This is how companies die, how brands wither and, more cheerfully in the other direction, how careers are made.

Gradually, because every day opportunities are missed, little bits of value are lost, customers are ignored.

We don’t notice so much, because hey, there’s a profit.

Profit covers many sins.

Of course, one day, once the foundation is rotted and the support is gone, so is the profit. Suddenly, apparently quite suddenly, it all falls apart.

It did not happen suddenly, you just noticed it suddenly.

The flipside works the same way.

Trust is earned, value is delivered, concepts are learned. Day by day we improve and build an asset, but none of it seems to be paying off.

Until one day, quite suddenly, we become the ten-year overnight success.

This is the way it works, but we too often make the mistake of focusing on the ‘suddenly’ part.

The media writes about suddenly, we notice suddenly, we talk about suddenly, we focus on suddenly.

That doesn’t mean that gradually is not important. In fact, it’s the only part you can actually do something about.

Success or failure starts gradually, and then suddenly.

Actually this lesson applies to life in general.

I think relationships don’t suddenly wither, certain things happen gradually over time until something suddenly breaks. Human tendency is to focus on the sudden break , the event instead of focusing on the small gradual things that we have control over.

So in essence it is true to take care of the cents as the rands will take care of themselves.

The small things matter the most, they start gradually and lead to sudden big things.

There is much to be said for just putting one foot in front of the other everyday, instead of running…

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