Everywhere you turn, there are lists and statistics. Any business, any sport, any hobby - we will try to categorize who is the best at some component of that endeavor. It's part human nature and part technology, since we have been conditioned to have access to answers and trivial problems at our fingertips.

Don't believe me? Think of the last few searches you did online AND how you applied that knowledge, once learned.

To paraphrase the great Vince Lombardi, what does it mean to be number one?

To deviate from the great Vince Lombardi, nothing.

There is always going to be someone more successful, richer, better looking, or with a nicer car.

You cannot build a company or manage a life by chasing others, you have to find your success competing against yourself. There will always be a bigger fish. Your success has to be measured against yourself - a decade ago, last year, or yesterday. Several years ago, I met a young man who understood this component of business very well and every evening, as he got into his car to leave his office, placed a "+" or a "-" in his daytimer, depending on how he felt his day had gone.

It was far from scientific and most assuredly not objective, but he would review those positives and negatives each month and then, rate that month. His goal? He demanded that each week, then month, then year, show more positives than negatives. The whole purpose was to understand how he approached his own entrepreneurship, not someone else's version.

Did he ever end up on someone's Top Ten? Well, to tell the truth, he did. He has continued to be quite successful, but to visit his office, you would never know it. His biggest competition is the man that looks back from him in the mirror each morning as he shaves and despite his financial successes, he competes against something that many entrepreneurs fail to account for.

His potential.

Each of us has plenty of potential, but not enough of us strive to fulfill all of it. We can look back at the lives of men like Steve Jobs or Ray Kroc and discuss how they put their respective companies and industries on the map, but, had those men gone into any other business, their potential remains the same. Imagine Steve Jobs as an attorney? Ray Kroc as a military man?

Their actions, habits, and mental prowess would still afford them success since they sought to wrest every bit of their potential - and that of their chosen industries - out of each action. THIS is the important part of the point I'm trying to make here - your "expertise" (whatever it is) is no match for the mental acuity you can apply to the enterprise you seek to build. An accountant can design a software package, a restaurant owner can become a sales trainer. In any case, your success is not a condition of your experience or training, but rather a condition of how well you seek to learn how to provide a solution to a problem.

Certainly, as an expert in a chosen field, you can be more aware of issues within that field, but as a person, you experience life the same way that countless millions do every day as well. After all, rain falls on everyone, not just the inventor of the umbrella.

Quit chasing others and concentrate instead on consuming every bit of the potential that you have been given and the names on the lists will inevitably include you!

Published on: Sep 28, 2017