There are 3 grades to everything. Which means everything you do can be evaluated, sorted, and stacked into 3 distinct categories. Everything.
The first grade is failure. It means you didn’t live up to the standards set. It reveals you either didn’t know or didn’t try. You never want to be in this world. Because failure never fails to fail. It is the easiest thing to do.
Passing means you met the standard. But that is it. The problem with meeting the standard is that everyone else worth a poo also meets the standard too.* It is not differentiating. It is just enough to get you into the game. (*Italicized, rhymed, and infused with poo for memorability)
A passing grade puts you in the commodity category. When you simply meet the standard you have to keep on fighting. You have no leverage. You are like a teeter with no totter. You have to lower your wages or your fee because so many others are right where you are. The world of the passing grade is crowded. Which means you have to stand in line for doors you may never get through. #anightattheroxbury
The only grade that gets ahead is Flying Colors. When you push beyond the passing grade you earn this enviable distinction. This is where you earn options. People seek you out when your performance, product, or service is in this range.
When you earn Flying Color grades you can choose what you do and who you do it with. You can charge a premium. You can maximize profit. Maximize opportunities. This is where you have options. Because you are adding value. And when you add value first you can extract value.
The top tier is the only group that has control over their world. This is where you should always push to be. It takes more work. But not that much more. Plus, there is inherent joy and satisfaction in doing a job at a high level. Aim here. Get here. Take control of your opportunities here. Never settle for less.
*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.