In every field, extraordinary benefits go to those seen as being in the top five percent. One out of twenty.
Sure, the biggest prizes go to the once-in-a-generation superstar. But that’s largely out of reach. It turns out, though, that if you’re thoughtful and diligent, the top 5% is attainable.
The approach is to pick the right set to be part of. Not, “top 5% of all surgeons,” but perhaps, “top 5% of thoracic surgeons in Minnesota.” Be specific. Find your niche and fill it.
That’s challenging, because once you set out to be specific, you’re on the hook. The standards are more clear. No room to waffle.
Which leads to the second half of the approach: The hard work. The work of leveling up and being honest about the choices that those you seek to serve actually have. If they knew what you know, would they choose you? What would it take for you to learn enough and practice enough and invest enough to truly be one of the top 5%?
That’s something you can achieve in exchange for focus and effort. To be in the top 1% takes a combination of luck and magical talent. But to be in the top 5%, one in twenty, is mostly about choices.
The thing is, you’re not competing with the other 19 people, not really. You’re competing with yourself, competing in a journey to determine how much you care about making an impact.
Here’s to a powerful and productive year. Make a ruckus.