Separating the good from the great

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I’m sitting in my home office, waiting for contractors to come and finish the job of adding cabinets to the office. I paid 50% upfront. The contractors have just billed me the next 40% of the job. To them, that makes sense, as 90% of the materials are installed. But to me, they are not 90% done. Doors need to be added. Tiny details need to be taken care of. To me, they are either 0% done or 100% done. Right now, they are at 0% because they are not done.

And, based on their work so far, I worry about their ability to do the final 10% quickly and effectively. So I don’t want to pay them, because I don’t want to give up the only leverage I have — money. I’ll pay them the minute they complete the final 10% of the job.

This gets to the point: Good professionals focus on the first 80-90% of a job. The great ones take great care to make the final 10-20% outstanding. It’s the final 10-20% where the results happen from the client’s point of view. It’s the final 10-20% that determines whether you do what you say, or are sloppy. And it’s the final 10-20% that sometimes takes 80-90% of your effort!

Want to stand out, in both your marketing and your delivery? Get the final 10-20% of your project done with elegance and excellence. Take care of the details at the end. Tie up loose ends. Debug your work. Let the client test drive your work and make final requests.

It may be a pain, but will separate you from the merely good.

Andrew NeitlichAndrew Neitlich
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