Always Strive For Excellence

Lesson number: 

This week's lesson will be a discussion focusing on the principle of EXCELLENCE. One's true success in life begins only when they make a COMMITMENT to be excellent at what they do. Without this commitment they will always perform at mediocre or average levels and it will be difficult to reach their full potential. Excellence spins off positive results in all endeavors that we human beings encounter. As long as balance is part of the formula as you strive for excellence.

For this discussion, let's focus on excellence in the marketplace. Excellent rewards are the by-product for excellent performance; average rewards for average performance; and below average rewards for below average performance. Because the marketplace is becoming global in scope, the commitment to become excellent is no longer a choice, but a MUST to even survive in the new world business environment.

Let's say that an individual owns a family-owned stationary store on the corner of a small town. The store has been there for 60 years and has had very little competition. The people in the town would always try to buy their office supplies from the store because a trip to the more populated areas was not worth the trouble. The stationary store owner was comfortable; he's been doing the same thing that his previous family members have been doing for 60 years. But times have changed.

Now, with the awesome power of the Internet, the people in the town can go to or or to order their supplies. They can even go a step further and go to and type in copy paper to see comparisons of hundreds of distributors. Their choice of stationary suppliers has now gone from the corner store to the entire globe.

Our fictional store owner starts to see his sales begin to drop. But he doesn't worry. After all, his family has run the business for 60 years. Why worry? Instead of becoming more valuable and EXCELLENT in his field, he instead chooses to remain static. He decides that instead of keeping up with the technological changes that his customers are demanding, he'll wait for this computer fad to pass.

Then Walmart moves into a neighboring town and it's all over for our fictional store. The fact that the business was around for 60 years didn't help. Consumers need to be satisfied on a daily basis. If our store owner kept up with technology and offered services that Walmart, Staples or on-line distributors didn't, perhaps he would have made it. But he had no commitment to EXCELLENCE. In the end, consumers were better taken care by others and our store owner's assets were sold off to a more efficient enterprise.

Every study of high achieving individuals proves that greatness in life is only possible when you become EXCELLENT in your chosen field. If you are a plumber or an electrician, study your competition and find out who's the BEST in your market. Use the best you could find to measure and benchmark the quality of your services. Strive to be better than the BEST out there!

As a small business owner, I never compared our company to our local competitors. I set the standards of our products and services to THE best run public company in the United States. Their statistics were available and we aimed to be better than they were. I believed that if we could surpass the matrices of the best run, most profitable company in the country, we should be able to satisfy our customers handily and compete successfully in the marketplace. When you focus on providing excellent service in the marketplace, the customers and profits will follow you like a shadow. There's nothing like going to a store, or shopping online, and finding exactly what you need without any hassle. It's almost as if your supplier knew that you were coming. How did they know? By listening to their customers; by getting rid of what people no longer have a desire for and replacing it with what is in high demand. The companies that seem to never let you down have a made a commitment to being EXCELLENT.

So take some quiet time TODAY to list what you need to focus on to be EXCELLENT at what you do. This doesn't just apply to your business. It applies to all meaningful parts of your life. If you set out on any mission, plan well; focus on what it will take to perform to the best of your ability; keep score and benchmark; and ENJOY the process along the way. Life's best rewards result from performing in an EXCELLENT fashion. Don't ever short change yourself by accepting mediocrity!