• Bill Petrie

Good Enough is NOT Good Enough

Three ways to immediately move away from average

As business owners and leaders, we all aspire to stand out from the competition. However, over time, the seemingly endless day-to-day administrative work begins to take over our universe like Darth Vader conquering the ice planet of Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back. And, as we grow increasingly comfortable in our roles and understand how to navigate the culture of our organizations, something happens: Being good enough becomes acceptable. But, is it ever really okay to accept good enough?

Imagine this: several peers are discussing you and your work. During the conversation, they share their thoughts about your style, your vision, and your overall value to the organization. At the end of the exchange, the consensus is you are good enough.


Think about that for a moment. Do you want to be known as good enough? I sense that you don’t.

To me, “good enough” is a euphemism for:

  • I’m comfortable being average

  • I would rather be lazy than create work that matters

  • I don’t care enough to give my best

  • I prefer to blend into the background because it’s safe

It’s unreasonable to expect to be great all the time. It's also unreasonable to expect perfection as that is something that simply doesn't exist. So, it’s not about being great – it’s about continually striving to be great. It’s about effort and persistence. When you have a steadfast commitment to greatness, people will not only follow your lead; they will begin to strive for excellence as well.


The same translates to being good enough in the eyes of your clients. If your clients describe you as being “good enough”, you can rest assured they will find a partner who consistently strives for greatness. Simply stated, good enough is mediocre, and mediocrity is the enemy of excellence. With that in mind, here are three things that you can do immediately to move away from good enough:

  1. Attitude – So much in life is determined by attitude. Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right. When you keep dwelling on negative thoughts or thinking that you can’t accomplish something, you only end up working against yourself. This is nothing more than self-sabotage, and the only results it will yield are negative. Instead, make it a habit to think that you can – then prove yourself right.

  2. Execute – Stop thinking about doing and execute. There is a time for planning and a time for action. Don’t fall into the trap of overplanning every move as you learn far more by making progress on a goal than continual planning. Furthermore, each bit of movement will either teach you how to do – or how not to do – something. There are very few challenges that cannot be overcome with sustained action.

  3. Let it Go - No, I’m not talking about the song from Frozen. The very best don’t carry around baggage. Instead, they let things go and move on. Either your approach is working, or it’s not. If it’s not working, let it go and find a different way forward. But, whatever the result, DO find a way forward.

By focusing on these three things every day, you can quickly move away from the tyranny of good enough. Remember, when passion and purpose meet action, there is little that cannot be accomplished.

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