“The line which separates winning from losing is as fine as a razor’s edge.”
In 1947, the race horse named ARMED won $761,500. But the horse who finished second in earnings that same year won only $75,000.
Now, if you were to look at their winnings alone, it would appear that ARMED was thirteen times better than his closest competitor. However, when you compare “the times” that were actually registered by those two horses in their races, you learn that ARMED was a mere four percent better!
There was only a little difference between the two horses, but that little difference made all the difference in the world. And it’s a truth I see repeated over and over again … in every profession of life.
I see it every time I’m at the Mercedes Benz Championship Golf Tournament. The “greatest” golfers … like Tiger Woods … are only 3 or 4 strokes better than the “poorest” golfers in the tournament, but their winnings are dozens of times higher than those who come in second, third, or fourth place.
So it’s rather obvious, as Bob Proctor says, “The line which separates winning from losing is as fine as a razor’s edge.” And he gives example after example of that very thing throughout his book, “You Were Born Rich.”
Milt Campbell is one such example. Milt discovered the Razors Edge difference for himself. Milt went to the Olympic Games in 1952 to compete in the decathlon event. He finished in second place, and as a result, brought home an Olympic silver medal.
However, Milt really wanted to win the Olympic gold medal. So when he returned home, he started his training program all over again. For the next four years, Milt Campbell dedicated himself to a training schedule, which would culminate with his winning the Olympic gold medal for his country at the 1956 Olympic games.
In the aftermath of that spectacular achievement, Milt confided in Proctor on several occasions. He confided that many of the athletes against whom he competed in high school were far superior to him at that time. But at some point, they had made the decision to abandon a sports career, while Milt, believing in the Razors Edge, kept on training.
One of the most powerful illustrations of the fine line which separates winning from losing was revealed in the filming of the movie, “The Razors Edge.” The cast for the movie was comprised of eight “principal actors” and eight “stand-ins” … who did the hard, grueling and tiresome work while the stars did the rest. After the film had been completed, “Life Magazine” published a story in which the pictures of the eight “principals” were exhibited on one page, and the eight “stand-ins” were shown on the opposite page.
In point of fact, the “principal actors” and their “stand-ins” were as close a resemblance as was humanly possible. They only differed in one way. The combined salaries received by the eight “principals” amounted to, what was at that time, a staggering $489,000. The combined salaries for the eight “stand-ins,” on the other hand, amounted to a paltry $6,534. The “principals” may only have been slightly more talented than their “understudies” were, but the monetary compensation which they received was seventy-five times greater!
The good news is you can have the Razor’s Edge working for you. That’s what the graduates of my “Journey to the Extraordinary” program tell me all the time.
=> 1. What is the Razor’s Edge?
It’s simply doing a little bit more … a little bit more than others … a little bit more than is expected … and a little bit more than is necessary.
In Proctor’s words, “One person ‘just about’ starts a project, the other person starts it. One individual ‘almost’ completes a task, the other does complete it. One person sees an opportunity, the other acts on it. One student ‘nearly’ passes the exam, the other does pass it… and although the difference in their marks may be only one percentage point out of a hundred, it’s that one point that makes all the difference.”
The Jacobs family learned how to apply this principle to their business. They were the owners of an automobile repair shop that had fallen on hard times economically … so much so they considered closing their shop. Upon interviewing them, Proctor learned that they were indeed skilled mechanics, filled with enthusiasm and confidence about the quality of their work. But they gave very little attention to the “people” part of the business.
So Proctor suggested they apply the Razor’s Edge to their business … to do a little bit more. He suggested that they vacuum the inside of every car they repair, wash the outside, and make sure the windows were spotless. After all, most people don’t understand very much about the mechanical aspects of a car, but people notice how a car looks and feels. About two weeks after they started applying this Razor’s Edge, the Jacobs family reported having more business than ever before.
=> 2. How can you get the Razor’s Edge working for you?
There are dozens of things you can do. For starters,
**Refuse to settle for the basics.
For example, you may have mastered the basics of reading by the fifth or sixth grade. But have you done anything since then to improve your reading skills? And you may have mastered the basics of arithmetic, but have you gone beyond that to master the skills required for saving, investing, and budgeting for your future? Get off your assets and go for something bigger and better.
**Decide to become an expert … in something.
You see … once people understand the basics of something, they usually stop their learning in that area. Only a small percentage of people ever go on to become the acknowledged experts in a particular area. And they are the ones, of course, who typically receive the largest incomes. That’s why you should look at what you’re doing, and as Proctor says, ask yourself, “How good am I at doing it?” and “How much better could I be?”
**Dedicate time to study.
All you have to do is study one hour a day in your chosen field, and in five years you will be an expert in that field. In Proctor’s words, “If you were to follow this schedule rigorously, in a relatively short span of time you would stand among your peers like a giraffe in a herd of field mice.”
**Turn your car into a library.
Turn your radio off and your CD player on. If you’re like me, you drive thousands of miles to work or errands each year. In fact, if you drive as many as 25,000 miles per year, you’re spending the equivalent of thirteen forty-hour weeks sitting behind the wheel of your car. So you’ve got the time to listen to educational, motivational CDs. And whether or not you consciously focus on what you’re hearing, it’s virtually impossible to keep on exposing your mind to good, clean, powerful, uplifting information and not be positively influenced by it.
**Add a Razor’s Edge element to your job.
Perhaps you’re in a customer service position. You will be astounded at what happens if you change your attitude towards your customers. If you tend to see customers as an interruption OF your business … instead the reason FOR your business … you’re bound to lose some customers. But if you think of ways to sharpen your customer service skills … and then actually do it … you’ll see an amazing difference in how you feel and in how much they buy. Try smiling at every customer. Give everyone a genuine, welcoming “hello” instead of perfunctory “hi.” And make sure you go out of your way to thank them for their business.
**Persist and then persist some more.
Napoleon Hill studied the greatest men and women of history to discover the secrets of their success, summarizing his findings in this book called, “Think and Grow Rich.” Without a doubt, one of those secrets, he said, was persistence. On one occasion, Hill wrote, “There may be no heroic connotation to the word persistence, but the quality is to the character of man, what carbon is to steel.”
Later he explained, “I had the happy privilege of analyzing both Mr. Thomas Edison and Mr. Henry Ford, year by year, over a long period of years, and therefore the opportunity to study them at close range. Therefore, I speak with actual knowledge when I say that I found no quality, save Persistence, in either of them, that even remotely suggested the major source of their stupendous achievements.”
Simply put, you put the Razor’s Edge to work for you when you persist, when you keep on keeping on, no matter how strenuous or challenging the course.