I see so many people searching and struggling to find success. They keep doing the same things and walking the same path, often by rote, only to end up in the same place they started.
This struggle reminds me of people just waiting in line at the grocery store, even though there's an empty line one or two lanes over that they could have accessed, if only they had stayed focused, rather than drifting away in la-la land. Those who are willing to go the extra mile are the ones who exhibit a spirit of excellence, which leads to success in all aspects of business and life.
If you are okay with being ordinary, simply follow the path (or examples) of ordinary people. But if you want to be extraordinary, follow the path (or examples) of extraordinary people.
Go the extra mile
This "spirit of excellence" mindset is apparent in the case of one of my mentors, the extraordinary Napoleon Hill. Hill utilized what he called the QQMA formula in his everyday life, that pushed him to go the extra mile in any endeavor. QQMA stands for the quality of service you render, the quantity of service you render, plus the mental attitude with which you render the service. Hill put an intention on each aspect of the service he provided and strove for excellence in delivering that service, in terms of quality, quantity and his attitude.
This spirit of excellence, the QQMA formula, applies to so much in each of our lives. I'm on a constant journey to enjoy the pursuit of my potential, to consistently and persistently infuse the spirit of excellence into everything I do. I don't always achieve it, but I always strive for it.
Do everything with excellence
There are myriad ways you can go the extra mile and embody a spirit of excellence. One of the easiest is simply to respond to people's messages and emails as soon as possible. I have a "do it now" philosophy, meaning I don't put off something important that I can do right away, as this costs me wasted time and efficiency. That "do it now" attitude exemplifies the extra mile.
Have you ever noticed that the most successful people tend to have an early morning routine? Waking up extra early to accomplish tasks like meditating, writing and answering emails helps you to live a life of excellence.
One of the unique things I do in this spirit is to get in contact with people who troll me with DMs or online comments. I want to understand their negative perceptions, and I go the extra mile to do so. Why do you feel this way? What is it I did or said that somehow incited your need to be offended or feel separate?
Often, I end up completely re-engineering the way they look at me or my content. And this spirit of excellence has often turned trolls into lifelong fans.
Success and excellence in sales comes from not accepting "no"
Going the extra mile helps you to be more successful in everything you do, but this is especially true in business. A study by Marketing Donut found that only 2 percent of sales occur at a first meeting, which means 98 percent of the time you are going to have to put in some extra time and effort in order to make a sale or close a deal. You need to stimulate interest, transition interest, share a vision and most importantly, go the extra mile to manage and develop that vision.
Having a professional persistence, even when you are told no, is an essential part of going the extra mile. Author David Peoples cited statistics in his book Selling to the Top that show how the average salesperson falls short when it comes to persistence:
- Forty-four percent of salespeople give up after the first no.
- Twenty-two percent call it quits after the second no.
- Fourteen percent throw in the towel after they hear no for the third time.
- Twelve percent quit after they get the fourth no.
I believe you should get at least three "no's" before moving on, because no's can give you insight. You learn to identify specifically what a no is. For example, when someone says they're too busy for you, the dog ate their homework or some other lame excuse, count them as a person you're better off without.
Sadly, I've seen so many people wasting their time trying to convert people who quite obviously will never be converted, instead of going the extra mile to find the people who are aligned with them and their goals.
Be inspired to chase excellence
While it's not possible to do everything with 100 percent excellence, it's important that you enjoy the journey of pursuing and instilling the spirit of excellence.
Whether it be Napoleon Hill's QQMA formula or just the philosophy of going the extra mile and living on the road less traveled, that is the mindset that's going to best assist you to achieve what you want out of life and help you attract it to yourself.
Do not ever settle for ordinary. Live a life in the spirit of excellence!
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editors