By Ismail Abdur-Rahman, CEO iVIBES
Hold on. Before you misunderstand the message, let me explain. I'm not going 50 Cent on you, but I do want to make a point. The most un-successful people I meet on a daily basis are the ones who tell me about how they are trying to reach their goals.
Let me tell you what I've discovered about 90% of the people I've met: they talk a good game, but their mouths inevitably write checks that their actions can't cash.
You can tell me all day about how badly you want to be successful, how badly you want to develop your business, and all the rest of it. I might even give you the benefit of the doubt and believe you....until you prove to me that I can't.
For example, when I call you at 8 A.M. and find you still sleeping, I know that you aren't really trying to be successful; it's more like a wish. Expecting success without being committed to working hard for it is delusional. Many people have idealized the concept of success but really don't have the makeup to go after it with 100% effort, to say nothing of off-the-meters effort topping 100%.
Honestly, I'd say that most people give an effort that hovers somewhere between 60-75%, and that's OK. It's just OK. It's average. I don't know how a reasonably intelligent person could expect that average effort would yield above average results. The reality is that success can typically be considered a function of effort (along with talent and opportunity), and the level of success you experience is directly proportional to your effort. For example, if you study 60-75% of the syllabus for a math exam, what kind of grade would you actually expect? An 'A'? Be for real. There's no guarantee that you would even pass if you neglected 25-40% of the test material. So, if you're giving me 60-75% effort, you are essentially aspiring to be average. This is actually the number one reason I fire my clients: I'm allergic to mediocrity. I can't do average. And since the person you are is a reflection of the 5 people that you spend the most time with, I don't keep clients who give an average effort because I don't want to become infected by their love for mediocrity. Moreover, I refuse to let a lazy client aspire to mediocrity and actually achieve it on my watch. I mean, I try to coach my clients up and inspire them to work harder than they ever have before so that they can experience the type of success that they've never had before, but at the end of the day, keeping a client with a poor work ethic who refuses to give at least 100% effort to the project reflects badly on me.
I routinely wake up at 5 A.M. or earlier, despite the fact that I typically go to sleep around 1 A.M. or so. Why? Because the grind demands it. I don't know of anyone who built a successful business by sleeping deep into the morning. But I do know plenty of well-rested average people. There are loads of people who eat well and get 8 hours of sleep who are unemployed or bankrupt. Many of them are quite talented, too. But,as my high school football coach, Tony Verducci, told me: "Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard."
Simple fact: if you have the minimum required talent and convergent opportunity, and you give 100% effort to achieving your dreams, even if you don't quite achieve every goal you set, you're certainly likely to achieve some of them. What's more, the personal growth that you'll experience during the process of giving 100% of your effort and focus to achieving your goals will make you a winner in and of itself. Trust me, this beats the heck out of aspiring to be average with a 60-75% effort and succeeding.
That's why I have this sign hanging in my office.