A few years ago I heard a story about Bono of U2 fame that apparently came from Jay-Z’s autobiography Decoded.
A journalist asked Jay-Z about an upcoming U2 album at the time and he stated:
"I said something about the kind of pressure a group like that must be under just to meet their own standard"
“Bono (later) told me that my quote had really gotten to him. In fact, he said it got him a little anxious.”
"He decided to go back to the studio, even though the album was already done, and keep reworking it 'til he thought it was as good as it could possibly be.”
"I really wasn't trying to make him nervous with that quote -- and I was surprised to find out that at this point in his career he still got anxious about his work.”
Chasing greatness, in many if not most cases, requires perfection. Yes, perfectionism can be a bad trait that delays projects but it can also be a force of good to create something a notch above everything else. It all comes down to how you approach it.
When looking at great companies and great products (or services) — it’s that pursuit of making it the best it can possibly be that builds raving fans.
Dyson. Apple. Porsche. Disney
Caring enough about the final outcome and being unreasonable to create something incredible.
Accomplishing an astonishing $1.5B at the box office for Top Gun Maverick, Tom Cruise also focuses solely on creating the greatest product he can to entertain the audience:
“I’ve always thought of the audience. I just want to entertain the audience. That’s what it’s about: what’s good for the movie, what’s best for the movie, what’s best for the audience.”
In my view, it’s incredibly easy to get distracted by money, profit, timing, speed, and so forth but in reality, the best thing you could possibly do is deliver the best work of your life. Something people love. This, in my view, outranks nearly everything else and ultimately is where sustainable sales come from.
Whether you’re a writer, software builder, actor, manufacturer, or deliver a service — care enough about your customers to make it the best it can be. Something you love and that they will love.
The world is already filled with trash products and services chasing the next dollar. Be the one who chases greatness.
About Robert Cornish: Robert Cornish founded Richter in early 2008 to build an agency focused on communication strategies that support sales growth for business-to-business technology-related companies. Bootstrapped with zero capital in the middle of the financial meltdown, Richter went on to make the Inc 5000 list comprised of the fastest-growing companies in America five times. Richter made the Silicon Valley Fast 50 four times and the Entrepreneur360 award two times. Robert has been featured in Bloomberg Businessweek, Selling Power Magazine, Inc Magazine and IDEA magazine. He's been a guest speaker for ACG Los Angeles, IASA Summit, West Point and been interviewed for 33Voices, EnTRUEpreneurship Podcast and IDEA Magazine by Northwood University. In 2012 Wiley & Sons published his book, What Works, about the lessons he's learned while growing his agency from start-up and navigating his way to a multi-million dollar agency. Robert currently owns five companies.
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