We see it every day. Amateur and professional athletes putting in the work, the extra hours before and after practice just to get better. They work to improve, to get quicker and stronger. They work to make the cut, to make the team, and most importantly, to be the very best that they can be. Most of us have had an athletic hero at some point, someone that we have looked up to. We buy their jerseys or wear their brands. We sometimes even dream that we are as good as they are. The question that arises after the dream ends is, are you willing to put in the same amount of work to be your best?
Whether you cut grass, are a CEO, or are an aspiring salesperson, there is nothing in your way of working to get better at what you do. Take a good assessment of where you are in your career and identify the areas that you’d like to improve on. Better yet, ask a few of your friends and colleagues what they think you should work on. If you’re feeling brave, you could even ask your boss, your spouse, or one of your customers what you should improve on. Those would be good places to start.
Based on the input you receive from your team, build your plan and go to work. Your additional “practice time” might involve reading a book or listening to a podcast. It could mean that you spend half a day per week working “hands-on” in your wide-format department so that you can better learn the various substrates and their applications. You might decide to shadow a senior executive, to learn from someone you aspire to become. Or like a golfer that is trying to improve, start playing matches with folks much better than you are, it’ll help. Finally, just seek out the help of an expert. For example, imagine someone who doesn’t necessarily enjoy running, but has to learn to run a fast time trial. They might locate an expert that has been on a track team and that can share best practices with them to maximize their training time and their results.
Putting in the extra work to be the best at what you do means that you’ve made a decision not to be in the middle of the pack. You have made a commitment to yourself, and perhaps to others, that you will not be average and will strive to be the best you can be.
You can recognize those around you that have already made this decision. They are confident, and passionate about what they do. Listen to them explain what they do, they come across so naturally that it’s second nature to them. They also tend to surrounded themselves with other like-minded folks who share the same affinity to excel.
Becoming the very best that you can be starts with making the decision to do so. Commit to working on you, and show up early for practice. I hope that these thoughts will help lead you to being the best at what you do. Good luck and have fun.
Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic assessments, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.com, LinkedIn or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.