I received great advice the other day from my friend and boss, Brant Barton. “Finishing strong is more important than how you start”.
It took me a while to really understand how true his advice was. Common wisdom says you need to make a good first impression. First impressions leave a lasting memory, right? Even a simple Google search for advice on first impressions, and you’ll be flooded by advice on all sorts of “rules”, “tips”, and even videos. Try the same search for finishing strong and you’ll probably be underwhelmed.
However, I did find one result which was particularly fascinating. It’s by a man named Nick Vujicic. Nick Vujicic was born with no arms or legs, but is using his disability to inspire people. He gives a very moving speech called “Are You Going To Finish Strong?”. I suggest giving this a watch; It’s only two minutes and forty seconds long and it may get you to think differently about life and how you approach problems.
The most interesting thing to me is, that we HAVE been taught to finish strong, but finishing strong takes more effort. That makes it harder advice to listen to. Finishing strong involves hard work, concentration, and a clear focus on an end goal.
Think about it from the athlete’s point of view. What’s more important to the athlete, how they start the race or how they finish? For the corporate executive, is it more important to start a presentation correctly or to finish strong? What do you think would create a more lasting memory? While the start IS important, the finish is everything. It determines whether you win the race or lose. It determines whether you get the sale or don’t.
A good start will help you get to the finish line faster, but without a strong push at the end, you’ll come up short.