Jim's Marketing Blog

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21 Lessons from Jo Average

The world is filled with inspirational stories about remarkable people. These contain many great lessons, which we can all learn something from.

Learning from Jo Average

What is less often examined, is the incredible value of learning from the stories of those, who never achieved anything beyond average.

By understanding their most common attitudes and motivations, we can avoid the same kind of thinking that led to their results.

Here are some common examples of how people apply ‘average’ thinking.

  1. They have specific problems, they seek general advice.
  2. They promise, they don’t fulfil.
  3. They curate, they don’t create.
  4. They complain, they don’t resolve.
  5. They are quick to decry, slow to forgive.
  6. They follow, they don’t lead.
  7. They take too much, they give too little.
  8. They automate, they don’t relate.
  9. They know the cost, they don’t understand the value.
  10. They watch too much TV, they read too few books.
  11. They dabble, they don’t specialise.
  12. They demand attention, they don’t command attention.
  13. They look for the short cuts, they hide from the work.
  14. They react, they don’t initiate.
  15. They do average work, they want above average results.
  16. They are general, they don’t get specific.
  17. They are big on criticising, they are small on creating.
  18. They repeat mistakes, they seldom learn from mistakes.
  19. They crave security, they shun calculated risk.
  20. They create excuses, they ignore reasons.
  21. They dream and wish, they don’t plan and act.

Average can be comfortable

Mr or Ms Jo Average may be happy with their life. They never have to live outside their comfort zone. They never have to risk failure, because they never try anything exceptional. They are happy with ‘average’ and statistically, we know their friends will be the same.

However, those of us who want something more, need to do something more.


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  1. Fabulous post. So true. So me. Thanks :)

  2. 22. Quick to be pedantic.

    Shouldn’t it be ‘Joe’ by the way? 😉

    • No. It should be Jo. It’s how one of my best friends spells her name and she’s way cooler than me.

      I don’t think the average person is pedantic. Just the people we avoid at parties 😉

    • @Richard

      Jo is used more now, as it’s seen as being less sexist.

      Jo can be male or female. Joan, Josephine, Joanne…

      Joe is usually just seen as the man’s name Joe.

  3. Sobering and thought provoking post Jim.This weekend I watched a documentary about a girl with Downs Syndrome who became the first ever person with this condition to get a diploma in my country (South Africa). She also won the prestigious Woman of the Year title in 2012 and wants to write a book. She is certainly not average in spite of being born with this condition.

  4. Nice One Jim, I will be looking forward to work with you in future. I have some plans on transitioning to for employee to an employer.

  5. I especially like the point about watching too much TV and not reading enough books. I think that goes for spending too much time on the computer too. Even though we are bloggers and dependent on the laptop, it still is best to train the mind the old fashioned way. Remember that successful people do the things that the unsuccessful are unwilling to do. Thanks for the great post.

  6. Nice one Jim, if you want above average results, you have got to be above average.

  7. Brilliantly succinct Jim, as per.

    I’m sure we’re all guilty of slipping into our comfort zones when it’s least helpful to us, vigilance is key…hit “PRINT”.

  8. Thanks Jim, great stuff as usual :).

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