call I didn’t answer? It led to my wife getting really ticked off with me. She was already upset and that made it worse. I got home. We argued. We went to bed mad. The next day while driving home I took a detour that was more heavily congested but ended up finding a nice flower shop. I bought some beautiful carnations. Marriage saved… temporarily. A few days ago on Valentine’s Day I decided to hit that shop again. Bought all the carnations they had. While driving home a way I normally wouldn’t have my phone rang and it was my wife. I don’t like to talk while driving so I wasn’t going to answer but thought about the incident a few weeks ago. I reached for my phone (no Bluetooth) and slammed into the person in front of me.

Go all the way.

Don’t underestimate those little decisions or inactions you make everyday. Answering your phone, making a left instead of a right, smiling at that pretty woman you pass everyday… every decision counts. You don’t respond to that Mention and you might ignore that one person who holds the key to your success. Don’t want to make that sales call? You could be missing out on 1 sale or a whole pile because they know people who know people. You never know if they are going to casually mention to someone else you knows that person that dreams about tiny butterflies that reminds her of that job offer they need to make to you. …? Small ripples on the pond can make big waves… make every decision and action count.

Think about it.

Think about what that one missed opportunity got me. I didn’t answer the phone, and so I fought with my wife, then changed flower shops, and went a way home that is heavily congested that I normally wouldn’t go, and wrecked my car. The ONE decision I made two weeks ago, to not answer my phone, altered the course of everything else. Make the call, answer the phone, retweet and engage EVERYTHING… else you could hit the person in front of you… or something like that.

P.S. For the record: It wasn’t my wife’s fault that I wrecked my car. The fault was all mine.

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