How You Do One Thing Is How You Do Everything

How you do one thing is how you do everything.

The bad (and good) habits that we have repeat through all areas of life.

This is a concept that one of my business mentors taught me years ago.

Recently I took a hard look at my life and what I'm doing and I noticed this pattern showing up.

First let me share an incident that reminded me of this recently, and then I'll share how I saw this pop up in my own life.

Two weeks ago I was attending a business seminar. One guy out of our group was continually late to the sessions.

When he finally arrived, he sat off to the side at the front of the room.

After repeatedly seeing this guy walk in late, the man running the seminar confronted him.

“You came to this seminar to learn how to improve your business. But you're showing up late. You're not engaging in the exercises and you're not even taking notes. Do you care about your f**ing business or not? The message I'm getting is that you don't care … you aren't ALL IN.”

“How you do ONE THING is how you do EVERYTHING. My guess is that this habit shows up in other areas of your business and life. And this is one major reason why you aren't getting the results that you want.”


I felt bad for the guy that was on the receiving end of this fire – he was stone-faced and silent, but he knew what the trainer was saying was true.

How I Saw This In My Life

Yesterday was Sunday, and I was at church with my family. One of my church responsibilities is to find someone to give an opening prayer and someone to give a closing prayer for the church service.

I was sitting up on the stand waiting for the service to start with about one minute left.

Suddenly, the Bishop (leader of the congregation) leans over to me and asks me if I had asked anyone to offer the prayers.


I hadn't.

It was all I could do to keep from letting loose an expletive there in front of the congregation – that would have been a meeting to remember!

Feeling a temporary burst of embarrassment, I quickly stepped down from the stand and found two unwitting, but willing, victims in the congregation and asked them to give the prayers.

Fortunately, they obliged.

So what lesson did I learn from this?

How you do one thing is how you do everything.

I've always told myself that I'm not a ‘details' guy.

This is the story I tell myself about who I am.

I realize that lack of attention to the details is a repeated pattern for me (no surprise here).

But my attitude changed when I considered how this habit is showing up in other areas of my life.

Fortunately, I can change.

So this moment of recognition allows me to take some actions and change my ways.

If I can achieve what I've achieved without attention to the details, imagine what I can do when I become the person who handles not only the big picture, but the attention to details!

This is how I like to think about things.

What I'd have you consider today is this:

Where in your business or your life do you have a pattern of doing something that is sabotaging the results you want to get?

Perhaps you aren't even aware of this thing.

Write that thing down in your journal and ask yourself the question, how is this pattern showing up in other areas of my life? What can I do to change it?

That's all for today. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Carpe diem.

Enoch Bartlett Sears



Enoch Bartlett Sears is the founder of the Architect Business Institute, Business of Architecture and co-founder of the Architect Marketing Institute. He helps architects become category leaders in their market. Enoch hosts the #1 rated interview podcast for architects, the Business of Architecture Show where prominent guests like M. Arthur Gensler, Jr. and Thom Mayne share tips and strategies for success in architecture.

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