In today’s networked world of the internet, Google, social media, e-mail, podcasts, blogs, and the list goes on, it is easy for others to find someone who is doing better work than us if we opt for mediocre or just good enough.
The best work we are capable of now is all that we can aim for and that requires us to focus on that thing and that alone.
Therein lies the paradox, we have the amazing opportunity of a potentially limitless audience for our work. However, the more time we spend in the shallow networked world, the poorer our focus will be on producing our best work.
Working in depth and with total focus on work that really counts is the skill that will enable us to survive the networked world and become valuable. Nothing of any great value comes easy or is produced without a deep focus.
Being constantly on the network will ensure we build no value.
I am a big fan of the idea of expecting nothing from others, as then we can not be disappointed.
I am also an even bigger fan of setting realistic expectations of ourselves so we can not become easily disappointed with ourselves if we fail to meet the often perfection level we set.
However, a business has to set out a level of service or quality etc that people can then expected to be delivered. Delivery is everything in our connected digital world of the online review and the trusted networks we all seek to validate a business offering.
So where do we set expectation?
Well, often this is how businesses approach it – ‘if we set the bar too high, then there is a greater risk of delivery falling short of expectation and the online review being poor’ or perhaps ‘if we set it too low then perhaps our service will not be seen as worthy of trying, so we do not gain customers’.
The problem with trying to second guess or managing expectations is that it is counter-intuitive to doing our best work, which is always the answer. Doing the stuff that really matters.
Better to just focus on building something great, our best work. Then always learning, fine-tuning and modifying to be even better next time. Customers will be more forgiving if they can see we are doing our best work and getting better and better as we go.