Thursday, 23 February 2017

The Future is Ordinary

Here's a thought for you: being excellent is over-rated.

As a disclaimer, I have always been a 75% achiever; never quite getting to the summit of excellence in any pursuit, but always being quite good at hanging around achiever base-camp like a serious contender.

I offer, as proof, my academic record:

My high school ENTER score: 76.5%
My undergraduate average: 75.5%
My Master's dissertation grade late last year: 74%

Perhaps I should be concerned that I'm dropping a point or two every decade or so...

Or not.

Lately, while starting up my new business, I have begun to question what purpose excellence serves, exactly? Amongst all the inspiration being sold on Instagram and now appearing as slogans on bloody Kmart homewares and just about anywhere you rest your eyeballs for too long, it's getting hard to form rational arguments about why being a better, fitter, smarter you is not an important goal. 

Honestly, the subtle persistent insistence that we all get a bit closer to excellence every time we turn on our phones or go to buy a bloody scented candle (candles with meaningful slogans tend to be more expensive too) has done physiological damage to our sense of human enjoyment. I'm close to puking every time I see something written in brush script these days, especially if it has a metallic shimmer.
Hear me reader: Excellence is for boring people. So is self-improvement of the self-absorbed type. 
Stop that shit right now.

I don't want to be excellent, and you don't either, really. Have a think about it. You just want to do the stuff you really like doing as much as you can without having to do too much of the stuff you don't like doing to pay for it. Please tell me how I am wrong in that assessment in the comments if you must.

Personally, I've solved the 'doing stuff I don't like' part of the riddle by starting my own business.  

I hear you snigger. Hear me out.

To me, the goal of running my own business does not require excellence. Competence will definitely be needed, as well as a pleasant telephone manner, but I'm not convinced that excellence is really gonna be showing up to work everyday. 

Am I unambitious then, with this lack of regard for being really good at what I do?

No. My ambition is to work for myself, enjoy it and make a decent living from it. 

In that order.

Making that happen is no easy feat, but many people have achieved it without being crowned "Young Entrepreneur of the Year".

I aim to be a competent business owner, nipping at the heels of the excellent business owners when they leave base camp, then going back to my tent for a hot chocolate and a nap once they're out of sight.

Me, enjoying hot chocolate while the excellent kids freeze their tits off.


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