I used to be a waiter. I was really good at it too. I put on a show for every single table, made them feel like they were the most important table I had ever had. I didn’t just tell people the specials, I sold them a dining experience that they would never forget! And I made great tips!
One day this dude I worked with pulled me aside and said, ‘Mark I see you running around, refilling these water glasses, being all ‘above and beyond.’ That’s not necessary. Don’t work so hard. At the end of the day odds are they will leave you about 15%. No matter how hard you work. So why work so hard?”
What a douche.
“Who is this weirdo settling for ‘average’ results? Why is he trying to convince me that I can make a comfortable living doing less work and exerting less energy? What a freak.” I ignored him and went about my business wowing my patrons and being the world’s best waiter. Oh and averaging about 18%. Take that slacker!
But the more I worked and the more I interacted with people I realized that I was wrong. Dead wrong. He wasn’t the freak. He wasn’t the weirdo…I was.
I was the weirdo.
See, the majority of people in this world work toward mediocrity. They work just hard enough to keep their jobs. They put in the minimum amount of effort possible to survive. That’s why they call it “mediocrity,” because it’s right in the middle. It’s where most of the people are and, sadly, it’s where most are content to stay. Making 15% tips.
See, I wasn’t the world’s best waiter. (I think that title actually belongs to some dude in France.) I was just “better than him.” I was slightly above “mediocre.” But, it made all the difference.
Most people who eat in restaurants, or fly on airplanes, or call radio stations come in contact with the 15%ers. Why? Because there are more of them then there are of us! That’s why being slightly better than average makes you seem like you are LIGHT YEARS ahead of the game!
You know that guy who is always smiling and saying “Hello?” He’s not WAY happier than anyone else, he’s just slightly happier than the majority of people. But he seems like he’s freebasing prozac.
The girl at the grocery store who calls you by your first name. She’s not REALLY interested in you, but she is slightly more interested than most other women. And it makes you feel like a stud!
Our world is run on averages. You are either above, below, or right in the middle. Slightly above average and WAY above average are both “above average.” That’s where you succeed. You can separate yourself from the masses simply by being better than average. You can be the greatest “whatever” in the world, simply by being better than mediocre.
And you’ll make great tips!