Business: From Mediocrity to Excellence

“Mediocrity will never do. You are capable of something better.”
― Gordon B. Hinckley

We all know mediocrity when we see or experience it. We have to put up with mediocre quality in many of the products and services we buy. How many times have we received mediocre (average) service from the people we do business with? How many times has the quality of the product or service we purchased matched the company’s advertisements? How often to you actually receive good customer service from the Customer Service Department?

One of the contributing causes of mediocre products and services is the culture of “good enough is good enough.” Well … it’s not. How mediocre do you want your dentist, doctor, surgeon, financial advisor, insurance agent, mechanic, electrician, plumber or roofer to be?

We put our trust in these people and the products and service they provide, and we should receive better than mediocre services or products. You shouldn’t have to go back to your dentist in two weeks because the crown he put on has fallen off. It doesn’t matter that your dentist will “cement” it back on at no charge … the crown should have been put on correctly the first time!

The culture of “good enough is good enough” is a culture of failure.

The very attitude, words and concept promotes mediocrity. To make matters worse, the bar of acceptability (what is good enough) keeps being lowered. It’s inherent to the culture.

I was a small business owner for 32 years before I sold the business and retired in 2012. I was fortunate that my mentors drilled a few business ethics and concepts into my head that served me well during those 32 years:

  • If a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing it right … the first time.
  • The work you produce is your signature.
  • Your reputation with a customer is built or destroyed with your first transaction.
  • A happy customer will tell 3-5 other people. An unhappy customer will tell 10 or more people of their bad experience in doing business with you.
  • If you take care of the customer, the customer will take care of you. (Repeat business, referrals, etc.)
  • Do what you promised to do when you said you would do it … every time.

All the concepts and actions listed above dispel mediocrity. Our objective is not to replace mediocrity with perfection — but to replace it with excellence. Perfection is an unattainable target but excellence starts with a high standard and keeps getting better as we gain more knowledge and experience.

What is the secret to excellence? Typically, it’s a matter of paying attention to all the little details that others refuse to do. That’s it. When we push ourselves to be better … we accomplish great things!

Let’s not settle for mediocrity. Rather, let’s set the standard of excellence that others want to benchmark.


What are your thoughts on the culture of “good enough is good enough?” Please use the comment section below to express your thoughts.


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Published by W. M. Brown

I am a retired U.S. expat living in Ecuador. I was a business owner for 32 years before retiring in 2012.

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