So, we just got back from the Grand Canyon…
If you’ve been wondering where I disappeared to last week, wonder no more.
My family and I loaded up our van and headed West…
Across Nebraska, through the Colorado Rockies, around Utah (with stops at Arches and lots of other destinations), to the Grand Canyon in Arizona, then up through New Mexico and Kansas, and back home.
Lots of fun adventures.
Some nights in hotels.
Some nights tent camping.
Hiking, mountain biking, and even bumper boats and an arcade.
Hot dogs, s’mores, and even pizza.
And a whole pile of memories that hopefully will stick with the kids for a lifetime.
I learned something incredible about the Grand Canyon when we were there…
Of course, the Grand Canyon is ENORMOUS.
And if you know anything about it, you know it was formed by erosion — water washing away rock.
But there’s something really incredible that I didn’t realize.
It’s actually REALLY YOUNG, in geological time.
The earth is 4.5 billion years old.
The continents as we know them are somewhere around 150 million years old.
The Rocky Mountains and much of the American landscape was formed between 170 and 50 million years ago.
Dinosaurs lived until about 65 million years ago.
But the Grand Canyon?
It formed in the last 6 million or so years.
As the Colorado River cut through the high plateau in what’s now Arizona, it washed away dirt and rock at a rate of roughly the thickness of one piece of paper every year… For the last 6 million years.
Today, it’s a mile deep.
And it’s still getting deeper — about one piece of paper’s thickness deeper, every year.
There’s another 1,000 or so feet to go until sea level. It won’t get deeper than that. But for the next million or so years, it’ll likely still get deeper at about that same speed.
Here’s why this blew my mind…
Think about this.
The Grand Canyon is MASSIVE.
In fact, it’s so big that when I was looking at it, I couldn’t see how big it was.
It looked two-dimensional.
Our minds and eyes aren’t built to have a good perspective on how big something like that really is.
But it happened through consistent, persistent movement of water, making tiny incremental increases in the depth.
This actually speaks to two big breakthroughs.
The first is a marketing breakthrough.
The second is more of a skills-development and career breakthrough, useful in marketing and beyond.
The big marketing breakthrough from the Grand Canyon…
We often want immediate results.
And we look for them.
We get excited about them.
But longer-term results can be huge, even when they’re not obvious immediately.
Think about your relationship with your list of prospects.
You may send out a promotion today, and it sells some. But it’s not a blockbuster.
If you continue to deliver value and build that relationship though, you’ll keep getting response, and you’ll keep building your business.
The more you do to ethically deliver value, the more they’ll get swept up in where you’re taking them.
And you’ll get more and more sales. More and more profits.
This applies in developing a campaign, too.
Sometimes a specific piece of communication in a campaign gets lower response than the others. But it also sets up a later sale.
The more touches and the more persuasive messages you put in front of your prospects, the bigger results you can get in the end.
The same applies for paid advertising, especially in places like Facebook where it’s a constant barrage of messages.
Just make sure you’re doing it in a way where every touch is seen as presenting something valuable.
And, if you’re a direct marketer like me, you’ll know this isn’t an excuse for running ineffective ads, but instead a reminder that effective ads can have a compounding effect that grows through time.
The big career breakthrough from the Grand Canyon…
This actually goes all the way back to the principle I learned from Gary Bencivenga, that I’ve built my success and Breakthrough Marketing Secrets on.
If you focus on constant incremental improvement, it may not feel like much right away. But through time, it will create a career much bigger than you might imagine.
First off, if you simply dedicate yourself to getting 1% better every week, you’ll be doing far more than most folks.
But secondly, it adds up to something much grander than you’d imagine.
Because 1% improvement every week, compounded, grows exponentially.
After 52 weeks, you’re not 52% better, but 66%.
After 104 weeks (2 years), you’re 178% better.
In 5 years of 1% improvement every week, you’re 1,215% better than when you started.
And after two decades of dedicating yourself to a measly 1% weekly improvement? You’re over 8.3 MILLION times better than where you started.
This is the principle Gary Bencivenga used to become the world’s best copywriter, based on results.
It’s also not too far from how the Grand Canyon was formed in a relatively-short 6 million years.
And it’s something worth considering when the journey seems long and hard and progress sometimes slow.
Keep flowing forward, like the Colorado River.
You’re probably doing something much bigger and more grand than you can see right now, and that’s okay.
One day, your breakthroughs will be something to marvel at, too.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,
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