Average is the Enemy

Average is the Enemy

In a fast-paced world where mediocrity often blends into the background, striving for anything less than excellence can be a subtle adversary in business and personal achievement. This truth holds especially true in environments where skills, intellectual prowess, and entrepreneurial passion are the benchmarks of success.

In such a world, being average is not just a harmless middle ground; it’s a potential barrier to reaching one’s full capabilities and goals. This article delves into why settling for the ordinary is a risk not worth taking and how transcending the average can lead to unparalleled success and fulfillment.

Why Average is the Enemy; Success is Your Responsibility

“Average is the bottom of good and the top of bad.” – Horst Schulze

That quote by Horst Schulze is pretty insightful, especially in the context of performance. It suggests that average is a middle ground that doesn’t quite reach the good level, yet it’s just a step above being bad. Here’s a breakdown:

  1. Not Quite Good: When you’re average, you’re not reaching the full potential of what’s considered good. You’re at the lowest tier of what might be acceptable or satisfactory, but you’re not excelling or standing out.
  2. Barely Above Bad: At the same time, being average means you’re just a notch above poor performance or quality. It’s like doing enough not to fail or be considered harmful but not to be recognized as good or excellent.

This concept highlights the importance of striving for excellence in investing, business, or any performance-driven field. Being average might keep you afloat, but it won’t lead to remarkable success or notable achievements. It’s a call to push beyond mediocrity to excel and make a significant impact.

In many areas like business, investing, trading, and performance-based professions, being average often means just meeting the basic standards, not excelling.

Here’s why and how average can be the enemy:

  1. Competition: In careers and business, exceptional ones usually overshadow average performance. The market rewards top performers disproportionately.
  2. Innovation: Average often implies doing things as they’ve always been done. This mindset can stifle creativity and innovation, which are crucial for growth and staying ahead in business.
  3. Growth: If you’re just average in your strategies and execution, your growth potential is limited. Exceptional strategy and execution can lead to exponential growth in any professional field.
  4. Risk Management: In investing and entrepreneurship, being average might mean not optimizing your risk management. Superior risk management can be a crucial differentiator in long-term success. Risk too little, and your rewards are small but risk too much, and you can lose what you already have.
  5. Mindset: Settling for average can lead to complacency. In high-performance areas, a growth mindset aimed at constant improvement is essential.
  6. Opportunity Cost: Being average in one area might mean missing out on opportunities to excel in another, more lucrative or rewarding area.
  7. Market Dynamics: Remember, when investing, trading, and operating a business, markets are efficient and competitive. Average strategies might not account for complex market dynamics, leading to underperformance.
  8. Personal Satisfaction: On a personal level, striving for more than average can be more fulfilling. It pushes you to learn, adapt, and grow. Accepting being average lowers the drive and energy level required for achievement.

In fields where performance is critical, aiming beyond average is often necessary to achieve significant success and fulfillment.

Keep reading for a deeper dive into the areas that keep you trapped in average and are the enemy of being good or great. Good is the enemy of great, and average is the enemy of good.

The Perils of Settling for Average

In a world that constantly pushes the boundaries of excellence, settling for average is a risky game, especially in business, investing, and personal growth. Being average, often considered a safe and comfortable choice, can be a silent killer of potential and opportunity.

It’s a space where one does just enough to get by, missing out on the genuine rewards that come from pushing beyond the boundaries of mediocrity.

Redefining Success: Beyond the Average

Success is a concept that demands redefinition. It’s not just about meeting the standard benchmarks; it’s about surpassing them. Success should be seen as a dynamic and evolving target that moves beyond the average and into the realm of the extraordinary.

This involves cultivating a mindset that seeks continuous improvement, setting higher goals, and embracing challenges as opportunities for growth. It’s about being exceptional in your strategies, execution, and vision.

The Competitive Edge: Why Average Doesn’t Cut It

The average doesn’t cut it in fiercely competitive careers and business. The market rewards those who stand out, not those who blend in. Being more than average gives you a competitive edge in several key areas.

It involves going beyond the average in innovation, ensuring superior strategies and execution for better resource use, adapting quickly to market changes, and gaining visibility due to exceptional performance, which leads to more opportunities and connections.

Innovation and Creativity: Moving Past Mediocrity

Innovation and creativity are the lifeblood of surpassing average standards. They involve thinking outside the box, challenging the status quo, and taking calculated risks. Companies and individuals that excel often embrace change rather than resist it.

Above-average people practice creative thinking and problem-solving, are not afraid to fail, know that failure is often a stepping stone to success, and continuously seek to improve their performance,  products, services, and processes.

Growth and Excellence: The Cost of Being Average

Settling, on average, has a significant cost for growth and excellence. It limits potential, hinders progress, and can lead to stagnation. On the other hand, striving for excellence opens up a world of possibilities.

Striving for excellence leads to higher levels of achievement and satisfaction, creates a culture of high performance and high standards, attracts like-minded individuals and teams striving for excellence, and drives innovation and continuous improvement.

Risk Management: The Shortcomings of Average Strategies

In the trading, investing, and risk management world, average strategies often lead to average results, which can be a significant setback. Superior risk management involves a deeper understanding of market dynamics and potential risks.

The ability to anticipate and prepare for various market scenarios is a proactive rather than reactive approach to risk and continuous learning and adaptation to stay ahead of market trends. The average trader never makes a long-term profit. The average money manager can’t beat the S&P 500 index. Start with the average, but figure out how to outperform it.

The Mindset of High Performers: Rejecting the Average

The mindset of high performers is markedly different from that of average performers. High achievers set ambitious and relentlessly pursue goals and view challenges as opportunities to learn and grow. They maintain a positive attitude despite setbacks and are committed to continuous learning and self-improvement.

Opportunity Costs of Average Performance

Settling for average performance comes with significant opportunity costs. By not striving for excellence, individuals and businesses miss the chance to lead and dominate in their respective fields, opportunities for higher profits and market share, the ability to attract and retain top talent, and the satisfaction that comes from achieving one’s full potential.

Understanding Market Dynamics: Why Average Isn’t Enough

In the complex world of market dynamics, average strategies are often insufficient. To outperform the average, one must thoroughly understand market trends and patterns and develop the ability to quickly adapt to changing market conditions. Employ advanced analytical and decision-making skills, and stay informed and ahead of the curve regarding market knowledge and insights.

Personal Fulfillment: The Drive Beyond Average

Striving for more than average can lead to higher personal satisfaction and fulfillment. It involves setting and achieving meaningful and challenging goals and experiencing the thrill of overcoming obstacles to success.

High performers enjoy a sense of accomplishment and pride in their work and living a dynamic, engaging, and continuously evolving life.

Embracing Excellence in Business and Life

The average is the enemy when achieving success in business, careers, and personal growth. Embracing excellence, continually pushing boundaries, and rejecting mediocrity are essential for those who aspire to lead and significantly impact their fields.

It’s about setting your sights high, relentlessly pursuing your goals, and never settling for anything less than your best. Remember, every step taken beyond the average in pursuit of excellence counts.

Key Takeaways

  • Focusing on winning over mediocrity is crucial in competitive fields.
  • Redefining achievement involves surpassing conventional standards.
  • Excelling provides a distinct advantage in innovation and efficiency.
  • Aspiring for greatness fosters growth and propels innovation.
  • Advanced risk strategies outperform basic approaches, enhancing outcomes.
  • High achievers possess a distinctive, ambitious mindset.
  • Settling for the ordinary can lead to missed opportunities and potential.
  • Navigating complex market scenarios requires more than standard tactics.
  • Pursuing more than the ordinary enhances personal satisfaction and progress.


The journey to exceptional achievement is marked by a steadfast refusal to accept the ordinary. It’s a commitment to transcending the usual, a relentless pursuit of innovation, and a dedication to continuous improvement.

This ethos sets the stage for remarkable success in business and life and carves a path to a fulfilling and dynamic life. By consistently aiming higher and pushing achievable boundaries, one can transform the average into a launching pad for greatness, turning every challenge into a stepping stone toward unparalleled excellence.