Episode 83: Go the Extra Mile

Do you ever wonder why the board of directors pays the CEO of Disney $47.5 million in compensation? You can duplicate this success in your own life! In this episode Jimmy shares three lessons to help you achieve success in life.

Episode Keys

  • The relationship between attitude and career growth.
  • Giving more than is expected of you will reflect on your lifetime income and success.
  • Why you should be reading good books to help you grow as an individual and increase your value in the marketplace.
  • The secret formula for going the extra mile in life and your career.
  • How you will always have an advantage over others seeking the same position as you.

Podcast Transcription

Good morning! Hey, what a beautiful time of year. You look out the window and it’s got a little bit of that cold air look. It’s got a little moisture in the air. You know, you see the animals collecting for the winter and then you realize it’s almost my favorite time of year.

Hey, good morning, this is Jimmy Williams, your host for Live a Life by Design. Your Monday morning moments of motivation to help you live life on your terms in a bigger, better, and bolder way. You know, I tell everybody I am so thankful to share a few minutes with you every Monday. And I truly am. The responses we receive from those of you that are subscribers and listeners are just overwhelming. You are, you create so much humility in me from what I read and the responses on social media of where someone’s life has been touched. Someone had learned something that may have been said. Our team here at Live a Life by Design wants you to know one thing, we do not take for granted our listeners. We want to bring you every week something that inspires you in a big way, in a gigantic way that you can be the person you wish to be. You do not have to settle for what you are today. I tell everyone, I really don’t have any competition in the world that is greater than myself yesterday.

Did you catch that? And so what I want to visit with you about today. I want to share just a few things today with you about going the extra mile. And what we’re gonna share today has three valuable lessons that I learned in life, and don’t laugh, but one of those lessons I learned as a very, very young boy. It has stuck with me all these years. I have proven that lesson over and over again. not only in my personal life, but in my business career. It is one of those things that when I share with you, you’ll think, well that’s not that difficult. But it is profound in how it shapes your life. Your thoughts, as you go through life and makes us all bigger and better than we were yesterday.

You know, this environment we’re in is just still kind of been a little bit crazy. I know you’re tired of Covid-19. I’m certainly weary of the impact on our lives. You know, we’re still doing some of these things to help make certain we don’t continue the spread of this pandemic. We’re wanting to get life back to normal. And I was talking with some of my team the other day, and I just asked, you know, that’s a word if you’re in psychology as a profession you don’t really use the word ‘normal’. And I asked our team, well what does ‘normal’ look like going forward?

I don’t even like that word. What I’ve been saying is what is going to be the new normal, right? And so we want to look at what can we take from this time of challenge and turn into a time of prosperity and growth for ourselves? And I don’t necessarily mean money, right? If you’ve listened to any of these episodes, and we’re already on episode 83. It has flown by. If you’ve listened to any of these episodes, you’ve learned from my philosophy in life that I do not believe money can buy happiness. I don’t believe money can help you buy a lifetime of joy. But don’t misunderstand me when I tell you that money does not need to buy happiness, it only needs to lease it on an extended term. So, a little humor there, but, you know, I’m just saying do not rely on the richness of material things to gain your internal well being happiness and joy out of life. There are other things that are much better at giving you that type of sensation.

You know, when I was younger, I want to tell you just a little bit about this story. I went to work for a young, when I was younger I went to work for a gentleman that owned a farm. And I was raised out in rural America. And I was a little bit big for my age, in terms of height and muscular frame. And as you can probably tell if you’ve seen any pictures of me I’m not a small person as they would say. But I learned this valuable lesson of work and value from this one job. Now I’m talking about the same friend that I had went to work with on this farm. We were talking about what he would be doing and he asked me what I was doing, and behold it was the same service for this farmer. And I was informed though, by him, that he was making more money per hour than me. And at first I was irritated and upset. Now, I was just a 10 year old boy, and I thought, why does he think that he’s worth more per hour than me?

Well, that evening when I arrived home, my dad and I talked about this “incident”, and when I explained that I am no longer going to work for Mr. So and So, my dad quickly took me by the hand and he said wait just a minute. He said, you’ve learned a valuable lesson in economics and value that you’re gonna continue. Now I’ve got to tell you I was not in the mood to go to work the next day on this farm. Not only do you have to rise early, which didn’t bother me, I still do that to this day. But to be in that hot sun all day long and that did not appeal to me if I was only going to make a few dollars an hour.

Well, I got the hint from my dad that I was gonna get up and I was going to work for that gentleman because I’d given him my word. I’d shaken his hand, and folks that we’re we’ve got to get back to in life, do we not? To have integrity in the character to do what we agree. So, I’d learn my lesson in economics and I have not forgotten this lesson in more than 45 years now. So the farmer and I had agreed that I’d perform the task that he assigned me for a certain hourly rate. And at the time of the discussion, the farmer asked me what my labor was worth for an hour of my time. I gave him a price, and I’ll be honest with you, it felt pretty good. Thought I’d had really kinda quoted what I thought was a very good price. Until I had spoken with my friend. My dad’s question rings home to this day.

Why do you place such a low amount on the value you provide another person? Now if we think about that for a minute, you probably work with a company and they pay you a certain amount of money per hour. I’m gonna ask you to change your mindset from being getting paid per hour to the value you bring to that company. There will always be someone who will be paid far more than you, and there are many people, I’m sure, who earn less than you at this same company. The key to happiness in this exchange of value in the marketplace is to find contentment and fairness in the agreement between the parties. Now that’s all legal talk to simply say this in farm language. You’re gonna shake the man’s hand and tell him what you would work for and then you’re gonna complete the work no matter what anyone else is being paid. This is your agreement.

So allow me a few moments of your time today. I’m gonna share three lessons in economics that will help you achieve financial success in life. These lessons, if you will take them to heart today. If you will implement them starting today, and you will continue to utilize them every day of your life from now until the end of time. You will not only be financially successful in life, you will be successful in all aspects of life. And lesson number one is simply this, this was the one I learned setting on that old tomato farm when I was a kid at age 10. The lesson number one is do more than you are paid to do.

Now what this looks like can be represented by a story by the gentleman by the name of Edward C. Barnes. Now chances are you have never heard of Mr. Barnes, so allow me to explain. Mr. Barnes was the one and only business partner to a gentleman that was one of the greatest inventors of the United States history. He was Thomas Edison’s only business partner at the time. Now Edward C. Barnes was a man of much determination, but very few resources. He was determined to ally himself with the greatest mind of his day, Thomas Edison. Now when he arrived in Edison’s office unannounced, his poor appearance made the clerks laugh, especially when revealed that he had come to be Mr. Edison’s partner. Now Edison had never had a partner, but his persistence got him an interview with Edison and that interview got him a job as a handyman.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, but stay with me the story gets even better. Edison was impressed with Barne’s determination. But that alone was insufficient to convince him to take the extraordinary step of making him a business partner. Instead Barnes spent years cleaning and repairing equipment until one day he heard Edison’s salesforce laughing over the latest invention. It was called the dictaphone. They said it’ll never sell. Why in the world would you replace a secretary with a machine? But Barnes the handyman jumped up and cried, I can sell it. He got the job. For a month Barnes pounded the New York City pavement on a handyman’s salary. At the end of that month he had sold seven machines. When he returned to Edison full of ideas for selling more machines all across the country, Edison made him his partner in the dictaphone business. The only partner Edison ever had.

So what made Edison think that Barnes was so important for him? The inventor had thousands of people working for him, but only Barnes was willing to display his faith in Edison’s work and to put that faith into action. He didn’t demand a fancy expense account and a big salary to do it either. Barnes focused favorable attention on himself by rendering services far beyond a handyman’s responsibility. As the only one of Edison’s employees to render this service, he was the only one who uncovered such tremendous benefits for himself. I hope you caught that, he actually was selling this new device. This new invention called a dictaphone on a handyman’s salary.

You see by providing more than the minimal exertion to the job that you were hired to do, you should strive to do far more. Your supervisor or clients, whomever you work with that sees your value will note the additional effort by attributing more value to you for the organization. I’m reminded of another story of a railroad worker told by one of my mentors, Zig Zigler. Now this story is one that will provide you the example of what I mean by “doing more than you’re paid to do”. And no one could tell a story better than old Zig.

But it happened back in the 50s. It was an incident that took place on a sweltering summer afternoon alongside a railroad track where a crew of workers was doing some repair work. A train came chugging down the track and pulled off on a side rail. A window opened and a voice—a man’s voice—shouted out, “Dave! Dave Anderson, is that you?” It was; in fact, Dave Anderson that was in charge of the crew. He yells back, “Yeah, Jim, it’s me,”.

The man on the train, Jim Murphy, yelled back, “Well, come over here and let’s chat a while.”

So Dave stopped what he was doing and joined Jim Murphy in his private air-conditioned railroad car for almost an hour, no doubt happy to get out of the boiling sun. When the conversation ended, he made his way back to his crew working on the track. The flabbergasted crew stared at him in utter shock and said something to the effect of, “That was Jim Murphy, the president of this railroad.”

“Yup, it sure was,” Anderson said.

They all gathered around and excitedly wanted to know how Dave knew Jim Murphy, the president of the railroad, for goodness sakes, to say nothing about he got to be such good buddies with the man and on a first-name basis to boot!

Dave explained: “Well, it’s quite simple—when I started with the railroad over 20 years ago, Jim Murphy started at the same time; we’ve been pals ever since.”

Now the crew is astonished as much as they are confused. They want to know how it is that Dave and Jim Murphy started working for the railroad at the same time and Murphy rose to such dizzying heights while old Dave is still working on the track in the hot sun.

How in goodness name did that happen?

Dave looked wistfully up into the sky and said, “A little over 20 years ago Jim Murphy went to work for the railroad; I went to work for $1.75 an hour.”

So, the lesson to be learned is your commitment and contribution to the profits and value of your organization will hopefully be seen by those that want that value and your financial success as well as success in all parts of life will surely improve. You know, life will be better for you when you sincerely learn and implement lesson number one. Do more than what you’re paid to do.

And lesson number two. This is the fuel for keeping lesson number one moving forward. Lesson number two is this, work harder on yourself than you do on your job. If you aren’t prepared to handle more difficult, unique and challenging tasks in your field, your value will not rise as fast as others that do. What I am recommending is that you invest in yourself through self improvement. The state of mind that you must retain at all time is one of ‘I will do this task better this time than I did previously’. Are you invested in yourself by reading good books to help you with attitudes, skills, communications and growth of your capabilities? You should be reading good books such as Jim Rohn’s “Leading an Inspired Life”. Or Zig Ziglar’s “See You at the Top”.

Don’t read fiction alone or simply writings. Do the opposite of what everyone else does and distinguish yourself as a serious student of life. Another book that I read constantly and find tremendous value within its pages is the Bible. Whatever your religious belief, read the book from which you can grow your spiritual, mental, and emotional facets of life. Don’t just read the funny pages and comic books and expect yourself to be a competitive and growing individual in your chosen field. It just simply does not work that way. Lastly, I recommend this, read books such as Hal Gregersen’s “Questions are the Answer” and maybe even read Mortimer Adler’s “How to Read a Book” to help equip you with the valuable information and lessons in life to truly change the value you bring to the marketplace.

You must work harder on yourself through education and reading or you will plateau in value that you bring to the world. Now I’m not saying that you are of no value as a father, husband, wife, brother, sister, etc. No, I am saying, though, the value you create in which the world wishes to seek for themselves from you will not increase in demand if you don’t work on yourself to hone the skills and bring the uniqueness that is you to the market. Lesson number two is simply work harder on yourself than you do on your job. If we take that approach every year at your annual evaluation by your supervisor or employer, should be a positive feat. Not something you dread and look forward to because you have worked harder on yourself all the last 12 months than you did the previous 12 months and have greater skills and communication to bring to the role that you play.

So work harder on yourself than you do on your job. That’s lesson number two. Now this third lesson is a pretty difficult one. But it is one that if you can master, you will be the supervisor. You will be the Vice President, you may even be the President of your organization, or you may own your own company if you can master lesson number three.

Number three is the most difficult of these three lessons, but isn’t it when we face those things that are most difficult, most challenging, whatever term you wish to use that we truly see the growth in our lives. And lesson three you will reach a position in your life that craves greatness. Not for compensation in salary, but rather for the type of person you become. Lesson number three is exercise personal initiative and overcome procrastination. The team member that takes initiative instead of simply instruction will find herself in the upper rungs of the advancement ladder of an organization. In the frenetic pace most business owners and leaders are operating, it is tremendously draining on them to be required to always place team members with instructions for a project. Now I’m not simply saying you should be a mind reader. What I am saying though, when it has all been explained and laid out and the team should be assigned each of their roles on a project, to simply not think and try to get by on what you knew or yesterday’s talents is not serving you well.

No, you need to work harder on yourself, as we said, you need to gain some more intuitiveness of how projects should be completed efficiently and effectively. Profitably. You need to have people on your team that take a proprietary role on the project. What I’m saying is this, everyone contributes to the profitability of the organization. Whether you’re like Mr. Barnes sweeping the floor and working machines, or whether you’re Thomas Edison, the inventor. Everyone has a role. You know, this pace that we’re currently in due to Covid-19 has given many people opportunities to really shine. Now you could have done two things, you could have hid in the basement of your home and stuck your head in the sand and just oh woe is me and the world’s not doing what I wanted it to do. Or you could have done something about it. You could have seen a need and developed the next product or project that could solve the person’s need. Perhaps a service that is lacking in your area that you develop, that brings great value to your organization.

You see, there are opportunities amidst all of the confusion. Where there are challenges there are goals to be made. You can do this. You know, buy into the business in which you work. Don’t simply go to work by the hour. Don’t go to work for the salary. Go to work for how you can contribute, become a “owner” of the company. As I said, become proprietary to the business products or services your company places in the marketplace. Take pride of ownership as a team member and you will soon be rewarded with great value and equity in that company. By doing those important tasks that are needing done without being told to do them, you’ll be recognized as not only an employee, but a leader primed for greater responsibilities and of course, greater compensation.

You may be demonstrating personal initiative in your current position and it hasn’t helped improve your career path. Speak with your supervisor. Note if he or she has been aware of the additional responsibilities you are willing to take on to help the company improve. If there is some area of the company that you have the talent to resolve the problem, or challenge facing in that area, offer to go solve the problem. Give yourself a chance to shine with what you’re new skills are that you’ve learned the last 12 months from the books you may have read, the people you’ve studied. Go now and implement by taking initiative to solve the problem, or be at least a big part of the solution to the problem.

You see, lesson number three is exercise personal initiative and overcome procrastination. Don’t simply do the least amount you must to keep your job. That is a poor existence. It is time that we each rise up to realize our full potential of what we have to offer mankind. Now, at what level do you wish to stop providing improvement for yourself? Do you wish to say, well I’ve got a Bachelor’s Degree, and boy that’s just all I ever wanted. I got my four years in and I guess that will have to do.

I’ve got big news for you. You may have a limit on your formal education, but your lifetime learning must never cease to the day you’re called home. You must continue learning if you wish to increase your earning in this world. The status quo will never serve you well. I encourage you, take these three lessons and let’s implement them today. Now I’m gonna do something because I want to go the extra mile today for you. I want to practice what I preach here, if you will.

I’m gonna share with you the secret formula for going the extra mile. Now this formula was actually developed by Napoleon Hill. Napoleon was an outstanding author, speaker, a wonderful business man and he had produced this formula that I have used now and referred to many times in my career. It’s a simple formula. It’s Q1 + Q2 + MA = C

So let’s break this down by variable for just a moment. Q1 is the quality of service rendered. That’s simple enough, now Q2 is the quantity of service rendered. So I’ve got quality and I’ve got quantity. Well then, MA the variable MA stands for mental attitude in which it is rendered. And that equals C which is your compensation. So, the quality of service I render, plus the quantity of service I render, plus the mental attitude in which I am rendering those services equals my compensation.

So how do I increase these variables? Well it’s simple, right? Having the right attitude goes a long way. Those people that show up at work with a sour face, a poor attitude, blame the world and everybody in it for all the wrongs that’s ever been done to them will not see that reflected well in their compensation. If the quality of work you’re performing has not improved with time, it’s like laptop computers. Now when I got my first computer, it wasn’t a laptop, folks, it was a luggable. I swear my mom’s singer sewing machine weighed less than this big computer I carried around. And it had about a six inch screen and it was green.

That’s it, no other color, just green. It had five and a quarter inch floppies. I have more power in the FitBit watch I wear to keep track of my health than was possessed in that luggable computer in the 80s. That’s how far we’ve now come in the computer world. If you think technologies proceeding fast, you ought to see the greatest technology in our world, your human brain at work.

As a matter of fact, this is why I read good books everyday. This is why I like to study the biographies of successful people. Now I’m not talking about get rich quick. Not at all. I’m talking about the Bill Gates, the Warren Buffets of the world. I’m talking about the people that have changed this world in a positive manner by finding a need and filling it. You see, compensation, the utmost product of this entire the sum of all these variables, that compensation doesn’t necessarily mean money. I’m talking about other things as compensation to your life. I’m talking about joy, harmony with others. Spiritual enlightenment. Faith, and open mind. A sense of tolerance. Or anything else worthwhile that you seek in life. Be aware that money is nice, but it is not the only thing that brings true and lasting happiness and ultimately success in life.

So let’s review the three powerful lessons you must learn to truly go the extra mile and achieve lifelong success. Lesson number one, do more than you are paid to do. Lesson number two, work harder on yourself than you do on your job. Lesson number three, exercise personal initiative and overcome procrastination. My mentor Jim Rohn said it so eloquently, what is easy to do is also easy not to do. You know, this week, I challenge each of you to give yourself a check up from the neck up. Review your past behavior in life and in your career. Work harder on yourself this week to improve the areas of weakness in your life. If it’s nothing more than going to your local library and getting a good book, one of those I mentioned earlier. If you would just start reading a few pages, you will not believe the impact those few pages of that good book will do to your psyche, your attitude toward others. Your attitude toward our job. It will make you into a different person. I guarantee it. So, you can do what others can’t if you are willing to sacrifice a little pain now and live in success the rest of your life.

You know you only get one life. Make it work for you instead of you working for your life. Go ahead out, let’s go live a life by design.

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