Good ideas don’t produce remarkable results

In today’s world, good isn’t good enough.

I’m not talking about whether it is a good idea to teach your kids about the benefits of saving money, or being polite. Or about decisions such as whether you should choose to eat healthy or exercise. I would categorize all of these as “good” decisions and it is a “good” idea to move forward with these plans.

I’m referring to larger issues that involve your career, or your business. Depending on your job and your employer, it is possible that doing “good” will be “good enough” for your employer. However, I would encourage you not to settle for “good”.

Is “good” good enough for life changing issues such as finding a job or starting a business? If you want to, remove it from the business world and personalize it. Do you want to find a “good” spouse, or a “remarkable” spouse? A spouse that makes your head turn and say WOW! It is those types of choices where good is not enough.

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There is “good” everywhere. How many good books, good movies … are there? We are crowded with good. I recall a quote from a super hero movie: “if everyone is super, nobody is super”. The same can be said about good. If everyone is “good”, nobody is “good”.

Is there something you can do at work that impacts the bottom line? It may not even be in your job description. Are there ways to transform customers from being “happy” to becoming “evangelists”? How can you (positively) impact your colleagues and customers?

To get started, recall an idea you have been thinking about but afraid to pursue. What is the risk that is preventing you from moving forward? Don’t pursue ten ideas. Focus on one. Give it some good thought. Talk about it with others. Improve the idea. Test it. But, move forward. Envision the idea as transforming people. Make sure it is remarkable.

Keep it as simple as possible. There is a myth that the more features added, the better. Usually, the simpler, the better. Don’t be afraid of failure. I don’t keep score but it wouldn’t surprise me if more of my ideas failed than succeeded. But, once you find a success, stick with it and make it better.

If you are trying to choose between several ideas, focus on your core strengths. What do you do well? What is your passion and your interest? Your one idea should be centered on your strengths.

For example, one of my passions is creating actuarial videos. Talk about a niche market. But, it is what I enjoy. So, I just started creating them. The first ones were pretty rough, for sure. However, I worked for several years fine-tuning the process. As you can see, often it is not the idea that is remarkable. It is doing it and improving upon what you do.

We live in such a consumer driven culture. Quite honestly, I don’t get it. I find so much more satisfaction creating than consuming. If you have not experienced that, maybe you are not in your “sweet spot”.

This can be a wonderful opportunity to get noticed in a crowded job market. But, it is not just about getting a job. It is defining your career, your business, your art.

Once you begin developing your idea, don’t rush to big. Be comfortable with small. Impact a small group of people. Really impact them. They will be your best marketing strategy. This is not a quick fix success strategy. It is slow and steady. But, it has proven successful both in my career and my colleagues.

When the New Year arrives, it encourages New Year’s resolutions. What event propels ideas to go from your head to action? I hope it is this article. Consider it as your own “March Madness”! Go – Create something special.

About Dave: I started my actuarial career in 1986 because I couldn’t find a math teaching job. No kidding. I became an FSA in 1995 which is the year I started SALT Solutions. Recently SALT merged into Coaching Actuaries. We train risk specialists to solve difficult problems and communicate clear solutions.