According to the results from the NAPLAN tests recently undertaken by our schools, barely any schools from South Australia were included on the lists, which was disappointing.

Our children’s education is one of our most important investments, and they now attend one of what would be considered one of the best schools in Adelaide. However, when we chose this school we were only comparing it to other similar schools here in Adelaide, not across the country. This prompted my thinking around how we set our own benchmarks to extend our reach in business.

When our other business, BRS, was listed in the BRW top 100 fast starters for 2013, we were thrilled to be included within this list, but it saddened me to think that only one other company in South Australia made the list. Like with NAPLAN, South Australian companies only represented a mere 2% of the fastest growing companies in the country.

We all know that you are only as successful (both financially and professionally) as the people you spend your time with, so if we are constantly only comparing against the other children in your child’s class, or your company’s competition on the other side of town, what are you really comparing against? Is this really the benchmark you want to set?  As John Maxwell once said “if you are the smartest person in your class whatever that may be in, you are in the wrong class”.

Within our business, we have never set our benchmark based on local competition. We continue to raise the bar and when engaging service providers we continue to look at individuals and companies that excel at what they do on a national (often international) level. We constantly push boundaries, research best practices and technology and take risks to ensure we challenge ourselves, remain bold and push our benchmarks to a higher level. This extends to conferences we attend nationally and internationally to continue to be better than we are yesterday. I truly believe that this is why we continue to achieve the success we have, as this month we have experienced our best month ever!

So if you really do want to make a difference and have an impact, then make sure you continue to raise the bar and in your business plan, set your benchmarks and goals based on national and global standards, not just local. Think big and challenge yourself, you might surprise yourself as to just how much you will achieve!  You will also continue to learn and grow rather than rest on the fact you are a big fish in a little pond.