Yesterday I wrote about the pitfall of being average. Now, let’s get very real for a moment. No one, no matter how talented and dedicated and industrious is going to be able to excel at everything. We’re all going to have areas of weakness and average-ness. Even in our professional lives, some things are going to be outside of not only our comfort zone, but our ability.
Having established that, here’s what I also know. You can be exceptional if you will take the time and exercise the humility needed to learn what you need to learn in order to become exceptional. Once you’ve begun this process, stick with it. The main thing that can derail you on your journey to being exceptional is to change directions or change focus. Doing so will derail your efforts every time. Needless to say, quitting will also derail you.
And once you’re on your way, here’s something you won’t hear from a lot of people. Don’t be afraid to say “no.” Know yourself, your strengths. You can’t please everyone. You really can’t be all things to all people. So don’t even try. Say “no” to the things that aren’t right for you. I do this all the time.
But, when you say “no,” keep in mind that this can still be a win for you. Refer a job that isn’t right for you to someone it is right for. In fact, when you do so, it’s a win for not just you, but your friend who gets the job and the client who gets what he or she needs. Do that often enough and you won’t know what to do with all the work you do have.
What? Turning down work leads to more work? Yes. Because at least some of those people to whom you refer work, will refer things back to you. And at least some of those clients you helped are going remember you, too and when they have something that is right for you, who do you think they’re going to call? Yep. You.
The more you concentrate on doing the work you are best at, the work you most enjoy, and turn down everything else by referring that work to someone else, the bigger your avalanche is going to grow.
(edited to fix typo)