There’s a saying I heard:
Just because you’re right, it doesn’t mean you’ll win.
Just do what works at that moment and then you’re in.
Growing up, we’re told to do the right thing no matter what.
In principle, there’s nothing wrong with this.
We always want to do the right thing because we never know who’s watching us.
One summer, I was mowing my neighbor’s yard.
My friends came to where I was at and told me they were going the pool.
I told them I would meet up with them when I was finished doing my job.
Once I finished up and did a great job, the neighbor gave me more than I asked for.
When I asked why, he said, “You didn’t abandon your job to go have fun. I respected that.”
At that moment, it was not only the right thing to do; it was also something that worked.
Rarely does life work out that well.
In reality, always doing the right thing won’t always get you the results that you want.
Fairness Is An Illusion
Imagine two people that graduated with the same degree at the same time.
One does what’s right and the other does what works.
Person A does what he believes is right, which is being fair and just. He’s like this because he believes everyone else operate that way.
One did what worked because they’re more focused on results.
Both men were trying to apply for work at this same company.
Person A does things the “right” way by sending in his resume and being kind and courteous to the hiring manager.
Person B decides to take a different route. He produces something related to his craft for said company and mails it to them.
A week goes by and Person B gets a phone call from the hiring manager. He’s told he is hired for their big project.
Person A gets word of this and complains.
“But that’s not fair! I sent in a resume! I should have gotten the job!”
While Person A did what was right, he made a critical error in thinking and believed Person B would do the same thing.
“Person B, you cheated!”
As a result, that moment caused Person A to be more concerned with fairness instead of results.
As the failures grew, Person A will came to believe that Person B’s success was the result of cheating and results are only allowed to cheaters.
Soon enough, he continues to unconsciously self-sabotage his efforts in an attempt to remain fair.
The Uncomfortable Truths About What Works
What will be said is not to look down at the honest person. This is a fact of life that is often overlooked.
Growing up, I was often like Person A. Society told me I had to do this and that to get my desired results.
The problem with that was I never got the results I wanted. Instead, I got the results I deserved.
This articles aims to break those that do not get results out of the cycle of playing fair.
This does NOT mean do whatever and all willy-nilly. I will not be held responsible for you being irresponsible.
Anyway, let’s break down why Person B was able to get results.
Reason #1: He Did His Research
Person A lacked knowledge on the company he applied for. Like everyone else, he just sent in resume and hoped for the best.
Person B took the time to do research on the company. In his profession, a resume meant squat.
While researching their website, he noticed they were lacking a video to let visitors.
Person B knew video would increase their engagement so he went out of his way to help them.
Since the company were in need of a branding marketer, they hired person B without having to go through the time consuming hiring process.
In Person A’s mind, he believed he was being honest and true by applying the “right” way.
As a result, he held a lot of contempt for Person B when in reality, he was jealous.
Reason #2: He went the extra mile
The “right” way involves doing what others do.
It’s easy, safe, and involves less effort.
It’s also the wrong way to do things.
Person B took the time to do the work in addition to doing what else is “right” because no one else did it.
Chris Rock famously talked about the time his car was broken down:
“I’d always end up broken down on the highway. When I stood there trying to flag someone down, nobody stopped. But when I pushed my own car, other drivers would get out and push with me. If you want help, help yourself – people like to see that.”
When you push yourself and do whatever it takes to help yourself, people will take notice and will be willing to help out.
When I was in 9th grade, I wanted to try out for the swimming team.
My parents couldn’t drive me to the tryout due to them not being available.
Instead of missing out on an opportunity, I took it upon myself to ride my bike and show up.
The try out was coming to an end and I made it just in time.
The coach saw me arrive on my bike and asked me to swim 100 meters.
Admittedly, my time was bad. I never swam on a competitive level but I didn’t care. I just wanted to try.
The next week goes by and the coach calls me and says I made the team.
I was confused as to why until he said, “I saw you ride your bike on the way to the tryout. Everyone else got a ride but you showed heart and a willingness to go the extra mile despite the odds. I respect that.”
Reason #3: He knew success wasn’t fair
Person B knew everyone else played by the rules.
He used what he learned from books and blogs written by successful people and used their methods.
Meanwhile, Person A was stuck in his “fairness cycle” and couldn’t comprehend the fact being “right” isn’t always right.
Much success does come through hard work, but what exactly IS hard work?
What’s certain about hard work is if it was this easy to be a success, those that work back breaking jobs would be wealthy.
Instead of working hard, Person B worked smart.
Working Smarter, Not Harder
My preferred method of getting clients is to be an answer to their needs.
Doing this is considered by those that think like Person A “immoral” and “wrong”.
The only reason this is considered this “wrong” is that going the extra mile is foreign to those that only know the bare minimum.
The bare minimum consists of doing what everyone else is doing.
Going the extra mile involves doing what not many people are doing.
YouTuber Megan Bowen talks about this briefly:
Doing video work is a perfect example of going the extra mile.
There’s a lot that has to be done when crafting a video for yourself or others.
Many times, people just think they turn on the camera, upload the footage to the editor, and do whatever.
True practitioners know it takes more than that.
If you want a better understanding of how going the extra mile works and want to be graded on your work, my course on editing faster and easier with Premiere Pro is live.
Learn how you can be more like Person B and get whatever it is you want through video.
Peace & love always!