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7 Reasons Why Average is Your Enemy

Photo by piyathep/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by piyathep/iStock / Getty Images

It’s rare that someone or some company aspires to be average, and yet it’s the exception rather than the rule when the average glass ceiling is broken.  While what it takes to go beyond average might be minute, why is it that not many achieve this level of service? As a motivated business owner, I see average as my enemy and something that I must guard myself from becoming. I’ve got to hand it to average, it does a great job of looking so easy, attractive and irresistible. Maybe that’s why organizations everywhere fall into the trap of thinking their customers, clients, shareholders, partners and employees will be ok with average results. I mean, average is good enough, right?

We are faced with a dilemma each and every day we show up. Choice number one (a choice of "HAVE" to do), to go about your tasks, fulfill your obligations, check off items on your to-do list and to arrive at the end of the day having completed it, in an average manner. Choice number two (a choice of "GET" to do),  being excited about the opportunities provided, being a problem solver, looking forward to achieving great things, promoting change for the better. I don’t understand how or why anyone chooses option 1, I see it as letting life happen as opposed to making like happen.

Average affects everything, the relationships in your life, the decisions that you make, the opportunities that are presented to you and the way you live your life. Average holds you back by telling you everything is good enough and that everything is going to be okay. Seriously, would you rather be okay or would you like to thrive and excel? 

Average affects everything, the relationships in your life, the decisions that you make, the opportunities that are presented to you and the way you live your life.

Here are 7 reasons why average is your enemy:

  1. Average doesn’t let you take responsibility. When the buck doesn’t stop with you and you feel the need to blame someone else, you are falling into the category of average. Once you start the blame game, it’s very hard to stop it. Consider for a moment being on the receiving side of a situation where you are not able to find a responsible party, no one is taking responsibility. It’s very frustrating and unsatisfying to not have a resolution. Your calls for help are answered by verbiage like, “Sorry, that’s our policy,” or “That is not our department, I’m not sure why they do it that way.” 
  2. Average provides little opportunity. When you aspire to be average, opportunity will not often come knocking. Unfortunately when it does knock, you usually will not recognize it as opportunity. More often, it will be seen as an inconvenience, too challenging to act upon and if acted upon you will be so deep in average, your climb up may be too much of a burden to get out of average.
  3. Average robs you of your creativity. Average is holding your creative side at bay. Stuck in a routine, not excited about what life has to offer and unable to see your potential? Whether you are a number cruncher, a burger flipper or podcast host, use your creative brain cells and maximize your potential. When average robs you of your creativity, you take a colorful world and make it grey and beige.
  4. Average is extremely contagious, immediately stop spreading it. Ever notice that average people tend to hang out with each other? They clock in at nine and they leave at five. Average often expresses itself in poor diet, poor outlook on life and a woe is me attitude. Average creates a victim and holds you down. Since average is contagious, other people that caught the condition commiserate with you and make you believe, "it is what it is."
  5. Average keeps you from looking at all the possibilities. As your enemy, average tricks you into thinking when you solve a problem satisfactorily you can move onto something else. Instead of stopping here, go beyond satisfactory and move into exemplary. Think back to an experience you had with an company that provided a service in such a way that your expectations were exceeded. Help someone become a raving fan of your work, exceed their expectations and you will be hooked. Destroy your enemy, average, and you will be happy you did.
  6. Average equates to good enough. When good enough becomes enough, it’s time to find something better to do. What I do know about you is this, I know that you were not put on this earth to be good enough.  I welcome the argument from anyone reading this to share with me your story of why good enough is good enough.
  7. Average holds you back from growth and keeps you in your comfort zone. While I admit I do find a measure of relaxation in my comfort zone, I will have to also admit if I graphed the time in my career when I grew the least, it was the same time I found myself in a comfortable routine. I liked the routine, but I hated the lack of growth. Once I started to step outside of my comfort zone and into unfamiliar terrain I usually met temporary setbacks followed by explosive growth. When you are average, things are comfortable, but everything, including the comfort zone, is temporary. Instead of failing via lack of growth, I was determined to step out of my comfort zone, and wait for growth to happen. Working in this pattern, I have always been successful.
Average holds you back by telling you everything is good enough and that everything is going to be okay.

When you start to believe in your heart that good enough isn’t, you start to see your world through an entirely different lens. You become more responsible for your actions and your behavior, you start to make your own opportunities, you develop creativity through-the-roof, your possibilities become limitless and you take risks because you know the rewards far exceed the dangers. You begin to spread your message with purpose and conviction and you step away from average and destroy your enemy. When you first start your journey the flywheel becomes tough to move, but once the flywheel is cranking at full speed, the enemy (average) will never stand a chance.

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5 Ways to develop your "Why not me" muscle

 

By mid morning you have already said no to yourself dozens of time. No more sleep, no more snooze button, no more food, no more social media, no more time and the list goes on and on. You’re exhausting yourself and the sun has just peaked over the horizon.

As soon as you wake up you begin setting limits for yourself, so it’s no wonder when things don’t go right for you it’s not surprising you begin to develop a “why me” attitude; it’s almost like you expect to be be shut down, to come in second place and to not be successful at any goal you attempt to set. Your mental muscle memory says stop before you even get started sometimes.

It’s time to stop hating on your yourself and develop your - why not me - muscle. Want to know why? Because you deserve it, that’s why. Let the training begin; the trick is to be consistent with your actions. Olympic athletes don’t show up at the stadium on event day, tie up their laces and just get started. They took years to train, develop a program, build muscle, and prepare for their day of glory. Your day of glory can actually be a lifetime of happiness, prosperity and winning results if you just develop an attitude of - why not me. Here are 5 ways to develop your - why not me - muscle:

 

Your attitude determines your actions.

I recently interviewed Arianna Huffington for my podcast. Of course I could have said to myself, “Why in the heck would she ever want to come on my show? She was just on Dr. Oz, she’s friends with Oprah and her book is already a bestseller, why would she ever need me?” Instead, I said, “Why not me?” I have a growing community of leaders, entrepreneurs and Nice Guys who will spread her message just as well as anyone, why not send her an email and ask. You know what? She responded with a few questions (through her publicist) and after developing a rapport with her publicist, landed the interview. I had a positive attitude and so happy that I put it all together. Your attitude will affect your results.

 

Action will always keep you moving forward.

Want to develop an ironclad plan for failure? Don’t take action and let fear stand in your way, and failure is guaranteed. Nothing great was ever achieved from doing nothing great. Put yourself in motion. Jeffrey Hayzlett, an entrepreneur and 3-time judge on celebrity apprentice says, “It’s not the lucky who win, it’s the relentless.” Take action, don’t give up and stay on course. It will never be a straight line to success and that is ok. Stay in action, keep moving and never give up, you will get there.

 

Your words have power. That can be good or bad.

John Livesay is a pitch coach, teaching business owners, inventors and entrepreneurs how to get funding for their businesses. He says success in getting funded is only a small percentage about the idea (product or service), but rather much more about the story that is told. “If you are authentic and realize this is your moment, grab heart strings and pull hard.”  Be emotional about your business and understand that the words that leave your mouth have power; develop confidence and good storytelling techniques so that your ideas can come to life.

 

You are who you associate with.

Growing up, my mom would say, “Show me your friends and I will show you who you are.” It’s so very important to associate with others that make a positive, lasting impact on you. Create a mastermind group or have a brainstorming buddy that will help keep you on track, positive and focused. Several months ago I met Jenna Atkinson when I was speaking at a conference. Jenna is much more focused on goal setting and developing action steps on the path to success than I am. In talking to her, it was easy for me to see she would be a great person to connect with to help me start focusing on building action steps to helping me build my business. Since starting my brainstorming sessions, I have seen a marked improvement in business. Associate with a winning crowd and build your - why not me - muscle.

 

Reprogram the internal hater.

Stop hating on yourself. If you keep stepping on number two, you will have a bad effect on number 1 - YOU! The internal hater is always telling you that you can’t do it. Stop beating up on yourself. Expect positive results and good things will happen. That doesn’t mean to say that you will be successful at everything you attempt, but go easy on yourself when you don’t succeed. When you hate on yourself, you chip away positive energy until all you have left is negativity and an attitude of - why me? Develop your - why not me - muscle by loving up on yourself, provide a bit of internal empathy, get back in the saddle and move on. The difference between success and failure is sometimes just saddling up.

 

Wherever you go, there you are.
— Joh Kabat-Zinn

Wherever you go, there you are.

Jon Kabat-Zinn’s best seller (Wherever You Go, There You Are) discusses the importance of mindfulness as it pertains to reducing stress, making life a bit easier to understand & define and helping us focus our mental energy and to improve our life. Life is about showing up, working on making incremental improvements day to day. If you let life happen to you, it will, and if you make life happen, it will. Do not go through life being a victim of circumstances. Take control of your life and make your own path. Incorporate into your training, mindfulness or other stress reducing, attitude building techniques.

Reprogramming yourself is not an easy task, and you will be met with challenges and roadblocks along the way. In order to get to places you have never been before in business and in life, you will need to make some changes along the way. Find accountability partners in this new approach, eliminate the - why me - attitude and watch the positive results flood in. Get excited, because summer is coming, and we are all looking forward to seeing how all that new muscle fits into your new self.

 

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4 Ways To Get Noticed Starting Right Now!

Photo by Nastco/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by Nastco/iStock / Getty Images

The noise is everywhere, making it more challenging than ever for your message to be heard. With so much noise , how is it possible to get noticed, stay top of mind, or even get your brand off the starting line? The goal isn't to get noisier, that would be the answer if your were looking to be more annoying.  Business will not just find you, you have to go and get it. But how can you get more business and rise to the top, above the noise and get noticed?

It's time to get your head out of the sand and start focusing on the real reason people will do business with you. The answer is NOT about having the lowest price, the best features, the quickest delivery or even by being the best at what you do. Certainly, some of those things are nice, but they are not the universal answers to building business. Building business is about building relationships and that starts with each and every encounter you have. Start getting noticed now, regardless of whether you are developing a relationship online or face to face. Use these 4 tips to start getting noticed beginning right now:

The most rewarding things are the things you do for others. Especially when you’ve done it because you’ve wanted to, not because you’ve had to. @Mark_Sanborn
— Mark Sanborn

Catch people in the act. Getting caught in act is not about finding people doing something wrong. This time, catch them doing something right. People respond well to compliments and businesses respond the same way. If a brand you want to get noticed by does something good, let them know it. Create a "social scene" if they have done something good for their community. Tweet it out. If they have resolved a problem with a customer, let it be known how quickly the issue was brought to resolution. Too often companies are chastised for doing something wrong. Not often enough are they given praise. If a brand you are trying to build a relationship with does something right, catch them in the act, and it will get you noticed. Action item: Write a handwritten "caught in the act" letter to a company you are trying to do business with and watch how quickly they notice you.

It’s a matter of thinking how you can add value. It’s not through what you sell, it’s what else you can bring to the table. @davekerpen
— Dave Kerpen

 

Add value to your relationships. Don't make it about you.  Spend more time on what you can do for those you want to be noticed by. As an self-help, business book writer, in a field filled with hundreds of other authors I work hard to promote my book, Nice Guys Finish First. Although there are dozens of podcasts that can help promote my book, the field is still very crowded and gaining access to podcasts is not an easy feat. Instead of sending an email describing the benefits of the book to their audiences, I tell them how I will be able to help promoted their show, sharing not just my episode but other episodes as well with my social network and email list. I've been told several times I was selected as a guest because of my willingness to share information with others and that I did not come across as selling. Action item: Write a list of 3 ways that you can add value to a brand you wish to pursue. In other words, what can you offer them and in what ways can you help them to achieve their mission.

Be genuine, authentic and have peoiple in your life that will call you out and hold you accountable. @getjimpalmer
— Jim Palmer

 

Be unique. Don't be normal. Normal is a setting on your washing machine. Be unique, creative or downright entertaining. That doesn't mean that you have to break into song when you walk into your office or start tap dancing when get into the parking garage. A friend of mine, Ted Rubin is known for wearing crazy socks. Before delivering a keynote, audience members have remarked, "I wonder what socks Ted has on today?" Bowties, eye glasses or cufflinks are great ways to gently show your unique nature.  Maybe fashion isn't your thing, and that's ok. To be unique and add a bit of personality to my emails, I sign almost every email with an "XOXO." I've gotten email responses from people thanking them for the smile and the X's and O's. Action item: Make it your goal today to do something unique to get yourself noticed. If that scares you, start small, but realize your uniqueness will set you apart from the rest of the world. Be uniquely you.

If you think about the relationship first, if you are nice, and treat people well, it will enhance your relationship. @tedrubin
— Ted Rubin

 

Put yourself out there. In order to get noticed you have to take action, starting today, right now. Open your mouth, let your opinion be known, be remarkable and go big or go home. Putting yourself out there might mean volunteering for a project at work, stepping outside your comfort zone, doing something that you have never done before and taking some risk. Risk does not mean reinvention. You don't have to turn your life upside down if the risk outweighs the potential reward, but push yourself beyond the walls that you have built around yourself for so many years. Stop telling yourself NO and start telling yourself YES. Life comes at you fast, take control of the direction you are heading on the path you are on. Action item: Putting yourself in a position to be noticed is about putting one foot in front of the other and taking baby steps. Sign up for Toastmasters Club or attend a networking meeting and take control of your future today. 

Work hard to eliminate mediocre, average and an attitude of insignificance from anything you do. Each action step you take will help get you noticed. Getting noticed will help grow your existing relationships and will help build new relationships relationships as well. As an added bonus, the more you get noticed, the more confident you will become. Keep in mind, in order to see growth you will need to approach these changes with a genuine desire to improve and help others in the process and that's so much more cost effective (and helpful) than renting out Time Square.

Check out the latest episode of Nice Guys on Business....it pairs quite nicely with today's post.

Member of OPENforBusiness

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3 Apps That Will Blow Your Mind, Not Your Wallet

I love a good productivity app and these three are incredible. Put a little YOU in your schedule and feed your soul and your mind with positive vibes. Taking a break during your day can be a challenge, but adding a few moments of down time can help boost your productivity and help you feel less stress in your day. Studies show short breaks, 15 minutes or less, will reduce fatigue, improve mental acuity and make you happier. Sounds like a winning plan to me. 

Yoga Studio, by Modern Lotus - $3.99

Developer's description - Yoga Studio includes 65 ready-made classes. Choose your level (beginner, intermediate or advanced), duration (15, 30 or 60 minutes) and focus (strength, flexibility, relaxation, balance or combination) to find the perfect class for you.

We think learning how to move from one pose to the next is important - just as important as learning the poses themselves. That's why all our classes come with full HD video and teacher commentary that's clear and easy to follow.

Mr. Nice Guy description - I've been using this app for several months, and I love that I can listen and watch instruction as I am doing my yoga poses. For a guy that is not so coordinated, I prefer the app over going into a studio and feeling awkward while attempting some of the poses. This app is perfect for someone who is busy and can't dedicate an hour in the studio, plus commute time back and forth from class. Multiple collections are included including beginner, intermediate and advanced essentials. Classes for runners, people with back pain, sun salutations (whatever that is) and my favorite, Yoga Quick Fix (classes in under 10 minutes). Another huge plus is the meditation feature that guides you step by step into deep relaxation. This is a must-have app if you are a travelor or someone that has very limited time, but want to add yoga or meditation into your life.

 iTunes           Modern Lotus

 iTunes         Modern Lotus

Pzizz, by Pzizz - FREE

Healthdeals.com description - A nap can feel quite decadent, but short naps (20 to 30 minutes) also offer some benefits in terms of improving mood, alertness and performance. Touted as “the world’s most advanced sleep and power nap system,” pzizz (pronounced puh-ziz) incorporates “inspiring words, enchanting music, delightful sound effects and binaural beats” to relax and calm users’ minds., The app’s algorithm ensures that the soundtrack varies—there are more than 100 billion—which helps it remain effective. Use the power nap module for quick daytime refreshment and then use the sleep module for a solid night of slumber.

Mr. Nice Guy description - I had never been one to take powernaps, but Pzizz has changed all that for me. Open the app, set your time limit and hit "play." The rest (literally) is taken care of from there. Calm narration leads you into guided sleep as a series of soundscapes lure you into powernap supersleep. Before using this app, I admit I was very skeptical of the idea of an app for napping, but I can assure you, this app is awesome. Other features include a sleep module that will help you get to sleep at night, an alarm clock and tutorials to help you get the right mix of voice and music levels.

Buddhify, by Mindfulness Everywhere, $4.99

Developer's description - Practical, playful and beautifully-designed, Buddhify increases your wellbeing by teaching you mindfulness-based meditation on the go.

With over 11 hours of custom meditations for 15 different parts of your day including traveling, being online, taking a work break and going to sleep, buddhify 2 gives you a simple but effective way to bring more mindfulness and calm to your busy day.

Mr. Nice Guy description - A colorful wheel of options presents opportunity for you to select any circumstance you wish to add meditation. Feeling stressed, can't sleep, difficult emotions, feeling ill? Select your situation and Buddhify will provide a series of meditations to choose from. I find this app particularly good when I am dealing with a high anxiety moment and can't quite get focused or on track. One of several narrators will guide you through your meditation, allowing time for you to take action. As a beginner in the world of meditation this app has helped me realize there are many ways to manage stress and anxiety. Additionally, the app is an amazing tool for anyone searching for a quick dose of mindfulness during a busy day. Over 80 meditations, most under 12 minutes.

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Let Your Moral Compass Lead the Way

Where is your moral compass taking you?

Where is your moral compass taking you?

I was raking leaves in my front yard this past Sunday, getting lost in the Zen-like action of pulling the rake through the brown, yellow and red leaves, uncovering the still green color of the grass below. I have not experienced this task for many years, having lived in a condo for several years and prior to that, living in a house with only one token tree in the front yard. Just like Charlie Brown loved his Christmas tree, we loved our tree since it belonged to us. It just wasn't the same experience as having a mighty oak or two or several maple trees shedding their leaves in autumn. As is often the case, when left on my own, without supervision, my mind started to wander. And since it was Sunday, thoughts of the upcoming week were pulling strong at me. As I mentally started a check-list of to-do items, I quickly stopped myself and  redirected my firing synapses.

What if, I thought, instead of a list of tasks, I completed a list of intentions, a focus on big picture actions instead of daily minutia. I'm a big list maker. I know if it somehow manages to get on my list, my goal is to accomplish the task and get it off my list. This week, however, I wanted to try something different. What if, instead of just doing the little things, I wrote down a list of the really big picture things that I wanted to do. I know I can't make the world a better place by making one big decision or by taking one action step in the right direction. I could however, make the world a better place if EVERY decision I make and every action I take is guided by my moral compass. Without a doubt, we all have a moral compass. The question is, do we follow it  as we make our way through life? 

I can make the world a better place if EVERY decision I make and every action I take is guided by my moral compass.

I can't answer any of these moral compass questions for you, but I challenge you to write them at the top of your task lists you write this week. I also challenge you to let the answers to these questions help guide you as you make decisions, take action and follow through with others you come in contact with this week.

  1. Did I bring good to the world and did I make the world better through my actions today?
  2. Did I treat others with respect and did I treat them fairly?
  3. Am I staying true to my beliefs and to myself?
  4. Am I being compassionate, empathetic and caring?
  5. Did I do the right thing, even when the right thing was hard to do?

I am confident there are many other questions you can ask yourself to help guide you, direct you and carry you along your journey. If my questions don't put wind in your sails,  come up with a list of your own questions. Your moral compass may not point to the same place as mine (and that's ok), but, keeping your set of questions in mind,  I am pretty sure wherever it takes you, you will feel a huge level of satisfaction when you turn around and recount the journey you just traveled.



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