My second core principle for success is to meet and beat expectations, including your own. This amounts to going the extra mile.  This can mean many different things.  It might include putting forth additional effort, it might include thinking outside the box, and it might even mean going outside the parameters of your job description to contribute meaningfully to you or your employer’s business. Going the extra mile means to see an opportunity where you can contribute beyond what your employer – or you – believe is required to enhance your business or business environment.

To paraphrase the Collins Dictionary, to go the extra mile means to be “willing to make a special effort to do or achieve something.”  To be most meaningful, your willingness to make extra effort would be especially for the betterment of something or someone else, regardless of whether it benefits you. It means that you have strong interest in serving the work in which you are engaged before you serve yourself. These opportunities invite you to walk a different path than you typically ‘walk.’ Small opportunities to do this are typically available to you every day and big opportunities will also always present themselves along the way.

According to an article from Entrepreneur Magazine,”Those who are willing to go the extra mile are the ones who exhibit a spirit of excellence, which leads to success in all aspects of business and life….If you are okay with being ordinary, simply follow the path (or examples) of ordinary people. But if you want to be extraordinary, follow the path (or examples) of extraordinary people.” David Meltzer, Go The Extra Mile If You Want To Achieve Excellence, Entrepreneur Magazine, April 6, 2019

So you must ask yourself….do you want to live a work-a-day existence, or do you desire to soar in your life and career?  Do you want to be ordinary, or do you truly want to be extraordinary?

Some examples of going the extra mile might include:

  1. Coming early to work to get a bit more done each day
  2. Staying later so you can finish a project well before deadline
  3. Offering to take on more responsibility
  4. Offering to be a part of a team or to form a team to complete a project
  5. Suggesting different or additional ways that the company can serve the needs of their customers and then offering to be a part of implementing those changes
  6. Suggesting a way that your company can save money or improve profitability without delivering less
  7. Considering what you believe your employer’s expectations of you are, and then making a plan to consistently meet and beat those expectations
  8. Thinking about ways to improve not merely the quantity of your work, but perhaps the quality of it, which, depending on the context, can often be even more meaningful.
  9. Offering to help a co-worker to complete a project or bring a project in on time

You very likely have even better ideas about how you can go the extra mile!

Remember that going the extra mile is a mindset turned into action that involves excellence. It is not just about the amount of work you do, but the quality you also consistently offer, in combination with a positive attitude and even more positive outlook. By meeting and beating the expectations of those you work for, you demonstrate where you believe you truly belong in the hierarchy of your workplace. You also show through action that you are excited to be a part of the company and want to meaningfully contribute in many different ways.

Please reach out and let us know what ways you have chosen to go the extra mile in your own life, whether in business or in your personal life. Challenge yourself daily to find ways to expand your habits, your thoughts, your beliefs, and your work attitude and watch the results!  I believe you will surprise even yourself.