Three Steps, No Failure

When asked about her extraordinary success, recording artist and motivational performer Jana Stanfield said, “I believe in the power of small steps to create great changes.”

Jana left a lucrative career as a broadcast journalist and moved to Nashville to pursue her dream of securing a recording contract. While waiting for her breakthrough, she signed up for voice lessons and took classes in song-writing, stand-up comedy and dance. She took advantage of Open-Mic nights and sang for free in the evenings. With the help of a small producer, she made a few recordings.

None of the record companies were interested.

As her funds depleted, Jana started to doubt her talent and decision to switch careers. She even had what she calls a “lying on the bed, crying phase.”

Her uncle, Rev. Clyde Stanfield, stepped in and guided her through the Three Steps, No Failure technique. He met with her with over weekly lunches and monitored her progress.

With renewed determination, Jana started writing and recording again. She achieved her first milestone with the release of her first record, consisting of her ten most-rejected songs.

A major breakthrough came when Reba McEntire asked to record her song, If I Had Only Known. It sold 5 million copies.

So what is the Three Steps, No Failure technique?

Very simply, it is a no-fail method that can be adopted by anyone who wishes to achieve a major goal such as securing a recording contract or writing a best-selling novel.

Start by acknowledging that these goals are challenging and cannot be achieved with one quantum leap. For example, a novice writer cannot expect to see her book appear on the New York Times Bestseller list within the next six months.

Decide on the first three steps that you must take. These could be as simple as purchasing supplies, joining a writing group, finding a critique partner, or registering for a workshop. There is only one guideline: each step has to be something you can’t possibly fail to complete in a week’s time.

Do not plan out the entire journey. Like crossing a bridge, it is not necessary to see the other side. Instead, select three different steps at the beginning of each week and focus on your progress.

Be patient. This process will not take you directly to your goal, but it will get you there indirectly. In the meantime, enjoy the journey.

What three steps could you take this week?


About Joanne Guidoccio

In 2008, Joanne retired from a 31-year teaching career and launched a second act that tapped into her creative side. Slowly, a writing practice emerged. Her articles and book reviews were published in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. A member of Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne writes paranormal romance, cozy mysteries, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.
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19 Responses to Three Steps, No Failure

  1. lindapennell says:

    Love this article and the idea of the three steps, Joanne! Thank you for sharing!

    • I have always believed in the power of three (must be my Catholic upbringing) and immediately embraced the Three Steps, No Failure Process. Thanks for dropping by, Linda 🙂

  2. Jaye Garland says:

    Man, I’ve been doing this all my life. Does this mean I’m at the brink of my big break? LOL! Okay, all kidding aside, this is the truth. It’s exactly what we all must do if we’re serious about our goals. Thanks for the reminder! 🙂

  3. scmitchell says:

    Great advice. Looking at getting published as just another step, instead of the end of the journey, brings a lot into perspective. Time to plan a few more steps.

  4. Thanks for the inspirational post! Beautiful song! I’ll be trying the three step process this week.

  5. guardian30 says:

    I’d never heard of this approach. To me it’s the same idea as taking baby steps, but with structure. I’m going to give it a try! And I loved the song! Reba is a very talented artist and the lyrics to that song are thought provoking. What would we say to those we love if we knew it would be our last time together?

  6. Good advice, Joanne. I’ve heard variations on this type of advice. Such as “focus on one thing at a time”–make small goals–take baby steps. However you want to put it, the concept is a good one. Don’t try to do everything at once. Figure out what needs to be done right away, then take the next immediate step. It’s like that book by Tomie De Paola “Now One Foot Now The Other”…each step takes you closer to the big goal.

  7. My folk choir has sung a number of her songs, but I’ve never heard of the 3 step process. I think I’ll find something new that I want to do and start planning steps. Thanks, Joanne.

  8. Exactly what I needed to read today, Joanne! When I think of what I can do toward my goal, I have big things (e.g., incorporate contest feedback and polish a complete manuscript) and small things (e.g., prepare a 2500-word entry for an upcoming critique session). It all counts. Thanks for this!

  9. Hi Kate, Happy to hear that you found the post helpful. Thanks for dropping by. 🙂

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