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  • Writer's pictureBill Petrie

Get Your Motor Running

Is your engine running at peak efficiency?

  • I’m reasonably intelligent, but I’ve never been the sharpest knife in the drawer.

  • I can be creative, but no one would ever accuse me of being a misunderstood genius who will only be recognized decades after my passing.

  • I have successfully sold to many Fortune 500 accounts, but I’ve never been the top salesperson at any organization.

  • I love to write and have won awards for it, but I’ll never author a New York Times bestseller.

  • I have led teams of people to great success, but there are far more impactful and influential leaders than me.

Despite all of this, I’ve had (so far) a career that makes me proud. While I may not be the best in any category listed above, whatever success I’ve achieved is because no person on this planet will ever outwork me.

In other words, I rarely meet a person who can match my motor.

However, it wasn’t always that way. For those of you who know me well, it might surprise you that I was very quick to cut corners for the first part of my career. I was lazy, didn’t give my total effort, and, as much as it pains me to admit, felt entitled. As a result, I was content to cruise through life being nothing more than mediocre. Looking back, I would’ve been happy to be considered average.

That’s not to say I didn’t have my moments – I did. However, they were mere flashes of promise in an otherwise dull and forgettable career to that point. Unfortunately, those flashes weren’t enough, and, predictably, I was invited to pursue career excellence elsewhere (i.e., fired). As I looked in the mirror, I knew it would do me no favors to blame my boss, the industry, or anything; no, this was 100% on me and my lack of effort.

From that day forward, I promised myself that I would never allow anyone to outwork me again – and I’ve honored that commitment. I started showing up consistently, sharing my honest thoughts on topics instead of just keeping quiet, and genuinely caring about the results of the work I did then simply working to get it done. I always knew I had some talent when it came to marketing, branding, and sales, but I never worked hard enough to begin realizing that potential.

However, it wasn’t until I began intentionally surrounding myself with people who had that same motor that I was able to shift into overdrive. Like driving a race, the folks with similar and, at times, more efficient engines pushed me beyond my self-imposed limits. They made me drive my motor harder, to run it more efficiently, and taught me when to lay off the accelerator to recharge. Without those people, my motor would be running hard, but I wouldn’t be able to go nearly as fast.

Regardless of the talent you do or don’t have, the one thing you truly control is your effort. When you decide to run your motor as high as possible, that’s when you’ll start driving the road to success more efficiently. Going further, when you surround yourself with people who run their motors at a high rate, you’ll get there even faster.

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