Posted on March 3, 2022  
by Noel Guilford

A few years ago, one of my mentors taught me a concept that I call ‘Best in the World’. It goes like this: What would the best business advisory firm in the world look like? What would the best chartered accountancy practice in the world do differently?

It is an interesting concept because relatively few business owners aspire to be the best in the world at what they do. They settle for mediocre.

I’m fortunate. When I left university, I joined a firm called Arthur Andersen who knew what it took, and were, the best accountancy firm in the world (until in a land far away it went to their heads and the rest is history).

But for many of my formative years as an accountant I worked for and had a front row seat in the best accountancy firm in the world. It was instructive, and certain actions became habits that have stayed with me.

It doesn’t matter what you do. No-one I know started their own business with the aim of becoming average. Did you? But life’s too short to be average. May as well try to become the best in the world. Even if you fail, the journey will be worth it.

You’re probably thinking: “That’ll never be me.” The reality is most people aren’t any more skilled or talented than you. They are just more tenacious and persistent.

Here are some tips for becoming the best in the world at what you do:

  1. Live with passion: All of us have one thing that we can talk about effortlessly that we wish we were doing while being in the office of broken dreams. Living with passion is an underrated strategy. When passion shines through it’s easier to become the best in the world.
  2. You’ll never grow if you stay in your comfort zone. Growth gets you to be the best in the world. If you’re not feeling fear regularly something is wrong. Fear happens when you go beyond anything you’ve experienced before and try to get to the next level. This happened a lot at Andersen’s!
  3. You can become the best in the world faster when you talk to those who already are. Very few are the best in the world at what they do. Look for the experts that constantly get mentioned by others in your field.
  4. Act as if there are no rules: If you follow the rules it’s easy to become stuck. The only constraints in life are those set by your mind. Don’t let past limitations hold back your future. Do things how you want to do them. Follow your intuition. When you make up the rules you’re being true to yourself – there’s no greater joy than living in alignment with who you are and what you believe.
  5. Schedule your best in the world activities in your calendar and practice them consistently. Every time you do the activity, cross off that box on the calendar. Once the habit is built your brain’s automation will take over.
  6. Get a mentor or accountability partner. Tell them your goal(s) and check in with them once a week to update them. Do the same for them.
  7. Find your true potential: This one is tough. Those who are the best in the world experienced many disasters on their rise to the top. Disasters lead to failures. It’s how we learn. Failures teach us the lessons needed to become the best in the world. For a lesson to stick you’ve got to experience it. If you can’t deal with rejection or failure, you’ll never become the best in the world.
  8. Don’t overdo it: Becoming the best in the world is easy to overdo. Schedule time to do nothing. Take breaks while you work. Go on holidays to escape the path to greatness for a while. A busy mind will never be the best in the world. Let downtime galvanise your thoughts and trigger aha-moments
  9. Create a system: When you sit down to work out how to be the best in the world, it’s easier when there’s a process. When you have a system the steps are much easier.
  10. Don’t do it alone: You’re not going to reach high places all by yourself. You can’t do it all. You need other people to help you (and the ones you want will be the ones attracted by your passion).

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Noel Guilford


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