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Average Is the New F

October 18, 2022 By The Siren Of Support Leave a comment

Fancy celebratory dinner that was only so-so. Service that is fair to middling. A “just ok” first date.

There will not be a recommendation to your friends for a subpar restaurant experience. The average service level your shop subjected the patron to will not have a return customer. There won’t be a second date.  

Stop accepting mediocrity in your business, your teams, and most importantly – yourself. 

As I was growing up my Dad was always a chemical mixer in factories. It wasn’t glamorous but it supported us. I never thought twice about it, it’s just what Dad did. Until one day he didn’t. He quit his job and bought a liquor store. He had no business experience, no childhood dream of working for himself. He did, however, enjoy his beers and the occasional whiskey. 

He made this change when I was in my early twenties. I was self-absorbed, had a newborn, and never questioned why the sudden change. It was neat and convenient. He always had a sandwich from their deli waiting for me, everyone in town knew my parents, and inturn knew of me (which got me out of a sticky situation a time or two). 

It wasn’t until last week, as I sat here next to his hospice bed, that I discovered the reason for his leap from “just a boring chemical mixer” to successful business owner. 

He wanted more out of life. He wanted to do something spectacular. He wanted to go from mediocre to magnificent. He was too old to go to the moon. Not smart enough to find the cure for cancer. And had one too many knee surgeries to run a marathon. 

He stopped making excuses and jumped at an opportunity. Finally, everyone knew Steve and his beer depot. 

How do we stop being ok with being just ok? What can be done to make our teams uncomfortable with being comfortable? How can we make the idleness of mediocrity more terrifying than any risk associated with striving for something better? 

  • Stop Blaming. Start Doing: I can’t. What if? I’m scared. Stop making excuses and blaming a lack of time, energy and experience on your inability to achieve the next level. Trade the hour spent on reality television for a sixty minute reading session. Invest the thousand dollars you would have spent on a new phone. Use the time dedicated to matching tiny pieces of candy on your device and learn one new thing. You will never get to where you want to be if you don’t take the first step.  
  • Seize the Opportunity: Life is about choices. Choose to take the opportunities that present themselves. Do not be afraid of failing. The only fools are the ones that let fear control them, rather than controlling the fear. 
  • Raise the Bar: Average is the new “F”. Allowing yourself, or your team to be unexceptional creates an environment that lacks encouragement and impedes our people from getting better everyday. Challenge yourself and others to not just hit the mark but to soar well beyond it. 

When we stop seeking betterment, we become complacent. Complacency hampers growth and development. Without forward momentum there is nowhere to go but backward. 

Take the risk. Invest in yourself. Be like Steve. Find what makes you magnificent.

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