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Your Goals and Your Effort

As a young child, I went to Catholic Schools. When I reached my rebellious teenage years, my grades began to suffer. But at Catholic schools, you received two grades. The first was your letter grade, the mark that you achieved. The second grade was a number between 1 and 4. My grades consisted of a lot of C4’s. That meant that I got a C and put forth absolutely the lowest possible effort.

I didn’t get in trouble for the C. I got in trouble for the 4. My mom would have taken a C1, that would have indicated an average score with the maximum effort. She would not accept a C4, even though I gave her plenty of them.

If you are doing just enough to reach your activity quota, you aren’t working to your capacity. How does one know this? Because you are at—or just under— what someone else has required of you. That activity goal is not a goal you set for yourself. Instead, it is what someone else expects of you, likely determined by what is average, what is acceptable.

If the activity quota would have been greater when you started, then you would already be doing more than you are now, provided you are the kind of person who does only what is expected of them, and no more. You’d also be producing the better results that would accompany greater effort.

What someone else finds acceptable for you should not be what you find acceptable. That would be to accept too low a standard. Your standard should be your own. You should work to your potential.

Your goals are your own. Your personal quota is not your company’s quota. It is what you determine you want for yourself. If you want greater income, then you can’t work to what is minimally acceptable performance. If you want to work to your full potential, you have to put forth the effort of which you are capable, not what someone else will accept from you.

If you are honest with yourself about how you are doing, would you grade yourself a 1 for maximum effort, or would the score you give yourself indicate that you are coasting, doing just enough to get by?

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