Do You Give it Your All, Even When Nobody’s Looking?

Cal Ripken Streak

This month, one of my 30-day challenges is attending daily Catholic Mass.  I’ll cover this month’s challenges in a future post, but today’s post was motivated by something I’ve noticed while attending these daily masses.

Due to travel and work schedules, I’ve attended six different churches during the past three weeks — during which I’ve seen eight different priests celebrate Mass.

On Sundays, the pews are full, the choir is full effect, and all of the priests’ homilies are long and loud.  But what has really struck me are the early weekday masses, when the pews are near empty (one mass I attended only had three other people in attendance), and how some priests “mail in” their homilies, or don’t even give a homily at all.

The purpose of this post isn’t to criticize those “other priests” — but rather to share my realization of how special our priest — Fr. Ray Guthrie — is.

It doesn’t matter if it’s Sunday when 300 people are in attendance, or Wednesday morning when 20 people are in the pews — Fr. Ray gives it his all with a loud, boisterous, well-thought-out homily that challenges each and every person in attendance.

Fr. Ray doesn’t “mail it in” on Wednesday, and “turn it on” on Sunday.  He gives it his all at every mass — no matter how many people in attendance.

He embodies the old adage that my parents used to repeat to me over and over:

Anything worth doing is worth doing well.

Do we, as entrepreneurs, do the same thing with our businesses, and with our clients?

Do we provide an excellent product or service, no matter the size of the client or the amount of their retainer?

I’m not talking about spending as many work hours on low-paying clients as high-paying clients.  I’m talking about the quality of all work you provide.

I’m an avid baseball fan, and one of my favorite all-time players is Cal Ripken, Jr. Cal, known as “The Iron Man,” holds the Major League Baseball record for most consecutive games played — 2,632.  It may not be as popular as the Home Run record, but I think it’s more impressive.  In a sport where players take a few nights off due to twisted fingers and sore hamstrings, Ripken kept right on playing — more than 2,600 games in a row.

And he was a darn good player, too — keeping his game at a high level night in and night out. He gave it all, no matter how many fans were in the stands, or whether the game was on national TV or a local broadcast.

In my experience, doing what Cal did can help:

  1. Your Reputation: Providing less-than-stellar service to a lower-paying client prove costly if word of your shoddy work spreads to other, potentially higher-paying clients.
  2. Your Consistency: In my view, it’s easier to stay at a high level than to get “ramped up” every now and then. I used to be an avid long distance runner, and I learned that, even though I wasn’t going to run a personal best every time, trying my best helped keep me mentally sharp.

How about you?  Do you always perform your best — even “when nobody’s looking”?

Do you always strive to provide quality products or services, no matter the client?

This kind of consistent excellence is what separates the good entrepreneurs from the great ones.

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