What is being extra? To be extra as a creative is to give more of yourself for the purpose of assuring excellence. Being extra is not being a sycophant. It is being industrious. Being extra means going beyond the expectation – going beyond average. To be extra means different things to different people. A creative extra can be considered as someone who gives more than the expected 100 percent. It can be someone who strongly believes that there cannot be any compromise with perfection. To be extra is often “frowned at” by people who don’t understand why it is needed. I want to remind you of the importance of being extra(ordinary) by placing emphasis on some of its rewards. The benefits of being extra are mainly that it guarantees excellence, shows commitment and creates more opportunities.

Excellence has different levels. It’s no surprise that when we practice something we desire to do, we get better. Of course, some people are quick learners and some are not. Some people get better quickly with less effort (fewer practice) and for some it takes time and extra work. Regardless of the type of learner you are, don’t forget that practice does not necessarily make one perfect but makes one better. Practicing is being extra and being extra is simply being better. To be constantly better is to be extraordinary which guarantees excellence. Going above and beyond in any area of your life can create a habit that makes life easier, enjoyable and more rewarding.

An extraordinary athlete would do more than the what the coaching staff requires during and outside of regular practices hours. Such individual would take care of his body regularly and improve his skills. Similarly, an extraordinary leader in any serious organization would go extra miles to win more clients for his organization. These are extra steps that yield excellence and more importantly shows how committed these individuals are to their organizations. Going above and beyond also shows your commitment to yourself. A reasonable organization appreciates individuals who bring in more revenues, ideas and great efforts to the table.

The rewards that comes from being extraordinary can go beyond tangible items. It can be recommendation for bigger opportunity or expansion of current opportunities. The sources of opportunities are numerous. Getting more opportunities is one of the big benefits of being extra. As a primary developer for the company I founded, I worked on an impromptu project for a client. I sat in a coffee shop with her all day. She appreciated my dedication to the project given that she reached out to me a day before then. Couple weeks after I worked on her website, I ran into her at a workspace center. I was seeking a space in this center. I needed a space to host an upcoming event. She offered me space and introduced me to other creatives in the building.

I went extra miles for her when she could not afford the cost and when her website needed attention. In return, she saved me from a big disappointment since my scheduled workspace was cancelled. You don’t how and where your next opportunity will come from so ensure you do more with any given task.

In today’s world, not being better is not acceptable and oftentimes comes with negative reward. When you don’t bring or present your A-game, you will either get replaced or ignored. That’s the world we live in! Living a life of doing just enough to get by can have one stuck in a spot. I called this spot a state of “just getting by”. Furthermore, you will strengthen your character, confidence and conviction when you stretch yourself (to a reasonable level) beyond expectations. I hope you won’t just give the bare minimum but more so as to stay relevant and enjoy the benefits of being extra.