Welcome to the Internet in 2013.
Everyone has a voice now. The gatekeepers have been eliminated. So how do you stand out? It’s not enough to be good. You have to be excellent.
Yet most people never meet a standard of excellence.
They come close. They hit a standard of sufficient or good. Maybe even great. But excellence eludes them, and they fail.
Why? Two reasons.
#1: They have failed to define their own personal standard of excellence.
If you want to create something excellent, you have to make it easy for yourself to recognize what excellence looks like.
How will you know? You have to create a standard.
Here’s the one I have used for multiple decades. Everything I do must produce a “yes” when I ask these questions:
- Will it help people who are hurting?
- Will it be relevant 200 years from now?
This one may or may not work for you. If you like it, give it a try. Or add it to your own idea of excellence. Or completely disregard it.
There is no right answer because there is no universal definition of excellence. As a matter of fact, anything that’s excellent is always hated by at least a few people (usually the product of one-star thinking).
Create your standard of excellence. Make a checklist. Then follow it.
#2: They don’t take the time to produce true excellence.
It takes a long time to get from square one to excellence. But it’s sometimes shocking to see how little time it takes to transform something good into something excellent.
Most good ideas or projects are only 15 minutes from excellence. Don’t believe me? Next time you think you’ve created something good, do this:
- Set a timer (I love using an egg timer) for 15 minutes.
- During those 15 minutes, focus 100% of your energy on coming up with that one idea that would really push what you’re working on over the top.
- When the 15 minutes are up, implement that one idea. Immediately.
I’ve seen this yield amazing results over and over, in my own life and in others’ lives. In fact, the cover for the new eBook I’ll be launching before the end of the year was the product of a “15 Minute” session. (Keep an eye out for that, by the way!)
I know this isn’t easy. It’s hard to reach what you think is the finish line only to challenge yourself to run another mile.
But what’s the point of working hard all day if you are not setting a new standard? Why study if you don’t plan on making A’s?
You must be at a point where you physically pull yourself out of bed once the light has gone off in order to give just 15 minutes more. Of course, you also have to be fully prepared that the 15 minutes can easily turn into two hours. Once you have excellence in your sights, it’s hard to stop the pursuit.
A lack of excellence is why most blogs, books, and businesses fail. An excellent platform cannot support content that is not also excellent. Each is half of the equation, and each must be excellent.
I’m curious…what project in your life needs an extra 15 minutes right now?