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“Good is the enemy of great.”
I try to live my life and run my company by this Jim Collins quote. To some folks, this might seem like a great way to set myself up for disappointment. But think about it. If we all tried for a little more greatness in our lives, how far could we go?
But let's not confuse “great” with “perfect” -- these are two very different things. Sometimes striving for perfection can lead to great work, but it's also just as likely to leave you burned out and frustrated.
Measure by your own yardstick
In the pursuit of greatness, we can only gauge our successes by our own accomplishments. Telling yourself that your work isn’t good enough because it doesn’t measure up to what you think someone else has done or is doing is a sure way to kill your confidence and your desire to improve.
I love it when I can look at something I did three or four years ago and say, “Wow, that was pretty awful.” This means that I've grown and become more discerning. I’ve become greater at something.
Surround yourself with great people
Great people surround themselves with other greats in their field. The idea behind this is simple: What better way to pick out those things that you need to improve upon than by learning from someone who's been through growing pains of their own?
No matter what field you're in, chances are you already know who the greats are, and their accomplishments can give you great insight and challenge you to become better.
On the road to becoming great, it's vital that we don’t settle. This is where the word “good” comes into play. You may say, “This is good enough,” but in doing so, you're allowing yourself to accept something that is less than what you can truly offer.
It may feel like that's the best you can do at the time, but once again, measure by your own yardstick. Always push yourself toward improving, and don’t take the easy way out.
The road to greatness isn’t easy. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it can be so rewarding when you look back and see how far you’ve come. We're each responsible for what we put out into the universe. I know that for myself, it's important that I give great work to my clients. And to myself.
I don't want to settle. I want to grow and be the best boss, business owner, coach, public speaker and friend that I can be.