Episode 41: The Power of 1% with Shivani Gupta

Shivani Gupta 

I'm Shivani Gupta, and welcome to the Ask Shivani podcast. I believe that one of the best presents that you can give yourself is time to be able to sit down and ask yourself some questions. I believe that the quality of the question that you ask yourself will determine the quality of your life.

Hi everyone and welcome to the Ask Shivani podcast. In today's podcast, we are going to speak about one percent, the one percentage that can transform and shift your life radically. Whether that be business or personal or in your family. And I am always very much an open transparent organ, I want to share with you some of the things that have worked as a result of those practices, and what are some of the global leaders that are doing the work around 1%. And what we can do to shift it.

When I first came across this concept, the fact that you could change your life but 1% and the 1%, as of what that mattered? I thought it was just a bit too simplistic. It didn't actually make any sense. And it was, you know, this eat an elephant a spoon at a time analogy that's been around for, I don't know, 20, 30 years. And I thought, no, this is not, this is not make sense to me. And plus, the way that I work, I work at a really fast pace. I'm like, no, I don't want to do 1% at a time, I wouldn't like to see 40% change 50% change 180 degree turn, like completely turn around and do a U turn, in terms of what we need to be doing.

My experience with those words that it was quite difficult to do. It was also a little bit like what people are talking about innovation, you know, yes, it's amazing when somebody comes up with one of these iconic brands that have come up, but often they're a bit of a unicorn, right? And those amazing ideas come up, the Ubers and the Airbnb ease and amazing ideas that people have come up with there have transformed in terms of how we do business and how we live. But, you know, they're also very difficult to come by. I'm also hearing a lot more people talk about an innovation, or the 1% is more important, longer term than the big ideas. When we making process improvements in our workplaces. Are we better off finding the one percentage and doing that? When I come across manufacturing companies, I used to work in manufacturing a long time ago. And we often we didn't use the word one percentages. We talked about small, incremental shifts that will help us save lives in safety, particularly, if we did 65 injuries, could we do something small? That you know, we improve that injury by three or four. So, it came down to below 60. So, what are the small steps that we could take that we do that? When it also comes to strategic planning on our organization's we'll talk about, you know, low hanging fruit in action. So, what are the easy bits that we can pluck that fruit, the low hanging fruit that we can pluck really easily, rather than waiting for those big things to come? And again, these are the one percentage. So there may be different terminology, different ways of viewing that but what we mean by that the one percentage is what we mean by the small stuff, the little bits that can make big actions make work, rather than this big 50, 60 degree,180 degree turns.

The other thing I wanted to say is that sometimes, you know, the big changes often is a yes or no answer. Right? So, when we say will this give me 40%? improvement? Yes. One other rule is do 180 degrees turn? Yes or no. When as the one percentage are easier? They're more, maybe. You know, will that give me a 1%? shift? Maybe. Well, is it more likely or less likely? Well, it's less likely. Well, let's not do it. Well, it's more likely. Well, then let's do it. So we go from this binary, this black and white, this very, you know, one way or the other view and when we start to look at one percentage.

My experience has been we start to look in the gray, we start to look in the question, we start to feel in a possibility, which we may not have in the bigger questions around that. You know, and so what does this mean practically? Well, it could mean say you are wanting to eat better, you know that your diets not right. When we set those big goals when you think about, I'm going to eat well, for the next six months. Well, in six months, let's say there was approximately 30 days a month by seats 190 days. Let's say you ate well for 150 of those days, right? Did you eat well, for six months? The answer is no, I didn't. You didn't, you were not able to do the black and white 180 days in a row. Whereas if you said, I'm going to eat well, the next day or the next two days, then that little bit of action gives you a little bit of motivation to give you a little bit of action. And then we're able to get that success as we go and build upon that we know that's how habits form.

Let's take another example. Let's say, also around your health, you're trying to move your body for the next 12 months, and you go, I'm going to move my body for 30 minutes a day, every day, did you do it over 365 days consistently? No, but I did it for like 195 days. But we often then feel like we were very unsuccessful about it. Whereas when you measure a daily, you'll feel successful some days, and the days that you didn't, which would have been more than half the days that you didn't, you then feel that you weren't successful. And then you got actually, I did it the three other days previously. So, I must get back on to that again.

So just cutting down the way we measure, the timeframe that we measure starts to make us feel so much more successful, in terms of what we can create as different behaviors, I wanted to talk about and refer to Alan Miltz, who was a guest on a previous podcast. Alan runs, he is one of the smartest brains when it comes to cash, and how to make how to conserve more cash in businesses. And really understanding the mechanics of it behind. One of the things that I learned for him was he calls it price is a gift that keeps on giving. So, if you increase your prices and your business, let's say by 10%, then some of your clients and your customers are going to be - that's okay, I still get a lot of value out of that particular service. And they'll be fine. But, there will be a number of others that will get quite upset by 10% is a quite a significant change in your price. And he said, however, if you change your price by 1%, nobody's going to notice nobody's going to care, people understand that there's an index and the cost of living goes up. And so that's called the CPI. And that's going to go up anyway. And so, 1% is not going to make a difference to anybody. It's this tiny, incremental shift. And I looked at that. And he said, so if you could Shivani, change your prices by 1%, every quarter, rather than a five or 10% as a one off, then the incremental change actually works out. But I'm going to end up with a very similar result, at the end of that 12 months than I did at the beginning in a one-off thing. I don't upset anybody, I get the same result, if not better, there's less stress, there's less friction in terms of being able to implemented both from staff and from customers. So why would not do it that way?

So that was another example of I've experienced in terms of doing that 1% incremental shift. And making that happen, you might have heard of that silly analogy, effect. This is a really funny story. Or maybe not so funny. I look back upon now when I first started a business almost 20 years ago. And I love that analogy of the frog being boiled in water 1% of the time, not the frog being boiled. Because I'm vegetarian, I don't want animals to be heard. But there was this thing that if you put a frog in boiling water, it'll jump out. Whereas if you leave it in cold water and you turn it up a degree at a time, it doesn't feel the incremental change, and it boils to death. Same sort of thing. So, my first logo was a frog with a red cross through it. How ridiculous is that? I thought it was fantastic. Because I was going to be inspiring people, or not being boring being that frog and boiling itself to death. I showed it to my family and friends, not one person got it. And they always say that if your message goes out to one person and better and understand it, well, maybe they're not aligned or maybe they're not that smart. But when 10 out of 10 people don't get it, I kind of had to take that as feedback and had to swallow the hard pill and then go back to the drawing board to come up with a new logo. Anyway, let me put that aside and story aside. But you know what I mean, when it comes to the bottom, you know, the frog boiling in terms of what that means.

The other fantastic book that I read by James Clear was atomic habits. And one of the things that he spoke about is that the 1% changes are the ones that make a difference in your habits. So, he talks about cues and rewards. So, for example, if I want to move my body 30 minutes a day, so my aim each week each day is to move my body 30 minutes a day. If I take my walking clothes out already and I make that 1% change, I haven't actually exercised anymore. But if I just make that little one change and actually put them out the night before that when I go into get changed, then I'm much more likely to exercise by that small change. So that's an awesome book, atomic habits, absolutely worth a read or listen to one audio. That really shifted my way and my thinking around what I could shift around the one percentage.

The other thing I wanted to talk about around business is I've talked about the price. But I then started to apply the 1% in reducing stock. So, let's just reduce it by 1% or my team went. Well, that's pretty easy and reducing stock has a direct impact on your profit and loss. We also did the same thing in terms of - okay, well, we've got x percentage of customers that are not happy. So, let's say that I think at the time we measured it was 2.3%. Let's reduce it by 1%, nothing major, just 1%. So, let's get it down to 1.3%, massive difference in terms of the culture and how we responded to feedback. And when I first started inviting more feedback, so we ended up getting more positive feedback, and less negative feedback. And if there was negative feedback, we were able to learn from that, and create a culture of learning from customers that are not happy, rather than - Oh, my goodness, what we have to do. So, this whole 1% notion I really applied in terms of happening as well. And I came across a really great speaker who was speaking at a particular conference that was talking about loving your family 1% more, you know, yes, they can annoy us, particularly our kids and our partner. But you know, what, if you were 1%, more loving today than you were yesterday, or this year, compared to last year. And so that makes me think about what I could do differently, how we could make that happen. So, this whole notion of 1% is, you know, it's easy. It doesn't meet with much resistance; you can achieve the same results by doing the little 1% at a time. And anything that we can form in our habits in the way that we perform, whether it's with our family, whether it's with our businesses, or anything else, that we feel like it's not a big effort, and we can put it into practice without much resistance can give us so many more results. So, I hope you enjoyed that. My website is called askhivani.com please ask me any questions. If there's anything that I can't answer, I will find out some things for you. I want to point you in the right direction. And I want you to lead a really inspired life. I would love to see all women around the planet confident and being empowered around their career and their confidence. And would love for you to review and rate this podcast. Any questions you have anything anybody that you think should be on my podcast. Let me know. Thanks for listening.

I'm Shivani Gupta. And you've been listening to the Ask Shivani podcast where I'd like to ask some questions. Thank you so much for listening. Please follow Ask Shivani on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. And if you haven't done so, please go to the Apple podcasts and subscribe rate and review this podcast. It would mean a lot. Thank you.