To be extraordinary, we have to give something extra to the world. We make ourselves unequal to the rest of the world by the way we lead our lives. This spirit is captured in a great saying: “If a man only does what is required of him, he is a slave—the moment he begins to do more than he is required, he becomes a free man.”
The way capitalism works is a lot like being a server in a restaurant. Servers have an opportunity to earn a good tip. This is not an entitlement, just a possibility. Likewise, an entrepreneur, maybe the restaurateur in this case, has an opportunity to get wealthy. Again, there is no guarantee, just a possibility. Anything that the server can do to go the extra mile will increase the likelihood of a nice tip for himself, and more business for the restaurateur.
For the server to successfully draw a generous tip, he needs to provide the one-two punch of personality and performance while exceeding the expectations of the guest. This means the server needs to know the menu, understand the restaurant’s operating system, be attentive but not intrusive, and develop a positive rapport with the potential tippers. If he does this, he’ll receive a generous gratuity 95 percent of the time.
For the restaurant owner to be successful, she must risk her capital, create a unique dining experience, offer good food at a price potential customers are willing to pay, and exceed expectations during each subsequent visit. Should she accomplish these objectives, she has a great shot, but still no guarantee, of reaching her financial goals. Anything that the restaurateur can do to travel that lonely second mile will improve her chances of becoming wealthy.
When we travel beyond the initial mile, our potential becomes unlimited. High character individuals are continuously looking for opportunities to exceed expectations. So to become great, first become a servant. Treat others as you would want to be treated if your positions were reversed. Practice this whether the other person does or does not. Be generous. Dedicate yourself and your life to the service of others.
Constantly ask yourself how you can increase your service and contribution. Ask, “How can I triple my value to my boss, to my clients, to the marketplace, to my family?” Write it down. No one can do the minimum and reach the maximum.
Every American needs to know that doing more than they are currently being paid for is the absolute fastest way to get paid more for what they do in the future. Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, “What’s in it for me?” Sam Walton advised, “Exceed your customer’s expectations. If you do, they’ll come back over and over. Give them what they want—and a little more. Let them know you appreciate them. Make good on all your mistakes, and ¬don’t make excuses—apologize. Stand behind everything you do.”
We should not have to apologize for delivering more service and value to the marketplace, and consequently for reaping more rewards than the guy next door or the politician across town. Going the second mile, doing more than the minimum is a powerful habit for marriage, parenting, health, business, and every other area of our life.
So how do you start the process of going the extra mile? Learn more.