Don’t Settle For Average
Are you an Average Joe? When I think about the term Average Joe, Homer Simpson comes to mind – the person who goes to work and does what’s needed, goes home and does the same, and then gets up and repeats each day of the week. There is nothing wrong with being average, but, if given the option, why wouldn’t you strive to be more?
There are many people who come to mind when I think about above average, both in my personal life and in the world at large. I know the types of people I wanted to emulate, and it doesn't include Homer Simpson. I am not saying I am above average, but I know that I am striving to do more professionally and personally. Trying to break out of "average" isn't easy and even if you try, there are no guarantees, but the possibility makes trying worthwhile.
Not being an Average Joe means working harder and sacrificing time that could be spent on leisure time and fun pursuits. Average people have hopes and wishes, but people trying to be above average have goals and plans. Do you? Do you work nights or weekends when its necessary? If you don’t, does the person who does – either at your workplace or at a competitor’s - do so? If yes, it is likely you will fall behind and that person will get the promotion or the business.
Sports can provide a good analogy for many business ideas, and that is the case here. The athletes who have the best and most consistent careers do because they are willing to put in time and effort to try and remain competitive at the highest level. A good example is the basketball player who puts in extra time outside of practice shooting shot after shot.
It makes me think if Steve Nash, who was a star point guard for the Phoenix Suns from 2004 to 2012. He was an all-star into his late 30’s. In professional basketball that is old! I remember reading how he changed his diet, the levels of his workouts and the extra time he put in both practicing and recovering from practicing and games, i.e. massages, using ice and heat, etc. He wasn’t ready to retire and he didn’t want to turn into an average player. By putting in the extra time and effort he extended his career and played at a well above average level for more years than he would have otherwise.
To not be average, you have to invest in yourself. Your existing responsibilities can make it hard to have that extra time you need to invest to break out of “average,” but if you don’t find the time you may never know or reach your potential. Don’t settle for average.
Here are a few quotes on not settling for being average that I find inspiring:
“There is no passion to be found in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” Nelson Mandela
“All I knew is that I never wanted to be average.” Michael Jordan
“Never settle for average.” Steve Jobs
As always, this post and others can be found on my blog, BusinessLawGuy’sBlog .
About the author: Neal Bookspan is a partner at the Phoenix, Arizona law firm of Jaburg Wilk . He assists clients with business issues, commercial litigation , workouts and bankruptcy litigation. Neal can be reached at 602.248.1000