“I could have done this better at home.”
You ordered the flatbread appetizer but it’s more like toaster oven pita bread with shredded cheddar and bacon bits.
I’m willing to bet something like this happens every day to every one of us: someone did the bare minimum, called it done, and you’re left to pick up the pieces.
Your web developer delivered the project and didn’t bother to add custom graphics or install essential plug-ins. You have to beg a vendor for an invoice so you can bill the client. You leave a voice mail for someone with whom you want to do business and don’t get a call back.
You really have to wonder. Do these people not care? Why are they in business?
It’s because there are takers, and there are givers in this world.
Takers expect, deserve, and blame. They half-ass things because they think they can get by with it, and then they wonder why it’s not working for them. Why didn’t they get the promotion? Why isn’t their business growing? It’s always someone else’s fault. So they complain and they surf the internet. And complain more. They think they can get by doing the bare minimum, but it isn’t working for them and therefore life just isn’t fair.
The givers believe in doing everything “whole-assed.” You set goals, you make plans, and you hold yourself accountable for reaching them. If you made a mistake somewhere along the line, you learned the lesson and moved on. You go the extra mile.
When you whole-ass things, you take the time to do things half-assers wouldn’t even consider doing because whether it pays off in the short-run or the long-run, or not at all, you don’t care. You do it because it’s the right thing to do and you are getting after what you want.
Stop Keeping Score
Scorekeeping might work for football and tennis, but it doesn’t work in life. If you’re busy worrying about who owes who a favor, you’re focused on the wrong metrics.
Deciding how to spend our precious minutes on this earth each day is something I know I do every day.
- Takers ask if it’s going to pay off.
- Givers don’t think that way.
Being nice to the loud talker in the airport even though you’re posting about him on Facebook; replacing a broken item for free even though the customer might have been at fault; putting in extra hours at night after the family is in bed; staying open an extra 15 minutes because someone walked up to the door minutes after you had locked it; writing a guest blog post for an up and coming blogger; fixing processes in your internal operations; personally emailing each of your blog subscribers; having a Skype call to give advice to someone in need….
These things all take time away from ticking off the items on your to-do list. You can make a quick judgement about whether it will be worth your time or not, but you have no idea unless you actually do it.
The client you think is small-time and a drag on your resources could have just been bought out by a large conglomeration and wants to see proven results before they expand their budget – the potential is huge and you have no idea. The person who just subscribed to and commented on your blog with no avatar could be an executive or the spouse of an executive with that company you’re trying to get into.
I took a short ski break from work the other morning and wanted some alone time but someone hopped on the chairlift with me. I could have just turned up my music. Instead, we struck up a conversation. He had an interesting story; I might have a new running buddy (his wife), and they want to talk to me about consulting on their business.
Each and every micro-interaction matters. Don’t screw up on opportunities just because your snap judgement tells you it’s not worth your time.
Whole-assing your way through life is what you do because it’s rewarding; not because there is a pay-off or return.
So stop being a scorekeeper and think about what you can do to be a giver today.
- Do something extra for your clients and customers – send them an idea, a thank you, a small token.
- Forward that podcast that made you think of so and so whom you haven’t spoken to in years and tell them why.
- Send that call for speakers email to someone you know would be perfect for the spot even though they’ve never done anything for you.
- Take any and every excuse to connect with someone every day.
A funny thing happens when you give with no expectation other than to feel good. I am reminded daily how rich the relationships are in my life. And with those relationships, come new business opportunities.
Whether you own your own business, have a big job or a small job or no job at all. Your life is your business and you should run it like one – like you mean it and you want it. We don’t know what deeds or work are going to pay off. But I can tell you one thing: Doing it half-assed has never worked for anyone.
So? What will you do first?