We are taught to always try and do ‘our best’ in whatever it is that we are doing, whether it is sports, exams, work, writing, painting, and relationships.
I even remember that was part of my Boy Scouts promise when I was 8 years old!
This is fine; we should always try and do the best that we can at whatever we are doing.
The problem is when you are focused on being perfect.
Far too many people become obsessed with delivering perfection in whatever they are doing… and that can be fatal to success.
It is fine if you are a high-achiever and will publish your finished work, but the problem is that for most perfectionists, they are never satisfied with their work and so it never sees the light of day.
Very few perfectionists are actually happy with the work they do, and so they never show it to others which is a shame because if they had, they could be wealthier and living a better life.
There is a saying which I think is important to remember:
Perfectionism Is The Self-imposed Prison Of A Starving Artist
Success has nothing to do with delivering perfection, and has more to do with actually ‘delivering’.
A writer who writes and publishes two hundred good books is more likely to be wealthier and living a better life than a writer who spends five years writing the ‘perfect’ novel.
Prolific is the opposite of Perfection
Prolific is the antidote to the damage of Perfection.
In 8 or 9 times out of 10, a prolific person will outperform a perfectionist.
Firstly, perfection is actually relative.
What you perceive as perfect, is not the same for everyone else.
I remember talking with Drew, one of my online marketing friends, who told me that one of the people he used to work with, Larry, who was also a writer, said that the books by Dan Brown and JK Rowling were poorly written and actually ‘quite terrible’.
Both of those writers are incredibly successful, they have made many millions of dollars from their books, and they have been turned into blockbuster Hollywood films.
Not bad for people who, according to Larry, ‘can’t write for toffee’.
They clearly can write, but Larry believes them to be rubbish, but how can that be when they are so incredibly popular?
It’s a good job that neither Dan Brown nor JK Rowling had the same opinion of their work as Larry otherwise they wouldn’t have released their masterpeices on the world; they would still be editing and rewriting them.
Secondly, perfection is damaging because there is often no end to it.
When a person is trying to create ‘the perfect’ product, whether it is a book, a film, a painting, a cabinet, or even a digital product, they will be constantly re-evaluating the product and making changes.
For example; a writer writes a first draft of a book and then spends some time reading it and making edits.
Once done, they will go away and have a break then come back with fresh eyes to give it another read and to make any more edits.
A perfectionist could carry on doing this cycle without actually ever publishing a book because every time they read the book they are compelled to make yet more changes.
A bestselling author will make edits and will eventually decide ‘That’s it, that’ll do!’ They ‘pass it off’ and put it out to the world.
They know that if they don’t get it out as soon as possible, people cannot enjoy it, and they cannot make any money from it and move on to the next project.
They know that the reader has to make up their own mind too.
They also know that they can revisit the book and make any further improvements later should they need to.
Think of the original three Star Wars films.
They were filmed in the late 1970s and early 1980s when special effects were a long old costly affair requiring a lot of model makers, craftsmen, artists, large studios, expensive equipment, and probably a lot of late nights with plenty of coffee.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s when computer animation and CGI began to dominate the special effects world, George Lucas went back and added new scenes with new CGI special effects.
The new technology allowed him to add the parts he originally wanted to include in the original films but couldn’t due to previous limitations.
What I am trying to say here is that you should not get bogged down trying to make your product ‘perfect’.
I am not saying that you shouldn’t make it the best product that you can, you most certainly should, I don’t want you putting out any old rubbish, but you really do need to get your products out to market as fast as possible.
Do a good job… in fact, do a great job… just don’t waste your time trying to make the perfect product because not only will most people not realize that it is perfect (your perfect), they won’t really care either.
People want to enjoy your product.
They want to use it.
They want to learn from it.
Whether it is perfect or not is often not that important to them.
In fact, if you make something too perfect, it can have a detrimental effect on sales.
People will think it is too polished and that you have spent more time focusing on ‘form than function’.
People mostly want function, not form.
Do a good job, get it out in front of people, get paid… then improve and make any changes later if it needs it.
With digital products, you can get them out to people within a few hours – depending on what your product is about and includes – and you can make changes within seconds.
As soon as you receive any form of feedback that points to any necessary changes and improvements that need making, you can generally do it there and then.
You get told that…
If a sentence in your PDF doesn’t make sense… quickly rewrite it in the original document, make a new PDF, and upload it to your website replacing the old one.
You get told that…
The audio of one of the videos is not playing properly… you re-record that video or the audio and upload it to your website replacing the old one.
You get told that…
A section on your sales page is confusing and could be resulting in a loss of sales… you open up your page editor on your website and change the section so that it reads better and is less confusing.
Today, we can make necessary changes in seconds.
I’m not saying that shouldn’t check your products for errors before putting them out, you should, but just don’t worry about them or spend time trying to craft the perfect product. Just get it out there as soon as possible.
Another reason why you should get a product out in front of people as fast as you can is to test whether people want it.
It is possible that you can spend weeks, months, or even years crafting the perfect product, only to find out that the only person who likes your finished product… is you sadly.
Getting a product out to market fast means that you not only can you earn money back fast for your efforts, but you also get back invaluable market feedback which will tell you whether you need to make changes and improve the product or not.
When it comes to getting a profitable product out in front of buyers, you may not need to be perfect… but you do need to work SMART.
Using my SMART Productivity methods, you can get your products finished and in front of an audience easier, faster and better than bumbling along alone striving for perfection.
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