At least one audience member in each of my speeches usually asks, “Scott, have you ever missed a day wearing a nametag?”
Sure, I’ve come close many times: walking down the street, jumping into the car or getting out the door and then realizing. “Ah damn it! I forgot to put on my nametag!”
But that’s why I carry 10 spares in my wallet, bag and car at all times.
So, no, I’ve never missed a day in 2,065 days. Which either means I’m incredibly disciplined or incredible OCD.
But here’s the thing: after 6 years of wearing a nametag 24-7, one of the strongest and most noticeable changes in my life has been my discipline. For example, I start work every morning around 6 AM. I write for two hours before any calls are made and before any meetings are held. I also read two books a week, pound out 3-4 articles a month, meditate daily and somehow manage to post on both of my blogs 5 days a week.
The result: three books in three years. (New book August 1, 2006!!)
And while a lot of my colleagues and clients think I’m crazy, I always say, “Yeah, but when you work for yourself, discipline is the only boss you’ve got.”
It’s the same with exercise. Whether I’m here in St. Louis or traveling around the country to give speeches, I always find time to run, walk or swim. Even if the conditions aren’t ideal. Even if it’s really, really hot outside. Even if I get lost in the Rio Grande Park in Albuquerque, lose my room key somewhere in the brush and eventually return to my hotel room 3 hours later.
Still, I think back to the late 90’s, or as I like to call it, “BNT: Before Name Tag.” My work wasn’t as dependable. I didn’t exercise consistently. I slept in all the time. And I didn’t read or write unless I had to.
But as soon as I starting wearing a nametag, things changed. Formerly annoying tasks and habits became the standard. My discipline grew stronger than ever before! And while I’m not solely attributing my discipline to wearing a nametag, it’s certainly helped.
Because discipline carries over.
For example, most kids who play sports in high school get better grades than non-athletes. Why? Because if a coach requires his players to practice for 3 hours after school every day, some of that dedication is going to rub off in other areas.
What about you? What are you disciplined to? Consider your business. Pick one discipline you’ve been practicing DAILY for years. Maybe it’s making calls, reading, writing, rehearsing or showing up at the office 2 hours early before anyone else gets there.
Think about your business/life BEFORE your started doing that one thing and compare it with your business/life AFTER that one thing.
Was there a change? Did the discipline carry over?
If so, awesome! Keep it up.
If not, don’t worry. This is your chance. Pick something TODAY that you will discipline yourself to doing every single day for the next month. Keep a journal. Watch how the discipline rubs off. It’ll blow you away! I’m tellin’ ya, this stuff works!
But don’t take it from me; take it from Plato. He said, “The first and best victory is to conquer self.”
That’s exactly what discipline is.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to put on my nametag before I go take out the trash.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How has discipline rubbed off on your business/life?
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Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag