Daily Lab: Best practices are classic mistakes

We should re-label most “best practices” as “classic mistakes.”

Daily Lab: Best practices are classic mistakes

To me, it seems like there are always two paths in every competition:

1) You can be the objective best—faster, cheaper, bigger than everyone else. Like, say, competing for a gold medal for your athleticism (often at your own expense).

2) Or you can be the subjective best—ideally suited for someone in particular. Like, say, finding private coaching clients who will pay you to teach them your skills (usually at a profit).

Being the objective best obviously takes intense and unending focus on growth, speed, expansion, and competition.

Being the subjective best only takes saying “No” to all of that.

By every metric I can measure, trying to be the objective best is extremely difficult, bordering on impossible—and there’s only room for one.

But by every metric I measure, trying to be the subjective best is much easier, bordering on enjoyable—and there’s room for many.

Yet, it really seems like most entrepreneurs spend of their time trying to be the objective best. Because that’s what the best practices teach you. They tell you to model your behavior on the biggest, the fastest, the most aggressive.

But, frankly, I think we should re-label most business and marketing “best practices” as the “classic mistakes.”

Because in competitions with an objective winner, the one big prize usually goes to the person willing to burn everything else in their life as fuel for victory.

In competitions with subjective winners, continual prizes go to the people willing to focus on what they care about most, instead of on their ego or awards.

The way I see it, the objective best gets the trophy (and the top-line revenue).

And the subjective best gets the fulfillment (and the bottom-line profit).

While I obviously have a preference, neither’s actually wrong.

But one is probably wrong for you.

“But if I don’t compete to be the best, won’t I be… bad?”

That’s what the voice in my head says, at least. But then I realize:

No, because I’m always in competition. With myself.

I’m competing with my past self to be better, more valuable, more focused, and more interested in what I’m very best at, and for whom I’m the very best option.

So don’t fall for the classic mistake of doing what everyone else is doing.

Find your own best practice:

Doing what you love to do for the people who love it most.

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