Living Above the Line

November 30th, 2020

In all areas of your life, you should want to strive to go above and beyond what’s expected of you. There’s a standard you should set for everything you do, but you don’t have to stop there. Rather than doing just what’s expected of you to complete a task, you want to put in extra work to do more than just the basics. When you do this, you’re living above the line and setting high standards for yourself. This is especially important in business so that you can provide the best experience for those using your services. Sign shops of all sizes depend on building good relationships with their customers to keep bringing business in. The quality of your work and your customers’ experience with you could suffer if your team is living below the line. At shopVOX, we know that ensuring that all employees live above the line is extremely important in running a successful business. You want to be sure everyone on your team sets high expectations for themselves and delivers good results to customers.

BEDS (Blame, Excuses, Denial)

Even if we always try to live above the line, we sometimes put ourselves below it. However, some have frequent tendencies and behaviors that cause them to live below the line more frequently. It’s important to understand what causes people to fall below the line so we can all work on improving ourselves and avoiding this as much as possible. Those who fall below the line blame others for their mistakes, make excuses, and live in denial. When something goes wrong, do you come up with reasons for why it happened or try to push the blame onto other people? When you’re involved in something, you need to take ownership of what you do. It can be extremely hard to admit when we’ve done something wrong, especially when it’s something we care about or impacts other people. However, no one is perfect, and we all make mistakes eventually. Even though it’s difficult, you need to own up to it if you do something wrong. Living below the line won’t allow you to help customers the best that you can and will only end up holding you back from being successful. If you find that you have people on your team living below the line regularly, it could benefit them and everyone around them to address these behaviors.

OARS (Ownership, Accountable, Responsible)

When you’re living above the line, you’re being responsible, accountable, and taking ownership of your role in things. Living above the line isn’t always easy, but you should always be putting in the effort to get there. When you’re a part of a time putting together a project for a client, you’re responsible for your tasks. You need to take pride in these tasks and do everything you can to ensure they’re done correctly. Living above the line is about taking action yourself and not leaving it up to others to do. Doing this isn’t always easy and can sometimes be uncomfortable, but you have to learn to hold yourself to a higher standard if you want to be successful. If at some point you make an error, avoiding it and being dishonest won’t help you or anyone else. It’s usually better to accept responsibility and be upfront rather than make excuses for yourself. When you’re holding yourself accountable for your actions, you can show yourself where you went wrong, rather than deny that you did, and learn from your mistakes to do better next time. This won’t only help you grow as a person, but it also benefits everyone around you, including your customers. There are many ways you can make tasks at your sign shop run smoother, like using the features of shopVOX, but you’ll still have issues if people aren’t living above the line.

Results vs. Reasons

Whether you’re living above or below the line will be obvious in the outcome of your work. When you’re working on something, you have two choices - results or reasons. Those living below the line will often find themselves ending up with only reasons for why they couldn’t achieve something. Unfortunately, reasons won’t get you anywhere or anything. If you only work on giving reasons, you’ve wasted your time and don’t have much to show for yourself. After working on a project, you want to see results when you’ve finished. When you live above the line, this is what you get. If you take action and hold yourself accountable for everything you do, you’ll see yourself getting more positive results from the work you do. Living above the line means challenging yourself, not taking the easy way out. When you do this, the results you get from your hard work and effort will make it all worth it.