Contact Us

About Bill Collier

Helpful Business Links

E-Learning Center



Your "One Thing" - A Lesson from the movie City Slickers
by Bill Collier

I love the scene in the movie City Slickers where Billy Crystal's character, Mitch, is alone with Curly, played by Jack Palance. Curly is giving Mitch some life advice.


Curly: Do you know what the secret of life is?
[holds up one finger] This.
Mitch: Your finger?
Curly: One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don't mean s***.
Mitch: But, what is the "one thing?" 

Curly: That's what you have to find out.


What's your one thing?


Here's an exercise for you to do - right away before you get busy and forget ...


Get out a sheet of paper and write down the various things that you want your business to provide for you and your family, but is not yet providing. For instance, more income, more time off, more money in a retirement account, more enjoyment at work, more challenge, and so on. Be optimistic and ambitious yet realistic.


Once you have a list, narrow it down to the one thing that you want your business to do for you this year - and that you could accomplish if only you had the time to focus on making it happen.


Did you come up with a good one? An ambitious yet achieveable goal that, if accomplished, would rekindle your own enthusiasm? Something that would help your family, and make them enthusiastic supporters of your entrepreneurial efforts? A goal that you can build on, leading to long-term success? Most importantly, is it something you want badly enough to push through the obstacles to make it happen?


Now, go do it. Rearrange your schedule. Make the extra effort. Get your management team on board - ask for their support. Same with your family and your colleagues. Ask those around you to hold your feet to the fire. Every week - whatever it is that you're pursuing - put it on your calendar or to-do list, and make steady, relentless progress.


This may sound like a bunch of motivational rah-rah nonsense, but it's not. It's how goals get accomplished in real life. Setting a goal you truly want to accomplish is half the battle. But, getting it onto your calendar or to-do list and then actually doing what it takes to make it happen is the difference between day-dreaming and practical goal-setting.


Your business is a tool for enhancing your personal life. Use it to help you achieve the one thing that you want this year.

Bill Collier is a St. Louis-based business coach, consultant and speaker. He is the author of the book “How to Succeed as a Small Business Owner … and Still Have a Life.” His website is, and his email is

You may reprint this article in its entirety as long as you include the full by-line that appears at the bottom of the article.


© 2005-2016 Collier Business Advisors, LLC       314-221-8558

Business Coaching & Consulting · Speaking & Training

Business Success Roundtable

Business & Financial Literacy Workshops · The Great Game of Business

 AddThis Social Bookmark Button