1 minute = 1 hour, thank-you cards, and showing up

Most people are average, don’t be.

That is some of the most biting and wise advice I’ve ever received. But, it doesn’t answer the natural follow-up: okay, sure, but how do you not be average?

Tom Peters in his book The Pursuit of Wow offers a wide array of insights. So many, in fact, it can feel like he’s just throwing out all he’s got so hopefully something sticks – and most of it is sticky.

How to not be average 101 (AKA 3 steps to turning pro):

  1. Prepare, prepare, prepare… prepare. The pros put in as much as one hour of preparation for every minute of their meetings. How are you going to compete with the person who’s already analyzed the budget five times and can demonstrate on the day of the interview multiple avenues for cost-saving?
  2. Send a handwritten thank-you letter.
  3. Show up. It doesn’t matter how you feel. Show up. Show up to do your work. Show up to introduce yourself. Drive 100 miles for a ten-minute meeting. Show up.