The opposite of great isn’t lousy. The opposite of great is “good enough”.

I don’t remember who first said that, but there is a lot of truth in that statement. When you want to be great, you have to be willing to do things that the person who is good enough isn’t doing. In sports, in business, in churches, in educational institutions, this is true.

Becoming the greatest in any field isn’t easy. There have been countless movies about the struggle to become the best. One of my favorites is the Rocky series. Rocky wins because he trains hard. He works through the beating he takes in the early rounds and then the endurance he trained for wins out. It isn’t easy, but he ends up on top.

In business, Bill Gates was always paranoid of some some teenager working 22 hours a day in his garage coming up with the silver bullet that was going to wipe Microsoft off the map. This fear kept him focused. It kept him working hard even when his company seemed to have a virtual monopoly.

In the church world, I haven’t met a pastor yet who says, “My church is too big. I think I will quit spreading the gospel to my community. ” “Great” might have a different measuring stick in the world of religion, but in order to be on top, one must still work for it. Jesus told his disciples that in order to be great they must become servants of all. Being a great servant is hard work!

In education, Harvard didn’t become one of the most well known names in the world for higher education overnight. It took centuries of hard work. It took deciding not to grow exponentially when they had the chance. (Harvard only has about 6-7,000 students. It could accept many, many more but that might water down the brand.)

In order for YOU to be great, YOU have to put in the hard work to push beyond “good enough”. Are you motivated to do that work?

 

You may remember the movie Wargames, an early 80’s movie staring Matthew Broderick. As he is productively using his leisure time hacking into government systems, the computer asks him if he would like to play a game…and the rest of the movie is an attempt to keep our whole world from ending. Games can be challenging!

If all the timegame was added together that people have played World of Warcraft, it would add up to billions of years! That is just one game. Why do people play games? Is it to escape reality or is there something deeper.

When my students “play games” in my class, there is often more than one goal. Their goal is to “win” while my goal is to get them to use their Spanish in a non-threatening environment like a game rather than the threatening environment of the quiz or exam.

In the business world, can we make games out of our work so that employees will want to “win” instead of concentrating on the drudgery of the job? If you remember reading Tom Sawyer, he convinced his friends that white washing the fence was such great fun that each of them wanted to try a hand at the “game”. He even made a profit on the deal. How can you add games into your industry to make a profit and help workers have fun while doing what needs to be done?

 

In life, there are really only three things that we have at our disposal to trade for money.

  1. Thoughts
  2. Things
  3. Time

While there are other things, you can sell plasma/body parts I don’t recommend it as a long term wealth creator.

So how do you sell thoughts? 

Write, create videos, then either sell the product itself or advertisements through your product. (Like monetized youtube videos or ads on a blog)

Invent something really cool! Your idea could be worth selling.

What about things?

Buying and selling things is the basis for many companies. You can start your own company, try your hand at a franchise or licence someone else’s product to sell.

Your time can be sold many ways.

When you work for someone else, you trade money for your time.

You can freelance

You may be able to create things on your time to sell. Crafts, custom furniture…

Figure out which of these you have to spare…Thoughts, Things or Time and use them to propel your life to the next level.

 

Sorry, I don’t have any great secret to losing belly fat other than exercise and burn more calories than you consume. My only great knowledge of how to get rich is similar. Spend less than you bring in and invest the difference wisely. For finding the love of your life, going Swing Dancing worked for me, but there is no guarantee that it will work for you. (Though it might help you lose some of that belly fat.) And if you want to see who is Googling you, I am sure you can google that answer.

We all get sucked in by great promises. Those slick headlines that give us hope. In reality, we learn sooner or later that there really is no substitute for diligence, consistency and hard work. Lou Ferrigno is a very well built guy. He won a lot of body building competitions and played The Incredible Hulk on TV. He didn’t get all those muscles by swallowing a magic pill or trying someones “6 weeks to a better you” plan. He spent hours each day in a gym working out.

Seth Godin is not a bodybuilder. He is a skinny bald guy. Like Ferrigno was in the bodybuilding world, Godin is a giant competitor in the marketing world. He has a number of best selling books, a widely read blog and a speaking schedule that is as full as he wants it to be. He didn’t win the lottery. He puts out a blog post every day! He writes every day! This has lead to his books being published. He works at giving people great value for their money and helping others succeed in business along with him.

You aren’t Lou Ferrigno, nor are you Seth Godin. You are YOU. You still have talent in some area. No matter what that talent is though, it needs to be worked on in order to become that great and recognized talent. The myth of the “overnight sensation” is just that: a myth. The truth is that the “overnight sensation” spent a lot of nights honing her craft until she was ready for that breakout moment.

What is a talent you have that you can work at to become the very best?

 

Sometimes in any business, we hit a low point. Our book isn’t selling, no one is coming into our store, the event we planned didn’t have the turnout we hoped for…. There are dips in the road. The thing to figure out is if that dip is the death nail in the coffin of your business or just a tough time to push through. Look at the money. Can you make it another day, week, month, quarter? What can YOU do to make things better? Sometimes the answer is nothing. If you have honestly done everything you can possibly do to bring in new customers, delight current/previous customers and be the choice in your market for your product or service and there isn’t enough business then you are left with some hard choices.

It may be though that this is just a slump. You might be wise to stay the course. Sometimes on the other side of the dip is where things take off. One business of mine had a major competitor in our market. Just as things seemed to be going not so well for us, the other competitor pulled out leaving me the sole purveyor of our service for that market. Things took off! There might not have been enough business to support two, but there was plenty to support one. I could have pulled out a few weeks earlier and missed the great opportunity that opened up by pushing through the dip.

I hope you can keep slugging and things take off for you soon!

 
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