If we were running a 5K or marathon, we wouldn’t dream of stopping just inches before the finish line. We know that the rewards come with finishing, and there’s not much else that tops that surge of confidence and pride in ourselves.

So why don’t we carry that philosophy into our work? I’m guilty of avoiding it too.

When the finish line approaches on a consulting contract, we start to brainstorm ways to extend it, often sabotaging ourself or our colleagues.

Or, if we’re an employee, we cling to projects for the job security they seemingly provide. We’re not willing to automate them, cutting the needed hours in half. Or to create a checklist and train a more junior person to complete them.


Because we often operate from a position of fear, not faith. We’re afraid that there might not be more work on the other side of the finish line. We’re afraid there’s not enough pie to go around.

But once we start crossing the line, we realize that fear doesn’t hold up.

Our world economy circulates over $62 trillion each year – or $169 billion each day. And it needs finishers more than ever.

Just as crossing the finish line of that race carries significant benefits, so does crossing it at work.

1. You gain confidence. This one alone is worth your weight in gold. Gains in self-confidence have been shown to improve your overall performance, happiness, and even your health.

2. You allow someone else to grow. By growing yourself, you make room for someone else to occupy the space you once did. Instead of keeping the same project for a decade, master it, and then teach.

3. There is always another layer of value to add. Maybe your job is to process invoices, and that currently takes 40 hours per week. If you can streamline it and get it down to 30 hours per week, perhaps you can use that extra day to negotiate lower prices or look for other opportunities to reduce expenses. Do that without prompting a few times, and you’ll soon have a raise to boot.

4. No one can ever take away your medals. Your job could be eliminated or your project could end, but nothing can take away the results you achieved. That story becomes a part of your fabric, available for weaving into whatever pattern you’re creating whether it’s a resume, LinkedIn profile, or sales call.

5. Most importantly, finishers are never on the sidelines long. Inevitably, doors start opening. Once you gain a track record as a finisher, your challenge will be deciding which projects to decline. Organizations can’t survive without consistently delivering value, and it takes people like you to do just that.

What finish line are you avoiding? Make a plan today to cross it.