Many of us come from that driven and hard working generation where we wanted nothing more than to be the best.

So, what does it take to be the best? 

I always thought we had to be first, fastest, biggest, smartest, thinnest, or hottest in some way. Maybe we had to be the most outgoing, funniest or most flexible. I also heard that taller people did better.

As it happens, I was wrong.

I viewed, listened and read many interviews asking the best people in the world (athletes, business moguls, veterans, actors and celebrities) why they were the best at their chosen field. I tried to work out the formula. There wasn’t one.

To be the most popular you don’t need to be the best at anything.

Regardless of how you measure 'best' (impressions, profitability, ROI, meaningfulness, importance), it's almost never present in the thing that is the most popular

  • What’s the best movie you ever saw? 
  • The most popular movie ever (according to worldwide gross) is: Avatar.
  • Not a bad movie, but was it the best ever?


  • Which is your most favorite restaurant?
  • You won’t be surprised to hear the most popular (highest grossing) restaurant in the U.S. is McDonalds. 
  • Not (arguably) a bad burger, but is it the best?

When it comes to business – if you want to make the most money - you want to be the most popular, so you can sell the most. It doesn’t actually help you and your business to be the best in anything…

Many small to mid sized businesses don’t chaise the quarterly financial earnings forecast. For these artisans they may truly be trying to be the best at something, but the chances are they will never be the most popular.

Is your company trying to be the best or the most popular?