Do it Now or Later: Perfection Paralysis Revealed

Have you ever felt that your list of things to do keeps getting longer as you get closer to the time you need to launch something? Often we will set ourselves soft-release dates because we know that it is difficult to make hard-deadlines.

When you continually put off completing something because it never feels quite ready we referred to as ‘perfection paralysis’. This is the paralysis of the growth of business due to the inability to make some piece of the business perfect enough to share it with others. Business just does not work like that.

I have worked many years in manufacturing. The clients that I have had that are really successful meet their deadlines. They do this by defining their specifications (what they expect to create) and then they make it. They don’t add extra touches, because the client would like it, during this round of development. For every change they could add it would change the deadline. The problem with making changes during development is that the deadline date often does not change with it and it is then missed or it keeps getting pushed out arbitrarily. It has the side effect of making the people working on the project weary and frustrated because they feel ineffectual.

This could happen to you too. If you set a deadline and deliver on that date, you have achieved a goal and you will be keen to continue to create. If you continually develop, missing deadlines or, even worse, not setting deadlines you will feel like you can never close. Do yourself a favour, follow these three tips to give yourself and your business the reward of accomplishing great things and then continue to create.

3 Tips to Overcome this Debilitating Syndrome

1. Set a deadline that cannot be missed.

To make your deadline more concrete, invite people to be a witness to the unveiling. For instance, if I want to start a new program, I host a free introduction and in that introduction I announce the upcoming date for my new program. This way, people are expecting it at a specific time and I will be required to be ready on that date.

Tell people you have a new service, even if you don’t have a name for it. Announce your opening, even if the location is not ready. Advertise your new product, even if it is not complete. What is the worst that can happen? You will have to postpone. But I guarantee you won’t want to do that and you will be much more likely to be ready, even if it is not exactly the way you perceived it to be when complete.

2. Think to yourself, “just get started”.

The sooner you get started the sooner you can start making money with it. Make sure the key components are in place (the brand language is used, the clients can purchase it, it works as expected). If it is a good product you will have time to continually make it better, which is what you should be doing anyway.

3. Act ‘as if’

Act as if it is exactly what you wanted – then continue to improve as you grow the business. I guarantee that it will never be perfect and even if it is, within weeks of launching, something will be revealed that can make it even more perfect. Everything you create will be like a work of art in production. To create a business that grows, you will always need to be evaluating the value of your products and service and your client needs. Don’t think you can create something, launch it, and that is it.

So don’t waste excessive time making it perfect for that launch. Get the pieces in place to make the business work and your clients happy, launch, and then improve.

Check Out this Book

A great book to help you with this mindset is Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?, by Seth Godin, which spends some time on what he calls ‘shipping’.

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