How can those of us who are control freaks catch a break? We can ease up on the perfectionism. Why? Because it’s just not that productive. In looking for who to attribute the quote “Perfect is the enemy of great”, I found this awesome Wikipedia entry about the golden mean, the Pareto principle and the cult of the imperfect – all inspiring examples of why just getting it done and not waiting until it’s the “be all, end all” is good enough.
I think that this could be a mantra for our time. in today’s frenzy of information overload, how do you stand out form the crowd – both as an individual or a business that’s trying to differentiate itself? The key is to do what you do best – show your stuff to the world in all its glory. And you know what – your best is probably good enough, if not great already. Don’t wait – get it out there and do it now!
I think that too often we want to do something (whether that’s bringing a product to market or taking a step in a new direction) that represents a risk. We wait because it’s not perfect – yet. We reason that we’re not ready, when the truth is that we’re afraid. Afraid to fail, to make a mistake, to be wrong. What if people don’t like it, get it or understand me…. the list is endless.
Get over it. They may not. Don’t get me wrong, these are legitimate concerns, but they are also excuses – negative thinking that keeps us from doing what we need to do, which is to move forward, grow and change the world. This applies equally to us as individuals and our organizations.
We’re here for a purpose, so let’s be productive with the short time we have to make our mark. Now that’s not to say that I’m advocating unrealistic idealism or going to market without understanding user needs, testing your product and ensuring your operation is set up to drive and support user adoption – those are table stakes. At the same time, I would never advocate producing half-assed or shoddy products or taking blind leaps of faith before doing your homework, research and preparation.
But when it comes down to it, you are better served taking that first step – put it out there and get to it! Make it happen in spite of the fears and reservations. Let that motivate you to prepare more and think through the process in spite of the concerns – so much the better. But, get to it anyway – make it happen and don’t wait until it’s perfect.
What are you launching and how can you make it happen?
- Set your goal.
- Pick a date and identify the next 3 actions that you need to take in the coming week to make progress towards your goal.
- Put a reminder in your calendar a week from today.
- In a week, look back at what you accomplished.
- Celebrate your small victory. You did it! Now go on, let me see you dance! (Check out this video of Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake ‘s football end zone moves – I’m rocking the wax on wax off)