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Five Percent Better


So often people tell me that they really, really want to escape mediocrity, that they want to stand out from the crowd with excellence but that it feels SO hard to do.

I sympathize. When I first started on this journey, I, too, thought it was going to require super-human effort. And while I do know that resisting the subtle pull of the mediocre crowd involves persistent vigilance, I’ve discovered that being UN-mediocre really isn’t about leaping tall buildings in a single bound, or exerting exhausting effort day in and day out.

It’s about doing/being five percent more than everyone else around you.

I know, I know. Fiver percent doesn’t sound like much. It sounds too small to be worthy of thought, much less to be a worthy quest for those who’ve signed up to be more than mediocre.

Let me share my thinking.

What if:

– You delivered 5% better customer service than any other company you know about?

– You gave 5% more value in your products and/or services than anyone else?

– You focused 5% more time on being an excellent parent than you do right now?

– You learned 5% more than the people around you?

– You gave 5% more of your time, money and talent to a cause that mattered to you?

– You improved your skill set 5% over those who are in the same market space as you are?

– You revealed 5% more of yourself in your most meaningful personal and professional relationships?

Get the idea?

So often we get trapped in thinking that to be UN-mediocre, we’ve got to be 200% better than everyone else. And because that sounds so difficult, our thinking keeps us right where we are.

So what if today you focused on just being 5% better? And tomorrow, 5% better than that?  Where might you end up a week from now? A month from now? A year from now?

I would love to hear how you will put Five Percent Better to work so please share in the comments. 🙂



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  • I only read 5% of your blog post. Tomorrow I’ll read 5% more. Eventually I’ll finish it and when I do, I’ll write a comment on how it was great insightful post that made me think that if I was 5% cooler, It would be a hug step up from 0%. I’d also share it because anyone can add 5% to arsenal.

  • Today, your best was good enough. Tomorrow you will do better.

    somewhat of a paraphrasing of our company motto. Better is better…why stretch for unrealistic expectations? No need to be 200 percent better, when five percent will do. If everyone else is giving 100, your 105 will stand out. 106, 146, 200, etc will not necessarily stand out MORE.

    Plus, if you’re really THAT much better…its not necessarily seen as a good thing.

  • Interesting concept. Must less stressful than trying to be superwoman!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Are you stuck in a rut?

  • Have you read The Slight Edge? That’s what your post reminds me of.

  •  Anything is better then zero! 🙂