How long should you work on a project? Well, I guess that really depends on the project at hand. There are some that will take just a day, others a week, others months, and others years.
But haven’t you ever watched with wonder as another marketer launched product after product? Haven’t you been amazed at the fast rise of a company that seemed to come from nowhere, doing great things and making a true splash in the marketplace?
Why are some people able to do so much more, so much more quickly than you are?
I know why, and the truth might be a little uncomfortable for you.
There are some people out there who are so much more productive than you are because they don’t worry about perfection. They worry about creating something great, but in the end they know that good enough is good enough.
While you’re stewing away over this detail and that detail, while you’re redoing projects you’ve already done, while you’re worrying and stopping and starting projects because you just don’t think they’re good enough, others are launching and doing.
Again, they know that good enough is good enough. It’s time for you to learn and practice that as well. Understanding this concept and doing away with perfectionism is one of the most important things you can do for your business.
What is Perfectionism?
Before we go much further, let’s talk about what perfectionism is. Perfectionism is one of the biggest causes of procrastination.
Perfectionism is the belief that everything you do must be perfect. It’s the belief that you must make everything perfect or it’s not worth doing at all.
Unfortunately, perfection is unattainable. It’s unattainable because it doesn’t exist at all.
Nothing is perfect! And even if you think you’ve finally got something perfect, there will be someone out there who disagrees with you.
That might be a depressing thought— no matter how hard you work on something and no matter how proud of it you are, there will always be someone out there who thinks it’s terrible.
I challenge you to think about that another way. Allow that thought to release you from the constraints of perfectionism.
Since perfection doesn’t exist, why not release something you know will help people and that you can be proud of? Why not release something that’s GOOD ENOUGH?
That’s exactly what I think you should do and I think it will help you take massive action and finally succeed in business.
Think About What the Big Companies Do
Big, successful companies innovate and try to put out a great product. At the same time, they don’t ever achieve perfection.
Think about your favorite products that you use every day.
Maybe it’s your iPhone or iPad. Maybe it’s a certain brand of coffee you love. Maybe it’s your favorite pair of jeans. Maybe it’s a favorite book or TV show.
Now, go look up the reviews for those products you love so much… the products that, in your eyes, are perfect.
I’d bet almost anything that you come across some reviews that RIP your favorite things to shreds.
There are people who think iPhones are terrible, there are people who think your brand of coffee is the worst, there are people who think your favorite TV show should be cancelled immediately.
But these things you love so much are all successful. They are successful because the companies and people behind them tried hard to put out a good product. They tried to innovate and create something in a different way that a certain group of people would truly love.
And that’s the key right there— “a certain group of people.” You can’t please everyone, but you can please a group of people you work hard to please.
You can put something out that’s absolutely fantastic and that you worked really hard on and that really resonates with a certain group of people.
Pretty cool, right?
And you don’t have to let thoughts of perfectionism hold you back. Big, successful companies certainly don’t. Is the first release of Windows or iOS ever perfect? No. Are the books that are released and edited and proofread by the top 5 publishing houses ever perfect and error free? No.
So, why do you expect yourself and your products and projects to be perfect if the most powerful and heavily staffed companies in the world can’t do it?
Release Yourself From Perfectionism
Look, I’d never tell you to half-ass anything or to try to do a bad job on anything. You can happily create something you’re proud of.
I’m just telling you to release yourself from worrying about perfection. Do a good job on something that will please most of your customers. Create something you’re proud of.
Don’t hesitate to create and release something that is “just” good enough.
That’s fine! You can always add to it later. You can always fix mistakes later.
It’s almost better this way because by releasing something that’s just good enough, you’ll get real-time feedback from your buying audience. You can thrill them if you add something over time based on their input.
Really blow people away by exceeding their expectations of how different and awesome your product is. Blow people away with that fact that you care.
Realize that by sitting on projects and waiting forever to work on them and release them, you’re actually harming your audience.
You’re creating something because you know that people out there need and want it, right? So by stewing over it and refusing to release it because of a misguided notion of “perfectionism,” you’re doing them a disservice.
People want what you’re creating. They can be helped by what you’re creating. So, get out there and actually create it and release it into the world.
What Can You Finish and Release Soon?
Take stock of the projects you’ve been working on for quite some time. What is most important to you and what will be most important to the people in your audience?
Finish those projects— get them out into the world. You owe it to yourself and you owe it to the people in your audience.
If you get rid of the idea of perfectionism, you can be so much more productive. You’ll be freer and more creative because you’ll have released yourself from those chains. There’s no time like the present.