If there is something I have done more often in the past year, it would be asking people for life advice. These people range from the young to old, the filthy rich to the stinking poor, and from a labourer to a property investor.
However, if there is one piece of advice that has affected me the most it would be this:
How you do anything, is how you do everything.
Let this sink in. It means that how you handle and manage any situation, challenge or experience in your life, is probably how you handle all of them the same way. Every action you do, every word you say and every decision you make affects other parts of your life.
In my previous 9-5 job as a project engineer, I was half-assing everything I did, from creating safety plans to conducting assessments. I would use the safety template and just insert an appropriate word without thinking if it fit or not. I would sign off completed work by quickly glancing at it from afar and assuming it looked alright without doing a detailed inspection.
This half-assed effort would translate to my workouts at the gym and at MMA training. At the gym, I would lift a weight that did not overload my body, skip a set or two, and miss a few reps because I was “bored”. At MMA training, I would hit the bags with 50% power and effort, do half the amount of reps during ab workouts, and just give up if I were to fight a more experienced fighter.
My half-assed effort at work translated to my workouts, which shows how unmotivated I was as an individual.
I was even homeless at one point with nowhere to stay but to couch surf at friend’s places for a month. I wouldn’t dare to bring a lot of my things over because I didn’t want to bother them so I had most of my clothes in my car. My car was a mess! During this period, I had no job and put very little effort to finding a new job because my excuse was that I didn’t know what to do with my life. I would go out drinking and partying during the weekdays and weekends. Sometimes I would wake up the next day in my car hung over and repeat it all over again.
The messiness of my car translated to a messy lifestyle – a big shit storm.
What I Did
Everything clicked and made sense on why I was a lazy unmotivated person and with a messy lifestyle. Something had to change if I wanted to be more than this. I put aside my old work habits and worked by the following:
Going the extra mile.
This is doing work that a majority of people aren’t willing to do.
Examples could be:
- For a videographer, it could be creating a clip and editing it until the client is happy no matter how many edits you do and not charging anything extra.
- For a blogger, it could be responding to every comment and email no matter how stupid or offensive it is.
- As a friend, it could be looking after that one drunk friend. The friend that blacked and couldn’t walk, continuously vomiting their insides out and getting everyone kicked out of the Uber, buying them a burger and water bottle to sober them up, then carrying them with their arm over your shoulder to a safe place to sleep at 7:30am in the morning – True story.
Going the extra mile for Anthony Co
As small or mundane as it sounds, the very first thing I did was clean up my car.
Next, I applied for jobs, but not just any job. I wanted to job that I will actually enjoy and could see myself doing it as a career.
I then somehow get sucked into this 5-stage interview process of this large international firm. For interviews, I would normally just “wing it” and not prepare for them at all. However, this time was different. I revised and brushed up on my algebra and pored through endless case studies.
I learned that I didn’t have to put in all that hard work because none of the questions they had asked at the were related to what I had prepared for, but it’s okay because I went the extra mile and was prepared for any challenge.
However, while looking at past cases, I stumbled upon this website where they advertised my dream job – literally. Online marketing with location dependency in Thailand.
The job required WordPress knowledge, which was something I did not have. Like most people, they would give up and move on if they saw they didn’t have a specific skill, but not me.
WordPress was learnt within a few days and what came about from it was this blog, Anthony Co. Not many people would build a website or learn an entirely new skill just for a job, but this is what it takes if you want something.
I submitted a video CV that I put hours into filming and editing just so it could be perfect. Even with my late submission, I somehow made it to the last round of interviews. Why? Becuase my hard work and dedication in my video resulted in it becoming one of the best out of 30 applicants.
The last round included an advance level homework, totally beyond the scope of an entry-level job. With no clue where to start, I dedicated hours and hours studying all the material I could get my hands on. I created a report that was formatted to a professional level. For an instance, I thought to myself that maybe I was investing too much time into this project, but all this effort did not go to waste as I received an email that said: “YOU’RE HIRED!”.
By going the extra mile, I was able to stumble across a job like this. I didn’t produce a selfie video in a dimly lit room for my application like other applicants, which lead me to stand out from the crowd.
As I write this, I am one week away from leaving my home country New Zealand to Thailand and starting my life as a digital nomad.
Before landing this Thailand job, I was a social media marketer for a clothing company, getting paid NOTHING. I produced a marketing plan strategy, created social content and tracked analytics. Hours were spent researching strategies on how to grow this company while getting paid ZERO.
My habits at the gym and MMA classes also changed. Every time I would always push for more by doing more reps than I aimed or doing one more set. As a result, my lifts have increased significantly. An example would be me squatting 120 kg. I’m not a big guy, but this is squatting two times my body weight, an impressive feat if I do say so myself. At MMA, I would go all out, gassing out after 3 rounds on the heavy bag than before where 3 rounds would leave my without a sweat
By going the extra mile, you open more doors of opportunity. People will notice your efforts. Every time you are stuck with a decision on whether to hand in sub-par work, just keep in mind that your competitors are doing the same.
By going the extra mile in everything you do, you are doing things that MOST people wouldn’t do. Let this fuel you. It’s the little things that will let you fly higher than everyone else.
How you do anything is how you do everything
Thank you to Ben Alexander for this life changing advice.