It's Great. That's Better

October 21, 2021

That is what we do: we compete. Some are more zealous than others. Internal rivalry may exist, which is where I've invested a lot of my time and effort.

The majority of competition, on the other hand, is focused on the outside world. Athletes compete against other athletes, and businesspeople compete against one other as well. Millions of individuals are just attempting to keep up with the overachieving Joneses.

I don't want to deflate your euphoria. Maybe I do, now that I think about it. Only one number one can exist. What are you if it's not you or your company?

Is a top ten or top 100 ranking sufficient? There are almost 50 million results for the term "greatness" on Google. We are fascinated with grandeur as a culture and as a species.

Here's the deal, and I'll be brutally honest with you. You may spend your whole life trying to achieve greatness, but it's a fool's errand. It's a rarefied atmosphere. What would be so wonderful about excellence attainable by the masses?

All of your hard work, anxiety, and tension may only lead to goodness or, if you're fortunate, above-averageness. Because, as I previously said, there is only one number one, regardless of how hard you work or how much passion and ambition you have.

Don't worry, I've got a solution for you. First, let me tell you a tale. My wife and I had been invited to a high tea party. This isn't something we see every day.

That was, in fact, my first high tea in my 54 years on this planet. It simply sounds nice, but it has nothing to do with the plot. What did was the tea discussion we were having.

We were discussing individuals we knew who were fascinating and fun to be around. What do you think? They weren't the super-achievers or the folks on a quest for greatness. No, we were discussing how much we admire "outsiders."

You see, the individuals we remember and find fascinating are all one-of-a-kind. The same can be said for the brands and businesses we like and follow. The greatest part about being unique is that we can all do it; in fact, we have already done so. There are no one-of-a-kind items; everything is unique.

Now, there's constructive "different" and non-productive "different," and I'll let you decide which is which. We may set ourselves distinct because of our productive differences. It's a much better and far more effective way to be noticed and heard than just being excellent or above-average.

In our misguided quest of grandeur, we lose what makes us unique. All of the time and effort we spend on that erroneous quest might be better spent refining our distinctions and telling our narrative.

I am quite OK with the fact that I am not excellent. My mother may disagree, but that is the subject of a separate series of essays. While I am not perfect, I am distinct, one-of-a-kind, and original. I have a different perspective on the world, a different approach to issues, and a different way of connecting with others.

I wear it as a badge of pride and weave it into the stories I tell myself and others.

Take a break from the hamster wheel. Embrace what sets you apart as a person and as a business. Tell the rest of the world about it. At high tea, it will be about you, your brand, and your business. Those seeking goodness, above-averageness, and grandeur aren't really fascinating, believe me.

Thanks to Elliot Begoun at Business 2 Community whose reporting provided the original basis for this story.

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