Is THAT The Best You Can Do?

You’ve probably heard me mention I’ve been a distance runner for 20+ years.  At one point I was pretty competitive and used to train really hard.

One of my regular workouts was pretty straightforward:  12 x 400 meters (aka: “quarters”) with a slow jog of 200 meters between each.

Doesn’t sound hard, right?

Well, I can’t express the amount of pain I used to experience with this workout.  It didn’t matter if I was good shape.   At the end, I always ended up lightheaded, gasping for air and generally wondering about my sanity.

Hearing VOICES in My Head

The first half of this workout usually went like this:

A quarter in 72 seconds.  Then one in 73.  Then three more in 71.  Two in 70.

Invariably I’d reach the halfway point, tired as hell, and hear a voice in my head similar to Gunnery Sergeant Hartman from the movie, “Full Metal Jacket.”

Usually it would say something like: “HOLY S**T!  It’s THAT the best you can do?  Is that it?  Are you going to quit on me? ”

At that point, I’d make a decision.  Either I’d choose to slow down or I’d choose go faster.

I always went faster – 69 seconds, then 68, 69 again, 67, and then 100% effort to hit 62.

Why this Story?

Okay, you might be wondering why I’m telling this story.  You know, besides the fact that ole Steve is hearing voices in his head.  Well, as you know on Mondays I have my MVPs (Massive Value Posts) that provide a ton of content for readers.  In the last three weeks, I’ve been especially proud of these articles:

After completing each one, I feel like I did a good job of providing quality content.  But a day or so later, I’d hear that damn voice again, “Is THAT the Best you can do?”

Sometimes it’s frustrating to feel like you’re never doing enough.  On the other hand, this is a great philosophy to have with a blog/Internet business.  I’m glad I have this voice in my head.  In a way, it’s a reality check that lets me know I can be doing a whole LOT more.

Is THAT the Best YOU Can Do?

Here’s the point to this post.  I know many of you reading this post want a successful online business.

I’m sure you work your butt off.  But I have to ask, “Is THAT the best you can do?”  If your business is about underwater basket weaving, are you giving 100% effort to become the best underwater basket weaver?

In one of my favorite books Crush It, Gary Vaynerchuk talks about the importance of making the world listen.  In my opinion, this won’t happen until you become known as person who provides quality content in your niche.

It’s time for a reality check.  There is NO SUCH THING as instant online success. If you want to create a sizable Internet income – Be prepared to work ridiculously hard for it.

I write (and will continue to write) a quality post every Monday.  I’m sure a few might flop, but I’ve made the commitment to do this because I know it’s what works with blogging.

With your Internet business, are you working as hard as you can?  Are you providing readers with quality that stands out in your niche?  Do you push yourself each and every day?  Finally…

…Is THAT the best you can do?

Take Action. Get Results.

33 thoughts on “Is THAT The Best You Can Do?”

  1. Good morning Steve:

    What a beautiful post this is. And then you are the real person who is talking about your own example, makes it so strong, I just felt very deeply about my achievements in Internet marketing and doing nothing for the end result. Steve life is such an enigma, it only goes in your favor when you control every aspect of life powerfully knowing what you want to do with it. I am impressed with your power of writing and conveying your message to be empowered for others. If you are able to produce your kind of action power in some of us , you achieved results with your message.

    To your success

    fran A

  2. Hi Steve,

    We must continue to raise the bar for ourselves….or else we become mediocre.

    I thoroughly enjoy what I do. I have a passion for my craft. I am however, never fully satisfied for complacency is poison.

    Les Brown talks about always being HUNGRY. Stay hungry and you can overcome your worst nightmares. Stay hungry and you can crush obstacles. Be hungry and you can achieve whatever you want to achieve. The key is to be hungry though, and you can never lose your appetite if you dream to be successful.

    Thanks for sharing the inspiration and have a powerful day!


  3. Great article Steve, pushing yourself is to give it your best everytime is definitely a challenge, but the people who rise up to that challenge almost always find themselves head and shoulders above everyone else. I rarely feel like I gave it my best when I do anything because I am a big perfectionist.

    I think it’s the former athlete in me because I too hear that voice in my head asking is that the best I can do, and I don’t think it’s because I’m crazy, it’s just some good self motivation.

    When it comes to developing a successful online business and anything worth fighting for in life you need some self motivation in order to reach your goals.

    • Great point on the perfectionist thing.

      I totally understand that. We can often be our own critics. I am always for pushing the envelop but sometimes it is best to let things go as “good enough”.

      I have seen a few people paralyzed by perfectionism.

  4. Hi Steve, I’ve decided this resonates for me not for work, but for working out. I am going to yoga twice a week, but I still spend too much time at the computer. I think twice a week exercising is NOT the best I can do, so I’m going to up my activity level. 🙂

    • For sure. Exercise is always a good place to take it up a notch, because what was hard as hell 2 months ago becomes easy with repetition. Pushing the envelope back is always a good way to increase your skills.

      I failed Yoga at Downward Dog, though.

  5. I like the spirit of this post, Steve.

    We can always push a little harder and go that extra distance. but it’s important to not only work harder but smarter as well. The idea of producing at least one killer post each week is a great way of putting forth that extra effort, and it’s a smart thing to do.

    You are right about the fact that we have to stand out from the crowd in some way and the best way to do that is to be consistent and provide value.

    That running story is a good analogy. Building a successful online business is not a sprint, but a long distance run with plenty of opportunities to question ourselves. 🙂

  6. That’s a great question. Sometimes that extra push can be the one that leads to new plateaus and possibilities. You never quite know when it’s going to come, so you just have to keep pushing your boundaries and getting better and better.

    Did you choose someone for your blog apprentice yet?

  7. I’m taking a whole new approach to this Steve – I’m cutting back on my posting frequency (even more) so I can just push out really awesome articles – I think, up until this point, I’ve added value but I know I can do better, there’s so much rattling around in my head that it NEEDS to get out there, it needs to be published, people NEED to read it.

    So from here on out Steve, let’s work our ass off not just to gain readers but to truly leave a legacy in our writing. It’s a challenge.

    • I feel like those cheerleaders from “Bring it on”

      “Bring it”
      “Oh, It’s already been BROUGHTEN”

      I am certainly trying to kick it into overdrive with quality posts. But I still have to maintain my one a day. 8ish months now. I have to at least keep it up til 1 year. That hallmark is too close.

    • As long as you are not using the treadmill as a clothes-hanger you are partway there.

      I have actually been bad this week myself. I have only run once in a week, hard to get motivated when it is ice cold out. But I went and joined a gym last night (I think my own post motivated me a bit). So hopefully I will get it going again.

  8. I do really enjoy your Monday posts, Steve. They’re always filled with great content.

    I honestly don’t ever really feel that “Is that the best you can do, numbnuts?!” voice. I’ve never been a competitive person, even against myself. If I’m doing something that I enjoy, I’ll give it as much as I can until I just don’t want to give any more, and I’m pretty much always happy with my result.

    Failure doesn’t really bother me, either. I know that failure or success is usually entirely up to me, and if I fail, it’s my own damn fault, so I have nothing to feel sorry about. I realize that there are things that I’m great at and things that I suck at, and I’m 100% a-ok with that.

    Now to my blogging. I work many, many hours a day on my blog, but even so, I know I could probably squeeze a few more hours in if I wanted to. But I don’t want to. It all comes back to lifestyle design for me. Sure, I’m willing to put in 12 or 14 hour days. But there are days I only want to do 4 hours of work. Is that the best I can do? No. But it’s the best I can do and still love my life as much as I currently am.

    And I think THAT, for me, is the most important question: Is that the best I can do while not negatively affecting my life?

    Anyway, this was a lot of rambling and not altogether related to what you were talking about. But thanks for the great, thought-provoking comment, Steve!

    • I think my competition is ONLY against myself. When I play organized sports I never get that “must win” feeling. I don’t feel bad if someone else does good or even better than me. I just like to beat myself. (that sounded vaguely sexual)

      I agree with you on failure. I actually (try to) view it as a learning experience. I think some failure can be positive to teach you what NOT to do.

      With the amount you work on your blog though, I bet you have a little bit more -drive, competetive spirit? not sure of the “right” word- than you realize. If you weren’t pushing you would be happy with just an hour a day work on it.

  9. Hi Steve

    A thought provoking post. The only danger with pushing ourselves is if we push too hard. Obsession and perfection are said to be too close for comfort at times! Sometimes I feel I have to say that is the best that I can do at the moment.

    Doesn’t mean I won’t improve but have to be satisfied with where I am at as it is easy to become too critical of myself and not feel I am achieving when in fact I have achieved quite a lot since I started my blog.

    I get we should be striving to do our best. But I think the way Tristan is approaching his blogging journey and aiming for balance is very healthy. Just my 2 cents 🙂

    Patricia Perth Australia

    • You make a great point. It is bad to be obsessive. I do so these things in measured doses. When I am not working I really take time off.

      But I think when you ARE doing something it can be good to push your boudaries and limits as far as they can go. You never know what you can do until you push and test your limits.

  10. Great analogy comparing your story to online business. Is that the best you can do is a good question to push yourself further and even harder to become successful in any business.

  11. Hey Steve,

    I think this “Is that the best you can do” attitude can be a good motivator. My only problem is that you can also easily slip into putting a lot of pressure on yourself all the time and eventually getting a burnout.

    I think the best mix is always wanting to do better, but being able to accept the status quo at the same time. It’s that want everything, need nothing attitude.


    • Thanks Eduard,

      You do make some great points about avoiding burnout. I do push myself, but I also take my share of time “off”.

      I like pushing the boundaries, because you never know how far you can go until you stretch your limits a bit.

  12. Love your straight forward point Steve.

    I agree there are not instant success online, i truly believe it.

    I am a beginner in affiliate marketing stuff, and always want to increase my sales lol..

    So in the beginning, when i checked my affiliate account and there were no sales, i changed the product, sooner i realise this is not a good idea.

    I should promote the products which i really believe in, and stick with them.


    • Believing in your products is important. They still may not fly off the shelves, but chances are you are doing everything that needs to be done to get the sales rather than a product where it may be apparent you are only in it for the $$

  13. Scott,

    This is an inspirational post! I like that you mix, internet marketing with personal improvement as well, as one can not exist without the other. I sometimes like to push myself to do best and sometimes I step away and take a break when its gets overwhelming. It seems to help a little.

    • I agree, I do think personal development and internet marketing are tightly tied together.

      The days of the slick internet marketer out selling snake oil are hopefully waning (unfortunately I cannot say dead….I doubt that type of person will ever “die off”)

  14. Great post Steve. As a regular reader and follower you have a tremendous ability to provide concise bit-sized clarity to your wisdom. Through on-line friendships I have the opportunity to interview many of my mentors, with my new blog ‘thepassionthing” .
    It will be an interesting journey.
    I will use your lessons as a path …

    Peace from Mexico.

  15. Not very often do we end up asking and answering questions as this Steve. They are very well deserved questions for any one serious about achieving success. As a wise man once put it, success really is not a destination but rather a journey. There is simply no resting point, you must continually build on the success of the other by surpassing your previous performance. Only then do we end up saying when it is all done, that we gave not only our best, but our all.

    Thanks Steve for sharing, going to check out the other posts you mentioned.

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