Perfect doesn’t exist, let go- perfect is a utopian bullshit place that many of us strive for but nobody ever arrives at. What I have learned in my experience is that the longer you strive for perfect, in anything you do, the longer it will take you to move forward. See, I actually think perfect is something that prevents production. Seeking perfect, often times gets us stuck.
Nothing produced by humans is perfect; iPhones, cribs, cars, and ideas are all flawed to some degree, so as Seth Godin discusses, the importance of shipping outweighs searching for perfection. I agree wholeheartedly with this concept and am trying to push myself to stop thinking in terms of perfection, besides, who am I trying to be perfect for?
I tend to believe that something closer to perfect comes from producing something, putting it out there, and then tweaking it along the way. At least it’s out there, and changes can happen to it out there, not hidden over here in a closet or a word document.
- Seth Godin on TSA’s Ineptitude Regarding Body Scanners (thetylerhayes.com)Seth Godin
- 8 Transformational Leadership Lessons From Seth Godin (hubspot.com)
Mark Coudray says
This is a great start Matt. How about Perfect = Procrastination. Perfect = Paralysis by Analysis. I could go on and on. As a boy growing up my father gave me one of those profound parental bits of wisdom. He told me, “Son, if you’re going to do something, do it right.”
To him that meant perfect. Unfortunately, that sage wisdom dogged me for many years as I bore down hard to make sure everything I did was “perfect.” It rarely was, and I was always frustrated by it. Frustrated by my own inability to make it perfect, frustrated by my employees not being able to, my customers, and so on. It is an impossible goal. Admirable, but impossible.
As for business, over the last 6-7 years I’ve watched at least 6 companies go from nothing to almost $20 M in sales. All run by young guys and gals in their early 30’s. All with significant “issues”, but the common thing is, they are growing because they got it mostly right. They did their best, took the shot, and fixed what wasn’t working. It is a much more effective and sane approach. The frustration level isn’t gone, but it is a different kind of frustration. We all need to admit our inability to achieve the perfect right up front. It lowers expectations to mere human levels and gives us the ability to correct those parts that aren’t working so well.
Mark I couldn’t agree more and I like the way you worded it. I have been dogged by the same mentality, more fear based. Afraid to (or hesitant) put anything out there because I/ it might fail and also because of what others might think.
I am learning more and more how to stop that “over” thinking I do, and “ship” (as Seth Godin talks about so much). I’m actually very glad to know you as you have been a source of great info and direction. I appreciate it Mark!!