I know what you’re like. I used to be you. You’re such a hard worker. You work tirelessly on a project or idea. You work and work and work but it seems like nothing ever actually gets done. You’re endlessly frustrated with the length of your “to-do” list. You feel like you could be making so much money from this product if you could just “get it out there”. Your business is struggling because the revenue isn’t coming through the door – and you may even be about to quit because you can’t imagine how other business owners manage to get everything done. Maybe if you just bought one more productivity book or program you would learn that magic secret that will solve your problem.
Here’s the secret. You don’t have a time management problem. You have a perfectionism problem. Perfectionism kills businesses. Here’s 3 reasons to convince you why good enough is better than perfect and what you can do to cure the disease of perfectionism.
1. Perfectionism is an easy excuse for never getting things done.
You can’t publish that website because that graphic isn’t perfect yet. You can’t publish that eBook because you don’t have a proper editor. You can’t launch that business because the business plan isn’t finished. One of two things is going on here. Either you are afraid to fail, or you are afraid of the real work. Every time you put something new in to the world someone will hate it, maybe lots of people. That’s scary. You might even fail. Get over it. At least if you fail you can fail forward. If you never put it out there you can’t move at all. Guess what else? After you put something new out there the real work begins. You must write the content for that blog, you must marketing your eBook, you must actually build the business behind that useless business plan. Are you hiding from the real work? If you want to get things done, good enough is better than perfect.
Solution: Define what is good enough. Make a list of every feature, detail, bell and whistle that you want your idea to have. Sit down with your list in front of you and aim to cut it down by half. Yes, half. Make a very clear focused decision on exactly what qualifies as good enough. You can’t imagine how freeing it will feel and how much it will impact your timeline.
2. You can’t make any money if you don’t “ship it.”
If you are a business person you are developing your idea so that you can make money. You can create all of the revenue forecasts you want but until that product is out the door you can’t make any money. If you are waiting until your idea is “perfect” you are crippling your business financially. Lots of cash going out on development, nothing coming in from sales. If you want to make money, good enough is better than perfect.
Solution: Define your budget. You do have a budget? If you are boot-strapping you must have a time budget. “When I have worked this many hours I must stop – this must ship.”" If you are spending money it’s even more important you have a budget. “When I have spent this much money – this must ship.”
3. You can’t learn from your best source of information.
You are not your customer. You may have convinced yourself and your team that this feature, or chapter, or graphic, is an absolute “must have” – but when you get the product out the door your customers will happily tell you what they really want. I once launched a whole business piling on the benefits I knew my customers “must have” only to find that they weren’t interested in any of them. Imagine how much time and money I could have saved if I had known they were thrilled (and happy to pay for) just the bare bones product. You need to get the product out there so that you can learn from your best source of information. Your customers. If you want to create the idea your customers want, good enough is better than perfect.
Solution: Set a launch date and stick to it. Promote this date widely and with great fanfare. Now you are accountable. Your customers are looking forward to it and are ready and engaged to tell you what they think of it. This is a good thing. It means you will be able to give them the idea and let them create the final “perfect” product. Someone said, “if you aren’t embarrassed by your first release you have done it wrong.
Don’t kid yourself. There is no such thing as perfect. You know it, I know it, but most importantly our customers know it. As Seth would say… ship it! Get that idea, product, business out of the door and stop hiding behind perfect. It’s scary but believe me when I tell you that your “good enough” far exceeds 90% of the world’s “perfect”.
What are you holding to your standards of perfection? Tell us in the comments below your new definition of “good enough”.
LIVE THE CODE(find out more about the Galahad’s Code Of Chivalry)
Largesse — Be generous with your ideas - the world needs your "good enough" more that your "perfect"
Courage — Have the courage to put your work out in the world
Prowess — Learning happens over a lifetime - your brain is never cooked, keep adding spices
Location-Independent Entrepreneur & Certified Life Coach, Galahad, Wife, Mum, & Adventurer. Co-Founder of Galahads - The Secret Society for Kick-Ass Women. Founder & CEO of Emily Rose Doll Clothes and Wish Doll Company. Founder & CEO of Laptop Life Lisa. Finding the revenue and results inside every entrepreneur. Mum of a rocking 14 year-old daughter visit her at TheOneAndOnlyEmTV. Lucky wife of her soul-mate and fellow adventurer, Mark. Traveling the world while running four businesses and raising a teenager. Journey from the last 6 weeks? Bahamas to Scotland to England to France to Switzerland, currently hanging in Borgo Val di Taro, Italy. @LaptopLifeLisa