For Small Business Success, Average is the Enemy of Great
When I talk to owners of small and medium sized businesses, many of them are content to say, “We’re doing OK.” However, their contentment with average performance is the enemy of them achieving the ultimate level of business success.
So what is it that leads people to stop wanting to learn how to do it better? I think it may be an ego problem.
Small business success is a direct reflection of the strengths and weaknesses of the business owner. Most people achieve the success that satisfies their ego, or it’s companion, self-image. Many people are satisfied that they have achieved a greater level of success than their peers, or their old school buddies, or perhaps their parents. Some people are only satisfied if they are acknowledged by their peers as the best there is. Others are only satisfied if they feel they have done their best, no matter what others think.
Now, this is not about right or wrong. It’s just that where you choose to be satisfied will determine the level of your success. Most people actually know how to do better, but they stop at what they are prepared to accept. That’s why average is the enemy of great. Average performance is probably accepted as a pass mark. It’s better than failure. That’s good enough for many people. My issue is that this leaves so much untapped potential unrealized.
When I see exceptional business success, the business is often run by a very, outwardly appearing, ordinary person. They don’t seem to have more knowledge or skill than average business owners. The only difference I can see is that they were not satisfied with accepting average performance and did what was needed to become exceptional.
The reality is that nothing can overcome the limits we put on ourselves. One of those limits is what we will accept, or what level of success we choose to be satisfied with. Some people complain about their results, but still do nothing to change. They are choosing to be satisfied with average.
How can we change if this level of performance is so tied into our ego and self-image?
The answer is not to work harder on our business, but to start to work harder on ourselves.
There are many things we can do to develop a healthier ego and self-image. Usually this starts with seeking someone else’s opinion and getting a mentor, coach or counsellor. It’s hard to work on self-image alone. You need someone else to reflect the truth. It is so easy to distort it through our own eyes.
So, if you have an inkling you could do better, stop being satisfied with what you have and start to work harder on yourself. You will be amazed at what you may achieve and how much better you will feel about yourself. It will take effort to go beyond yourself, but it’s worth it.
There are many more tips about the importance of working on yourself in the first chapter of Run Your Business on Autopilot. You can get book for free at www.businessonautopilot.com.au.
If you want to stop accepting average and would rather go for great, use this book as your starting point towards ultimate small business success.