There are two radically different ways to view the question in the title to this post and how you choose to answer it just might make all the difference in the world.

Image Tom BKK via Flickr

Most business owners lean toward the negative side of things and view this question as a warning that their suppliers, staff and customers are trying to take advantage of them. What was your first thought when you read this title?


It’s an entirely understandable point of view as owning a small business comes with lots of blind spots and, while you need to be on guard for the dangers that can slow and cripple your business growth, there’s also another view that this same question can inspire.

If you’re one of those folks that leans toward the positive in all things you may have read this title and asked if you truly are giving your best. Yes, owning a business is hard work, but when you look to serve and explore the opportunities and mine your strengths to deliver something really, really great, owning a business is a terribly rewarding thing as well.

Start off each day reminding to bring your best to someone today. Maybe it’s your spouse, an unhappy customer or a staff member that quietly goes about performing her tasks, find at least one someone and mindfully bring your A game to them.

So, for today, for everyday, for one hour even, let someone get the best of you.

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John Jantsch

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and author of Duct Tape Marketing, Duct Tape Selling, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine and the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network.
  • Thank you for this, I could not agree more! A new twist on an expression that has only had one meaning for so long now! I am absolutely going to completely shift my way of looking at this from here forward. Could not have read this at a better time. :). Thank you!

    • Thanks – it’s pretty amazing how this same phrase can have such utterly different meaning – great lesson in how our point of view shapes our reality.

      • agree completely! and i have always been an optimist squared! this is one phase that slipped past my optimist radar and ended up holding a negative view. that just changed, and for that i thank you.

  • Letting people get the best of you can learn you many lessons and teaches you how to handle diversity.

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  • david

    Every day is different , one will get best out of me other day is down. We always look for the best out of us.

  • Dr. Alan Zimmerman

    GREAT post. Depending on your mindset at the moment you read the title you can certainly view the title in completely different ways. I am a firm beleive in attitude making all the difference in business and the attitude to give someone my best today is a great one to have every day!

  • Rae Hoffman

    My first thought was if I am letting someone distract me (getting the best of me) via things that don’t matter (negativity, he said she said, drama, etc)… and I think your latter advice is a good way to combat THAT type of letting someone get the best of you as well.

    • Kind of funny how most are wired to view that phrase in the negative – although that’s generally how it’s used – pretty cool that you can make it mean something quite different.

  • Good idea about giving someone your A game. More people should take you up on that.

  • >
    giving your best
    That’s such a cutting lens and guiding light — right to the point.

    To extend this, I would say, are you giving your best where you have your best to give. That’s not just the Hedgehog concept in action, but it’s the way to survive and thrive in today’s Darwin world.

    It’s the sustainable way.

  • Admittedly when I first read the title, my thoughts automatically processed it as a negative topic. But that is the flaw that I wish I can change in me, to be less negative. I’ll take that idea in mind, I’ll definitely try and let someone get the best of me.

    • When I find myself thinking negatively I ask myself what I’m here to give right now to this thought, place, thing, person and it seems to pull me right back up

  • I initially read the title and thought negatively. But after reading the whole thing it makes wonder how many times I have a customer call me and I give them the easy answer, which may not be the best answer.

    • Yep, that was why I loved the title so much – exact same words could mean something totally different than what most people think

  • One of my pals gave an example of scheduling a sales call with a company, but he was also interested in their product. When he got there for his meeting, the people with whom he was to meet were unavailable. No call, cancellation, just no-shows. They just missed a potential customer. His message: Treat everyone like a customer, because you just never know…..

    The Pragmatic Marketer

    • Great point – I wonder how many sales people miss just by ignoring someone they think isn’t a customer