Are you wondering the strategy for standing out? Here’s the secret to not only stand out but also save energy and excel in life!
Standing out is the best way to achieve success. Of course, you get to define success. Yet whatever your definition, to do so you need to stand out and learn how to excel at whatever you’re doing. The secret? Be 10% better!!
That’s it. It’s really simple. Follow the 10% better approach and you’ll answer:
- How to stand out?
- How to excel in what’s most important?
- How to save energy?
- How to make better choices?
The 10% Better Approach is a therapy for all of you perfectionists in the world. I too WAS a perfectionist, a people-pleaser, and a rule follower. I did my best to check off every box I was supposed to and get an A+ in everything as I did so. With all of this, standing out wasn’t something that I did. That was until I discovered the 10% Better Approach.
If you’re tired of working harder than anyone and feeling burned out and tired all the time, it’s NOW that you need to consider a total 180° in your path. In this post, you’ll discover a great starting point that can change your entire life FOREVER!!
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
What’s wrong with perfectionism?
I can remember being in job interviews as I was about to graduate from college and being asked, “What’s your best quality?”
My answer (I thought I was so clever) was that I’m a perfectionist. I strive to make absolutely everything I do PERFECT!
Of course, I didn’t realize at the time, that answer isn’t inspiring to would-be employers. In fact, when I discuss interviews with young people now, I warn them NOT to answer in such a canned and planned sort of manner.
As I got older, I would still pull on perfectionism in interviews yet in a very different way.
Now PERFECTIONISM comes up when the question, “What is one of your challenges?”, is fielded out to me.
PERFECTIONISM isn’t a great quality. It’s inefficient. Demonstrates a lack of analytical and strategic planning. And can be the source of many misguided journeys.
When a person’s objective is to do EVERYTHING perfect, they lose the reasoning ability to determine where their energy is best served. What will provide the greatest impact? How will my effort create the most value? When do I need to take action and when do I hold back?
Not to mention that the conscious or subconscious goal of being a perfectionist is to feed our ego. We seek adoration without considering value. This isn’t a basis for standing out as the best person you can be.
Perfectionists aren’t alone. People-pleasers are their first-cousins.
What’s the issue with being a people-pleaser?
Being a people-please also shows a lack of direction and the ability to reason. WHY? It’s the same issue as being a perfectionist, yet the fuel is different.
When you’re a perfectionist, your motivation is ego.
As a people-pleaser, your motivation is acceptance.
If you do everything people want (they either tell specifically or you imagine their wants), it’s all for the sake of looking great in their eyes. That way, they’ll love you, want you, and need you in their lives.
What you’re doing might not provide any true value, but it makes you feel needed and so you keep going. Even if you aren’t happy with yourself at the end of the day.
Essentially, by being a people-pleaser, one is saying that they aren’t capable of standing out and creating value unless they make everyone around them happy! That’s no way to live and thrive.
using value within the 10% Better approach
The 10% Approach can be used on the macro level to direct your entire life, or the micro level as you plan each day.
It’s all about determining WHERE and WHO your time will provide the most VALUE! This is the KEY to standing out. It’s how to excel in a way that enriches your spirit and the world.
Then, when you determine that, do 10% better. 10% better than WHAT?? It may be your peers, your market, your past performance, your efficiency.
Each scenario will be different.
The point is that you DON’T need to be perfect. You just need to be 10% better than the benchmark.
THEN, when you’ve done so, move on to your next value impact objective.
This approach is vital in conserving your resources (energy, time, money, stress).
what happens when your benchmark changes?
When, not if because it’s inevitable, your benchmark changes, then you need to evaluate!
Is the value you get from refocusing on this objective going to provide more impact than the other priorities in your life?
If so, then buckle down and give it the 10% Better Approach again. Find a way to not only do 10% better than you did previously but also 10% better than your benchmark.
Keep in mind, your value determination might NOT serve your own self-interest, and that’s okay.
Is the 10% Better Approach selfish?
When you’re looking at all of the priorities on your list, as an example, some serve yourself. There are others, certainly, that serve others. This is important for all of you people-pleasers.
The people-pleasing part of you can still feel rewarded.
As you determine where the most value will come from your actions, it may be that focusing on an objective that doesn’t benefit you directly IS the most valuable.
Example: Cereal for dinner
Here’s an example most of us can easily relate to in order to make this clear. Let’s imagine you have a friend who is fighting an illness that’s significant. You decide to bring them and their family a meal. Doing so means that your own family has to eat cereal for dinner.
Who gets the most value in this situation? Your sick friend and their family. AND, since you determine that this is the best objective to focus on, you don’t only buy them dinner, you do 10% better. You make them a home-cooked meal that will warm their hearts and really show how much you love them.
Will your family survive for one night eating cereal for dinner? YES. It might even make them appreciate every other night you make them a home-cooked meal. Let them know that tonight it’s more important to bring your friend’s family a meal than to make them one. Your family can still all eat together, have time together, and benefit from a family meal (even if it’s cereal) yet you don’t kill yourself trying to make EVERYONE happy or to be the PERFECT friend and mom. You choose where your energy will provide the best value, and there you SHINE!
Creating value, for yourself or others,
is the key to standing out!
This was a simple example, what about on a larger macro level. How does the 10% Better Approach work there?
Using the 10% Better Approach to Make Life Decisions
When it comes to BIG decisions in life, the 10% Approach has way too many opportunities to discuss in one post. Therefore, I’ll do a highlight.
STanding out by Finding Your Super Power
As my children were growing up, I used to tell them about their “superpower”. This is a remarkable quality that I hoped they would use as a building block for their lives. I never found it useful to tell them that they were amazing at everything. How does that serve them and give them a direction to find THEIR excellence? Instead, I chose areas that I could tell made them special to encourage.
Letting people know, whether children or adults, that they’re standing out for good reason is doing them a HUGE service!
For example, my youngest daughter Stella has always been able to make friends. I mean, she would find a new friend EVERYWHERE and ANYWHERE we went. If she was left among strangers for more than 2 minutes, at least one of those strangers would be her new playmate within a 5-minute span. It astounded me, who as an extreme introvert, takes a LOT of time to even open the door to new friendships.
This is Stella’s superpower. She radiates when she goes out and attracts people to her in an astoundingly short period of time. Since this isn’t something that people are generally rewarded for, such a special quality can go un-recognized. It’s not like there’s an award for making friends or a “Makes Friends” major in college. Yet what a building block for her life!
Just think of all the ways this can benefit her and how she can employ this as she makes choices about her future. She is a natural-born INFLUENCER without even trying. In today’s world, there’s a vast array of directions she can go and find success using her superpower.
Standing out using your natural-born qualities is a fantastic way to merge passion and value.
What do you do that’s 10% better than most people?
When you’re trying to figure out your life, just look at what you do that’s 10% better than most people. You don’t need to be an expert or perfect, just 10% better than average. Use THAT to move forward.
There are so many ways to be successful. Those people who find them, in unexpected methods, do it because they recognize and harness their superpower. Their “superpower” is the quality that is 10% better than those around them (aka, their benchmark).
Example: 10% Better at Sorting, Categorizing, and Labeling
Let me give you another example, let’s look at home organizers. As little girls, do you really think that being a professional home organizer was a thing? Not even close. Yet people like Marie Kondo (see The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up), and Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin (see The Home Edit: A Guide to Organizing and Realizing Your House Goals) are famous with totally successful careers. Doing what? They are standing out because they are sorting, categorizing, and labeling better than most. Are they PERFECT? Nobody is. Does everyone LOVE their work? No (I don’t like how Marie folds everything. Sorry, Marie!)
BUT, they are standing out because average people (that’s you and me) see them as at least 10% better at organizing than we are … I mean, just look at The Home Edit books. I dream of a world that looks like that!
I used to re-arrange and organize my bedroom as a little girl ALL THE TIME. I loved it. Still, to this day, when I organize the house there is a thrill that makes me giddy all day long.
What’s the difference between me and Marie, Clea, and Joanna? They realized that they were at least 10% better at organizing than most people and using this knowledge, found their road to standing out. (Clea and Joanna actually took a while to come to this, but look at them now!).
They actually paved the way for an entire industry and have become famous doing so.
But the story doesn’t end there!
Using the 10% Better approach to keep standing out
Just because you start on a journey under the umbrella of being 10% better doesn’t mean you can use that to build an empire. You have to KEEP being 10% better.
Success begets imitation. Imitators CAN be better than the pioneers. Being 10% better isn’t a one-and-done check the box off. You have to identify your benchmarks and continue being 10% better.
Are their hundreds of professional organizers out there now? You bet! Does that affect the work of the founders of this industry? Of course. They have to keep upping their game to be better than all of their competition to stay relevant.
The joy is that for most of us, using our superpower brings us bliss. Doing more of it brings more bliss. When it becomes drudgery, then a re-evaluation is needed to get back to the joy that initially began your journey.
So keep doing better. Buckle down and stay relevant. Then, if it becomes drudgery instead of joy, it’s time to PAUSE. Re-structure and continue on.
That’s not to say using our superpower doesn’t have “work” that we don’t always love. Everything has parts we don’t enjoy but they’re necessary.
Example: Finding a Superhero Sidekick
There are times when we lose sight of our superpower as we use it. Almost every superhero has a sidekick. This is to help pick up the slack where the superhero’s power leaves off.
My sister, Alaine, like me used to teach Pilates. She was an incredible Pilates instructor and she loved it. This led her to open her own studio.
Her studio, through her instruction, had a very loyal following. Alaine’s clients loved her and had fun doing Pilates with her even when it got hard (they may have liked her ramblings more than the Pilates, but let’s keep with the topic).
Alaine’s superpower? She’s an AMAZING instructor. Alaine’s drudgery? Running a business.
After many years, the drudgery left her feeling empty and she sold her business. While her superpower was still there and she continued to grow her bond with her clients, the business part of the business life was too much.
Looking back, she now realizes that she didn’t necessarily have to sell. She could have re-evaluated and hired a part-time manager to handle the business while she continued to build on her superpower.
What Alaine needed, as most of us do, is a process to best employ our SUPERPOWER within the 10% Approach.
A strategy for standing out on a daily basis
The process for integrating the 10% Better Approach in your life is the same whether it be for your to-do list or your HUGE life questions. What changes is simply the parameters and words.
The 10% Better Approach on a Daily Basis
In my prior post, How to Create a Killer Daily Planner Routine, I suggest keeping an electronic list of everything you have to do. That’s where you start.
From there, you need to identify your priorities in terms of what will bring the most value. Value to WHO or WHAT? That’s going to differ based on the task. It may be you, your family, your community, your security, your future … and on and on. Assign a rating, if you must, on a scale of value.
Each task gets a number, which will change with time, from 0 (no current value) to 10 (high value). Start with the highest value and add 1-3 of those using time blocking to your to-do list.
For each added, identify your benchmark and do 10% better than the benchmark. That’s how you will standout! Be 10% better than the benchmark.
Not worrying about standing out? Okay, then do it to fill your heart. Let’s say you have to make lunches for your kids. As long as they get food to eat, you’re good.
Unless you want them to feel REALLY loved and this motivates your performance. Do 10% better than your benchmark! Add a homemade brownie (the rest of the lunch will be healthy), or write a note and tuck it inside the bag. These little touches not only will make you feel good but will make your child feel loved. (Well, unless their in high school and then they will probably just leave the lunch in their backpack for you to find on the weekend. Note: this reflects on the value of your effort and should have you re-evaluating this task. Been there!)
standing out with the big decisions
Big decisions are just small decisions with more impact.
Think of a high school junior or senior getting ready to select their direction for after they graduate. They need to start with a list, just like the list in the last section.
The list is where they write down everything that inspires them, whether it be careers, people, aptitudes, classes, activities, and more. From there, they need a realistic consideration of their superpower.
Highlight the inspirations in the list that make use of their superpower.
For some people, their superpower is obvious. Others, it’s not so clear. Ever hear the expression, Jack of all trades yet master of none. That’s me in a nutshell. It can be hard to find a clear superpower.
This is where you might need a fallback. Use another temporary measure to narrow down the field. For example, grades, awards, achievements, and even pure joy may be what brings one inspiration to the forefront and leave another behind.
Once the list has been narrowed, you assess value. What will bring the most value to their future.
Ha! The list was just narrowed down again.
NOW, here’s the important part that people just don’t use often enough. What, from this narrowed down list, are you at least 10% better than the benchmark (i.e., competition or peers)?
Here is the flow:
- What inspires you?
- Which benefits from your superpower?
- Where are you 10% better than the benchmark?
- How do you stay 10% better than the benchmark?
Yes, that last question takes you back to your daily strategy. Start big and choose your life direction. Then make each day manageable with a series of small steps so you position yourself 10% better than the pack.
Each step moves you 10% forward. I love it when everything comes full-circle!
finding joy and creativity with the 10% Better approach
How do you take each step forward and maintain the bliss that you feel using your superpower?
You bring JOY and CREATIVITY into play. This is why you’re part of our ASC community. Doing what is expected of you to either be perfect or a people-pleaser will leave you exhausted and empty.
Use the 10% Better Approach to harness your superpower, stand out, and add in joy and creativity, is the solution for a winning life. This is success. It’s NOT being perfect. And it’s NOT pleasing everyone (impossible, btw). It’s using the special gift that God gave you and doing it 10% better.
I hope this helps you in some small or hopefully HUGE way as you journey through life. For me, it came with time. All the wasted efforts that could have been saved had I known when I was younger what I’ve shared here. BUT it’s never too late to change your life.
Look better, feel better, and do better
each and every day by adding
more joy and creativity into your life.
That’s bliss and that’s what you deserve, my friend.
Here are some related posts for you to check out:
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Have a fantastic week! Namaste,