[Warning: If you are interested in a calm, comfortable life, this blog will be counterproductive for you.]

Friday, August 8, 2014

Trim Good Things From Your Life - A Lesson From Bern's Steakhouse

We’re all equally busy. We’re all alive the same 24 hours doing something. But some people get more done at the end of the day than others. This truth was driven home for me at what might be the best steak restaurant in the United States of America: Bern’s Steakhouse in Tampa, Florida.

I know. That’s a bold statement. And I’ve actually eaten at several amazing steakhouses around the country. (Visiting great restaurants is one of my favorite perks of working for a restaurant company.) But Bern’s is truly special. One example: Every dining party at Bern's is offered a tour of their kitchens and wine cellar. When my group took the tour we saw their meat storage and I learned an astounding fact.

For every 4 pounds of meat purchased they sell 1 pound.

Keep in mind, they buy only the very best meat—the top 1%. (Start saving your money now, Bern’s isn’t cheap.) Some weight is lost to evaporation during their dry aging process. But most of the reduction happens when the chefs trim the meat. (They repurpose every bit they trim, from making gravy to going back to fertilize their organic farm.) They’re so passionate about great steak that they cut off meat other steakhouses would consider good.

Greatness requires trimming good things in order to spend more time on the best.

What good things are getting in the way of you doing more great things? Jim Collins (brilliant business/leadership author) says, “Good is the enemy of great.”

All of 2013, I missed writing this blog. A few months ago, after much thought and prayer, I made a hard choice. I decided to: 1) go to bed earlier so I could get up earlier; and 2) to stop playing strategy games on my computer and smart phone. Some of you know how much I love being a night owl and playing strategy games. It wasn’t for a moral reason—I still like the strategy games on my phone. But I was willing to trim games and even living like a night owl (good things) to make room in my life for writing (great thing).

What good things could you prune from your life? What great thing do you value so much you’d be willing to pay that price?

And if you need some inspiration (and have money to spend), maybe you and I should travel to Tampa and discuss what you should trim over dinner at Bern’s. :)

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