Fuel for Thought

The Exception

By Greg Huggins
Posted Apr 17th 2024 9:08AM

The other day I made a delivery to a little town in Georgia. The welcome sign I saw when I entered the city limits stuck with me, not just the name of the town, but apparently it was the town motto that was included on the welcome sign.

In order to grow or thrive there should be a benchmark, else, how would you know if you are moving forward? While it is good to benchmark your progress, making comparisons for the sole purpose of justifying one’s success (or lack thereof), is actually something quite different. Setting a benchmark to gauge your growth can be a very useful tool to keep yourself accountable to your goals. If there is any loss of focus on the goal you set, you can refer to the benchmark with which you can use to realign yourself to your goals. Once you surpass your goal(s), you can easily set a new benchmark to keep your forward momentum in check.

Don’t waste your time comparing your level of achievement to your so-called peers. If you only strive to emulate your peers, well, then that’s as far as you will go. Instead, learn from those peers and incorporate what you consider to be the best traits to fit your business goals.

As for that little town’s welcome sign, it read - Be The Exception.

When you do exactly what everyone else is doing, you will more than likely get exactly the same results. Strive to be better than just average. Be the exception and become exceptional. When you are the exception, to a degree, you can set the rules. That is to say, when you raise the bar, you set a new standard, both for you and your peers. 

Take inspiration anywhere you find it. It can be found anywhere and everywhere if you are keen to look for it. Never let your business acumen become stagnant. If you let your business rest on its laurels, it will surely wither and die. Always work to surpass your goals so that you may set loftier ones. 

A “woe is me” attitude is the most destructive, undesirable, non productive approach to achieving your goals (assuming you actually took the time to set goals). Not only will this victim mentality turn your customers away, but it will also alienate you from those you see as “privileged” peers. Those “privileged” peers are more likely the exception among those you know, thus, they are known to go above and beyond for their customers. Instead of denigrating them for being the exception, strive to excel beyond them. Be the Exception.

There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception. 

- James Thurber

See you down the road,