Show #417: Anything worth doing, is worth doing poorly

Show #417: Anything worth doing, is worth doing poorly

…until you can do it well. You need to hear the breakdown of that statement, as you can’t take it at face value. It is the launching point of this powerful message from Zig. We took it from “Strategies for Success – Blueprint of Achievement. Zig wraps up the entire series talking about goals and really achieving them. This is Zig at his inspirational summit.

Hi everyone, this is Kevin and this is Ziglar’s True Performance Show, episode 417 and we’re back with Zig. I’ve slowly been bringing you through his renowned series, Strategies for Success: Blueprint for Achievement, which you can get in MP3 format at, online store, mp3. These are the classic pillars of Zig’s message and what Ziglar today is founded on. It’s 6 focal points, each in 5 or 6 segments. Today I bring you the last audio in the entire series where Zig wraps up by talking about the power of the pump. This is one of his more famous analogies and why the Ziglar logo today has an old water pump in it.

And let me warn you, in a good way, Zig is on fire in this one. He’s at the top of his inspirational game and you can feel the energy infect you as he ramps up leading up to the 8 minute mark.

The clip of Zig is just over 9 minutes long, then we’ll break it down.

So Zig gets on his soap box about our propensity to want rewards, advancement, promotion, benefits…before we’ve fully earned them.

On this note, let me share something dramatically important. A game changer in your work. Chances are you do a really good job in your work. You have integrity and have proved you are trustworthy and honest. You show up on time and don’t leave early, maybe you come early and stay late! You can be depended on. You are quick to help and aid others. You take pride in your work. You may be in most ways a very exemplary employee or boss or biz owner. But folks, if that’s the case, it’s very likely that what you feel is your best, is merely what others expect or hope for. And that is often not enough. You are doing a great job fulfilling the spot you are in, but it’s not leading to more. Why?

So let me tell a story to make a powerful analogy.

I had a staff retreat for a medical practice I’m involved with, and our primary focus was on customer service. Not just basic, but…over the top. We utilized a book titled, “Raving Fans” by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles. It was published in 1993 and is a profound book. The primary point is that most businesses work hard to do a great job…fulfilling whatever product or service they provide. They do it with skill, pride and integrity. But in doing so, they are in essence, doing what the customer expected, or at least hoped for.

I recently went to Cancun with my wife, one of the big, all-inclusive resorts. It was pricey and we expected it to be great. What stood out?

Greeting us at the entrance with champagne

Wine and dessert in the room

The cabana guys literally running, to fulfill food and drink orders on the beach

The staff being amazing at remembering our names

Tending to our room when we were gone

Tidying the room

Other things that went above and beyond

Doing a good or even great job would have made me a satisfied customer. But going above to wow me made me a Raving Fan and I’m immensely more likely to Return, and Refer.

Do you know any businesses that just wow your socks off? You are 100% loyal and send everyone you know there?

Really think about it. Because I’ll bet in most cases, you are loyal to whoever serves you best, but if another business or provider came along and did it a little better in some way, you’d switch. And as the book talks about, it’s highly likely that from a customer service perspective, whoever you are loyal to does ok, but is merely better because customer service in most businesses these days stinks. Doing a good job is better than most, you don’t even have to be great!

SO…to Zig’s message about advancement, promotion, rewards…think about your work. And especially think about the perspective others have about you. Your coworkers, bosses, managers, employees… are you wowing them in any way? Even though you bust your butt and in your mind go above and beyond…maybe especially in relation to others you work with, is it possible that you are doing, what should be expected. You are doing what should be done and you see it as amazing because everyone else is performing much lower than the bar. But do you get the point, you may be the best, but you are merely meeting the bar. To exceed it, takes something abnormal.

I know many people who are bitter because someone they view as having less skill, ability or integrity has surpassed them in the work place. And they snidely criticize the person, “Yeah, Jack doesn’t do half the job I do, but he’s always bringing home cooked baked goods in and goes around brown nosing with everyone. Meanwhile I’m here busy as a bee getting great work cranked out, and HE gets promoted. Promote me and you’ll see how much I can do.”

Or businesses complaining about how they do a better job than a competitor but are losing business to them. Reminds me of a local mechanic in my town. If a mechanic shop does a great job replacing my transmission, in a timely manner and at a competitive price, they feel they have satisfied me. And you’re right, they have. I’m a satisfied customer. They believe they did it more competently, faster and at a better price than the competitor. And they may have! But for me, they did exactly what I expected, or hoped for. And they are exasperated when I have my next car need taken care of at a different mechanic, maybe just because I drove by and saw them, or had gotten a special coupon. But they didn’t give me a big reason or assurance they are…better than another.

So this one mechanic in my town. They do one thing extra. When do two extra things, they give me a ride wherever I need when I drop the car off, and when they are done, they wash my car! Some kid they pay $10 an hour to spend 30 min doing those things for me. $5. And it gets me to come back and spend thousands, and gets me to refer others. I’m prone to guess that for every $10 they spend here, they make $1,000 in return.

There is a windshield company here in town I’ve used. Last time I did, they did a good job, fulfilling exactly what they believe they are supposed to. They replace the broken windshield with a new one. Fast and affordably. There was no offer to drive me anywhere while they had it, and when I picked it up, my filthy car was…filthy. Except for a clean windshield that wasn’t actually spotless. They were focused on…fulfilling the order. Going above and beyond is so easy, and so forgotten.

What can you do to radically stand out? Seth Godin has two books relevant here: Purple Cow and Linchpin

Zig quotes,

“Anything worth doing, is worth doing poorly…until you can do it well.”

Folks, here is one of those quotes that I know I’ve heard before, but it hit me hard this time, and honestly, it was with my kids. I immediately took the quote, typed it into google and up popped many Ziglar quote posters. I pasted one into a family text and it spawned a great conversation with my oldest son who is feeling more and more he wants to pursue music, songwriting and playing guitar. But I’m going to talk about this with all my kids. I have a 16 and 10 year old who are not as prone to trying things, and even with things they really want, they’ll shy away and say, “But I stink at it!” And I reply with, “Well, starting is the only way to get better!” To which they’ll reply, “I know Dad.” But the way Zig puts it here…is stellar. I divulged in my family text, which includes my wife, that this pertains to me regarding dancing. She was a professional dancer/singer/actress. She can dance most pros off the floor. She wants us to be able to dance together. I can run a boulder field and mtn bike a technical trail like nobody’s business. But dancing, somehow my head and feed struggle to coordinate and I feel like a toddler. It’s embarrassing and I don’t enjoy it. But…my wife is worth it. So she’s worth me dancing like a drunk with duckfeet until I get better.

So what is something you’d like to be able to do? Is it worth doing incredibly poorly, until you get better at it?

Chinese Bamboo tree, one of my favorite analogies because it’s so, so relevant to much of our endeavors in life. You plant it, then water and fertilize it. First year, you see nothing. An entire year! 2nd, 3rd, 4th. 5th year, in 6 weeks, grows 90 feet. But as Zig says, it doesn’t really grow in 6 weeks. It just finally emerges from the 4 year preparation that if hadn’t happened, you’d see nothing, ever.

Most business success stories are like that. I talk about this much with a current business partner I have in a revolutionary medical, health and wellness arena. We are a year and a half into it. While there has been much success, it’s also been very trying. And even today, much of the tasks we are fulfilling makes us feel like it’s small potatoes. But we are nearing the opportunity to take it national. There is probability for fast growth. But it will be the fruition of a couple years effort on my part and near eight on his…of watering and fertilizing and gaining strength beneath the surface.

This is why many successful business people joke about the “overnight success” that took them 10 years of dramatic toil.

I think it’s a good example for all of us pursuing certain endeavors. Examples, if you are training to be a top marathon runner, you will put in hard work every month see incremental growth. We inherently expect all our pursuits to be like this, so when we don’t see tangible, incremental growth, we get frustrated.

But the big, silicon valley tech start ups, usually entail millions of dollars, people working like dogs for 20 hours a day and a year or five before they make dollar one. But if it’s a national or global roll out, they may make millions immediately.

If you look at every day as the opportunity to prepare for big opportunity and have faith in the process…watering and fertilizing until the time is right for fruition…opportunity presents itself, or you are now equipped to go out and take action with what you’ve grown and built…

But in the aspect of perseverance, what Zig shares about the pump…keeping pumping because it takes so long to come to the surface and can be right there, ready to explode with success, but if you stop, it all drains back down and you’ll have to start over. But don’t think about it as frantic…there is much to say about inertia and making daily deposits. In my past pro cycling days, the understanding was you could miss three days and have minimal fitness loss. But after that it declines rapidly and the time to regain the level of fitness goes exponentially up.

I see that propensity in us all. We do something and we thrive and sustain off the consistency. We progress and see the results from all the long, hard work. Then life happens and you miss a few days, a week, and the thought of starting back up and having to regain all you lost is just…too much. And you ditch it.

The benefit to keeping the momentum and inertia up is significant. Worth so much.

However, let’s talk about the reality of losing momentum. For 6 years I ran an online membership community called Free Agent Academy helping folks pursue self-employment. They’d come and begin, get into the program and get so excited and inspired and hopeful. They saw how it could really become a reality for them. They’d do the work, attend the classes, even come to live events. Then, life would happen and they’d finally lament they lost momentum. It will happen sometimes. Often regarding a new endeavor. Starts and stops.

So what do you do WHEN that happens?

There is a reality of muscle memory. My wife started dancing at age four. She as in the Austin Ballet Company later in life, performed a good while at the Galveston outdoor theater, and ended up dancing at Opryland back when it was a theme park known for it’s professional performances. She stopped dancing professionally at age 25. She’s gone for long seasons…such as being pregnant with, birthing and nursing 7 children, not dancing a bit. But then she’ll join a dance company for a season, and picks it right back up. She can get in shape really fast. Her muscles remember.

Same with me, I go for months not riding at all but if I spend a month riding a lot, I get cycling fit very quick.

Anything we do…creates memory. When we pick it back up, we’ll make gains much quicker.

But don’t think about the regular muscles that come to mind. Our brain is a muscle. My partner is a doc and studies the brain a lot. He says our habits create “greased up ruts” that we naturally fall into, good and bad. It takes a lot of work to develop a new habit and a new normal. But if we think about the daily, weekly deposits toward something, we need to realize we are creating and digging new ruts. I know that’s an odd analogy with rut often being a negative term, but in this scenario…think of paths.

It does add up. You don’t…lose it all. It’s worth it to restart

Zig humorously talks about those who try something and put a toe in the water, a little pumping, “I hope this works for me”.

OK, that’s an admitted soapbox for me. I literally let with sales promo for multiple endeavors, “This will not work for you! You…will work for you!” Losing weight does not happen without you doing some combination of eating healthier foods, burning calories and eating less overall calories than you burn. Any way you cut it. No program will work for you, you will work for you. What you are looking for is the program that fits you best. I have friends following a diet that puts the impetus on eating less. It’s not focused on healthier food or exercise. They like it. I do not. I’d much rather eat lots of food, but eat healthier and exercise a ton…so I can eat even more. I like eating.

So the question to ask is, “What program, product, service, perspective will help me do the work I’ll have to do with any program, for the result you want.