Consistency has helped me in my personal and business life, and I value it as the number one trait for success. In the sixties as a teenager in Pakistan, I used to bike ride around 5 miles every day from a small town we lived into a neighboring village where I was born. My father owned land there where we obtained daily fresh buffalo milk. Often, I had to milk the buffalo, carry around five liters of milk in a big pail and bring it home. In my early teenage years, my father had delegated this job to me, and I could not get out of it. Very soon, it became my consistent practice.
Later, I learned a few other consistent practices during my Army time, like waking up early, exercising, practicing good hygiene and table manners. When I first moved to Canada, I took on multiple jobs like selling pots and pans, driving a cab, selling used cars, working as a security guard and a maintenance technician. During that time, I consistently stayed on various schedules and delivered on every job I accepted.
Looking back, the consistent practice of milking a buffalo and biking five miles a day has helped me later in life. I enjoyed being consistent in my early years and would quote that “Everything is possible to achieve in this world, but it requires consistent efforts.”
I developed this habit of “Consistency” to a greater extent after I started building my businesses. When I started my first oil and gas business in a side room at my garage in Chanute, Kansas, I would wake up at the crack of dawn and be ready for my coworkers to arrive at 7 am. I continued to stick with this routine as we grew from a two-worker firm to a much larger firm a few years later and I still stay with the same practice. I wanted to show my co-workers the wise use of time and consistency are very good practices. If I, as a leader, I didn’t follow these practices, how could I expect my co-workers to follow me?
“If I can do it, you can do it too” was my mantra.
Being consistent is tricky. You need to condition both your brain and your heart to allow them to be in harmony to make coordinated and consistently right decisions. Otherwise, it can pull you away in a different direction!
Today, we hear the term disruptive quite a lot. We have disruptive leaders, disruptive technology and people have fallen so much in love with this word. I’ve had disruptions in my business and life several times, but consistency has always overpowered disruptions. Just before I moved from my family and businesses from Wichita to Houston in 1985, oil prices fell to $8 a barrel. This was totally disruptive for my personal and business life. So, instead of panicking and disrupting anything, I took positive consistent steps. I was consistent during that time and thought through to hedge the volatility of oil markets. I started closely watching all my costs, added some real estate portfolio and it paid off well.
I believe that anyone with a consistent work ethic along with a long-term goal will always outperform a disruptive leader who looks for short-term results.
Here are a few tips to be consistent:
- Consistency + discipline = success
- You need to work hard and be self-motivated to consistently do work that adds value
- Humility and steadfastness are key traits you need to build a consistent work ethic
- Fairness and respect for others is important to maintain as you build consistency
- Consistency requires patience, rigor and discipline. It won’t happen overnight!
Has consistency helped you in life? I’d like to hear your stories!
Find out more about me in my best -selling book “From dirt roads to black gold.” Note that 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of this book will help people in need through my foundation, the YBC Foundation.