American author and entrepreneur Grant Cardone speaks of meeting the Devil in the blank space of his calendar. I like that, nice analogy, so I thought I’d use it because I met the Devil in complacency.
His rancid smell, cat-like eyes, curly horns and twitching tail were lurking nearby whenever I fell into the trap of “that will do” and “don’t worry no-one will notice.” It’s in those moments (and yes we all have them) that he is ready to pounce and make you pay. The price is not the sales you expected, or getting the reviews you expected, it’s in your competitors sailing past you, loosing a client or worse still going out the back door.
Of course, I’m not speaking directly to you but you’ll recognise the situation in others. The supplier who meets your needs but never does anything more. The marketer who just scrapes in deadlines. The sales professional who is pleasant enough but never really connects. All of whom aren’t doing anything wrong but there not exceeding any expectations because they are just cruising. And here’s the thing, at best just cruising leads to adequate and no-one wants adequate, they want outstanding and exceptional. Except your competitors of course, they want you to do adequate really well.
When you do an average job, the Devil shows up and most of the time you don’t even know. He’ll be at your next pitch meeting as the competitor with a reputation of going the extra mile who ends up stealing your client. He’s shows up on social media as the negative review, or will be at the next financiers meeting as the little voice in their ear asking the hard questions. Or he’ll slowly eat away at your confidence because you’re not getting the results you promised yourself.
But it doesn’t take much to send the devil packing.
You need to focus on doing the little things really well. You need to constantly find way to do things better and then take action, and you need to do that over and over again. You don’t have to reinvent what you’re doing, find a quantum leap or start over, you just need to be obsessed with “how can I do this better.”
Thanks Grant for the inspiration.
Nigel Collin, Business Coach and Author of “Game of Inches”