Ever since I was involved in my first “real” job, when I was just 15 years old, I have always been a believer that you should always put in 100% effort into whatever job you are doing. I don’t care if you are a street sweeper, a graphic artist, or a janitor cleaning toilets. Never hold back, always do the best job that you possibly can. It is through this kind of effort that you will move ahead in your work and in your life.
One person that I get inspiration from is marketing guru Seth Godin. Seth and I hold a lot of similar beliefs, and I enjoy reading his site. The other day, Seth had an article on his site that really spelled out the way I feel. His article is entitled “The sad lie of mediocrity” and it talks about the pitfall of just being mediocre.
In his article, Seth points out that:
Doing 4% less does not get you 4% less.
Doing 4% less may very well get you 95% less.
That’s because almost good enough gets you nowhere. No sales, no votes, no customers. The sad lie of mediocrity is the mistaken belief that partial effort yields partial results. In fact, the results are usually totally out of proportion to the incremental effort.
I could not agree with Seth more! Always do your best, and that is when you will reap rewards, even greater rewards than you ever expected.
This theory applies to any kind of business that you engage in, and in particular to online endeavors. On the internet, there is less to make you stand out, so the things that do make your business stand out must be taken advantage of to the fullest. Doing your very best, offering the very best of customer service and such is one way to make your business stand out!
Truer words never spoken, Bob. A few years back I made a very, very good freind. A fellow ‘techo-geek’ like me this guy was just an amazing person … we became more like brothers than business freinds.
This guy did amazing work in his field and started his own company and was well on his way toward big time success. He had one annoying habit though and I think it cost him business in a big way.
He would tell everyone he ran into that his company slogan was “We’re no worse than anyone else”.
When I was still with the government and involved with contract selection I know of at least one big contract this fellow’s firm didn’t get … one of our generals reviewed the bididng packages and said, “Oh this guy, he’s that smart ass who doesn’t think he’s good enough”. Into the ‘rejected’ pile.
My friend’s firm really would have been the best candidate, I thought, but his less than 100% attitude stuck out much farther than his talents.
Do it right or don’t do it at all.
@Dave Starr: Yeah, even though your friend was just joking, the negativity of his attitude is what sticks as a first impression. I hope that he came to learn that it was this that was costing him business.