The 1% Principle: Building Business Success


The 1% Principle and the Importance of Branding, By Tom O’Neil (Click here for Video)

I recently had the pleasure of meeting renowned speaker Tom O’Neil who is the former Vice President of the National Speakers Association of New Zealand and is an international specialist in organizational performance development. He is a frequent contributor to The Harvard Business Review, The Economist, New Zealand Herald, and is a published author.  Tom works with executives and their organizations to maximize peak performance through leadership, selling skills, career development and organizational turnaround.  His recent book “The 1% Principle” is due in America later this month and has received critical acclaim throughout Australia and New Zealand.


Small daily improvements will build towards sustainable change!  Once you spark momentum by showing up, you will create an upward spiral towards your success.

Here are a few guidelines that will excel performance at work and improve personal growth:

Start by asking yourself what is one thing I can do today to improve my life by 1%?  Incremental change will lead to sustainable longevity.  Make small changes each day.

Smart Goals:

  1. Specific – Specific goal set for each week
  2. Measurable – Focus on each moment of progress no matter how small
  3. Achievable – By focusing on small goals they will add up to a bigger collection of goals
  4. Relevant – Keep your goals authentic to who you are and what you need.  BUILD YOUR BRAND
  5. Time Bound – goals by day, week, month year.

Building Your Brand:

What do you want your brand to be?  What is your niche or specialty?  Everything you do should reinforce your brand whether inside or outside an organization.

What energy are you putting out into the world?  How you dress, what you say, how you treat others are all apart of your brand.

Build a social media presence through LinkedIn, blogging, join groups that are relevant to who you are.  Write articles that will be picked up by trade journals that can reinforce your brand such as Forbes, Harvard Business Review, Huffington Post, Inc. to name a few.

Here are 4 ways to show up and make 1% improvements:

  1. Never draw conclusions based on what the current situation or what physical senses are showing you.  It doesn’t mean you aren’t making progress.
  2. Guard your thoughts and self talk.  Our internal conversation effects what happens externally.  Love yourself and celebrate your progress however small.
  3. The way to move forward is to define your new life.  Visualize where you want to be ultimately.  What does the big picture look like?
  4. How you think = How you feel = How you behave = How you act and what you will experience as a response from others around you.
  5. Show up, put yourself out there, make small successes each day towards your goals.  They will gradually add up to create significant change.

Ensuring a positive digital footprint:

There are ways to use social media and the internet to your advantage. Populate your LinkedIn profile with up-to-date information and start making positive contacts with other business professionals and groups online.  Quality over quantity.

  • • Ensure all online material is constructive and positive (both personal and professional) and that it reflects you as a ‘whole’ person.
  • • Start writing blogs about your area of choice using sites such as WordPress and Blogger. You will soon be seen as an expert in your area and most importantly Google will slowly build up a profile of you as a leader in your field.
  • • What websites do you have content on? (Facebook/ MySpace/ Twitter/ LinkedIn).
  • • What sites do you have content on that you may not have put up yourself (sites belonging to friends/ family)?
  • • What is your profile saying about you? Many times these profiles include information about your favorite films, books and TV shows, religious and political beliefs, your studies and your interests. A good idea is to get someone else to review your profile and give you their honest feedback, no matter how hard it is to hear.
  • • Are you able to improve security/ privacy settings so only ‘friends’/ people you have invited can view your information?
  • • Are there any negative comments or gripes you may need to delete?

People undersell themselves all the time.  Celebrate your achievements.  Passion and preparation will provide you an edge

Never be afraid to ask for help from anyone:

Good areas of support include friends, a local church or clubs you belong to. In his 10 million copy best-seller What Color Is Your Parachute?, Dick Bolles highlights the importance of surrounding yourself with a support staff of your own:

  1. Listener – when you are feeling down.
  2. Wise one – when you are puzzled about what to do next.
  3. Taskmaster – when you are lacking discipline.
  4. Cheerleader – when you want to share your successes. However, professional services may also be required if things are really difficult. Understand that everyone who has ever job-hunted has been plagued by doubt and self-esteem issues

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