Anita had waited tables, worked at fast-food establishments, and held a few other low-paying jobs, but she knew that she was getting nowhere in life. She had no training or special expertise that set her apart, yet she wanted to work for herself and build a business where her hard work would be repaid.
Anita realized that she could clean houses for a living, but she wondered what she could do to set herself apart from other housekeepers. Instead of starting just another housecleaning company, she decided that her service would be a few steps above anything anyone else did. For example, when she met with a client for the first time, Anita asked what extra chores she might do regularly. She inquired whether or not the client wanted the refrigerator emptied and cleaned once a month. Would he or she like the deck swept regularly or the tops of the cabinets dusted every week?
Anita wrote down all the extra little chores she promised her clients , and then she did them. And then she took her excellence one step further. If she noticed that a clients linen closet had gotten messy, shed take all the towels and sheets out, refold them, and put them all back in neat stacks (without even telling the client); if she saw a fixture that needed cleaning, she cleaned it; and she looked for other little tasks that made her service better than all the others.
Soon Anitas clients bragged about her to their friends , and her business grew so large that she had to hire assistants to help her. Excellence in what she did had set her apart from the competition.