Stop Half-Assing, Start Seeing Success


What do TSheets’ CEO Matt Rissell and HP’s CEO Meg Whitman have in common?

I mean, besides those three powerful letters that precede their names …

In short, they both refuse to cut corners. Whether they’re designing the hole in a shampoo bottle lid (long story) or taking a morning run, they give nothing short of 100 percent.

That refusal to half-ass anything has led to some serious success for both Matt and Meg — and it can do the same for you.

Want to hear the full story? Read all about it in Matt’s most recent Forbes article, “My Journey From Waiter To CEO: One Trait That Determines Your Success.”

Then, follow this advice from our favorite Director of the Pawnee Parks and Recreation department, Ron Swanson.

Need some help? Here are a few tips to help you start a habit of whole-assing each and every day.

1. Start your day off right.

– Read something positive. Nearly 25 percent of Americans read the news each morning — and nearly 35 percent continue to follow those news stories throughout the day. Keeping up with current events is important, no doubt, but it can also be a bit of a bummer. Change it up by reading something inspirational or motivational each morning — something that leaves you feeling good. For example, Matt likes to kick off his mornings with a daily dose of Seth Godin. “His articles are so relevant,” he says. “It feels like he’s writing them just for me and my business.” You’ll be surprised how this small change can affect your attitude and productivity.

– Communicate with someone who inspires you. Picture this: You walk into your office, sit down at your desk, and pull up your email. There, at the top of the list, is an email from someone you don’t particularly enjoy interacting with. Do you open it first to get it out of the way? Well, maybe you shouldn’t. Start your day off communicating with the people you like, the people you feel inspired by, or the people who build you up. The energy from those initial positive interactions will carry over into everything you do.

– Create a to-do list. And include every single thing you hope to accomplish that day. Then, get to work. We recommend starting with the most difficult task first, since studies show that we’re more likely to accomplish big tasks first thing in the morning — before the day has a chance to wear on us.

2. Eliminate the option to give anything less than 100 percent.

Matt could have easily shaved a few minutes off his run by cutting through the empty field on his usual route each morning, and for a little while, he did. But once he realized he was allowing himself to literally cut corners, he committed to running right past the shortcut and all the way to the corner, every. single. morning. No exceptions. Once he did that, avoiding the temptation to cut the corner was easy, because it simply wasn’t an option.

Want to give 100 percent? Eliminate the option to give anything less. Want to quit drinking soda? Eliminate soda as a beverage choice. Want to exercise more? Eliminate the option to skip your daily run. Want to finish a big project at work? Eliminate the options to focus on anything else until it’s done. It’s as easy as that.

3. Give 100 percent even when you don’t want to, or don’t think it’s necessary.

When Meg Whitman was given her first big assignment — to determine the optimal size of the hole in a shampoo bottle — she was shocked (and a little appalled). But she was determined to give 100 percent nonetheless. In what she refers to as a turning point of her career, she did her absolute best to design the most functional shampoo bottle she could possibly design. That decision, and that seemingly insignificant project, eventually lead to bigger and better things. Today, Meg Whitman is the CEO of HP. And you can bet she wouldn’t hold that title if not for her ability to whole-ass absolutely everything she does.

And the same goes for you. Stop cutting corners, stop taking shortcuts, and stop half-assing the small stuff. Dedicate 100 percent of yourself to every project, assignment, task, or challenge you encounter and you will see great success.

Ready to join the ranks of Matt Rissell and Meg Whitman? Get more advice straight from the man himself in Matt’s latest Forbes article, “My Journey From Waiter To CEO: One Trait That Determines Your Success.”