Have you ever considered, when it comes to your work life, just how exhausting being mediocre is?

That may seem like a crazy question. After all, doesn't mediocre mean you are putting forth minimal effort? And shouldn't less effort require less energy?

If you are talking about pure physical effort, mediocrity may be easier. But, as I look at it, total effort is only about 20% physical and 80% mental. It's the mental drain that comes with mediocrity that is truly exhausting.

Mediocre prospecting

In sales, mediocre prospecting makes every prospect you do have irrationally important. You become so worried about not upsetting them that you leave no opportunity to impress them. You become so afraid of losing the opportunity that you cede control of the sales process to the buyer.

Struggling to move a prospect forward without maintaining control of the conversation (sales process) is going to suck energy out of you and leave you exhausted. Attempting to control five prospects wandering in five different directions is significantly more exhausting than you controlling a conversation with twenty prospects you’re guiding down a single path – yours. I don't mean identical solutions for each, but I do mean a consistent sales process of figuring out what problems they have that you can solve.

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Mediocre service leaves no margin for error

No agency promotes itself as delivering mediocre service, but that's what most agencies deliver. Despite the claims that "It's our service that sets us apart," it isn't true. This supposed "exceptional service" is usually based on promises to be timely and responsive.

Mediocre service is the result of only being able to react to situations your clients throw at you. By the time they throw something your way, they’re upset and expect something to be done immediately. And, even when you hit that expectation, you don't get any credit because doing so is their minimum expectation of you.

How exhausting is it to have countless clients, without warning, throw urgent issues at you—and you have no option but to catch every single one?

Instead, take control.

On your terms, proactively deal with the issues that result in client problems. They will be more appreciative of you preventing problems than they are of you fixing them. It’s also less exhausting for your team.

Mediocre leaders only stay a step ahead of their team, exhausting everyone

Remaining one step ahead may be fine for some tactical business issues, but it’s insufficient for hitting strategic goals and objectives. Now, compare that to a leader who paints an extremely clear picture of where the team is going, where they will be five steps from now, how they will get there, and the contributions expected from each team member.

When every unplanned step is perceived as the destination, you operate in constant panic mode, and it feels like you run the race countless times over. However, when the course is laid out in front of us, we can run the race with more confidence, a confidence that leads to a comfortable (and less exhausting) pace for everyone.

Yes, mediocrity is exhausting

If you’re just a mediocre performer, knowing you're likely to be outperformed at any moment is exhausting. You’re always on edge, knowing that your mediocre performance leaves no margin for error. It’s overwhelming, and the stress from being unable to take control of the situation will wear you out.

And, if you are on the receiving end, the frustration that comes with mediocrity is just as exhausting. After all, working with someone who is merely adequate will always require more effort.

Excellence is less exhausting and generates its own energy

Just look around you at someone who is consistently excellent. I guarantee you will also find someone who always has more energy for their work. Don't fool yourself; it’s not the energy that creates the excellence; it's the excellence that creates the energy.


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