Make This the Year You Ship

Is perfectionism destroying your chances of success? Are you agonising over every perceived imperfection rather than getting your work out into the world and letting your audience decide? We’re not advocating sending out crap. We are suggesting you not let perfectionism kill excellence. In the words of Henry Ford, “You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do.”

You can do worse as part of a morning ritual than read the following extract from Seth Godin:

“You – everyone in fact – have all it takes to be a brilliant designer, creator, or author. All that’s holding you back is the lizard. It’s that little voice in the back of your head, the “but” or the “what if” that speaks up at the crucial moment and defeats the joy and insight you brought to the project in the first place. It’s the lizard that ruins your career, stunts your projects, and hinders your organization.

The reason that you need tricks, distractions, graph paper, desk toys, retreats, conferences, and a coach is that the resistance will do whatever it can to slow you down and average you out.

So fight it.

Defeat the resistance.

Keep your team small. Smaller than that. No team at all if you can help it.

Ship often. Ship lousy stuff, but ship. Ship constantly.

Skip meetings. Often. Skip them with impunity. Ship.

Trick the lizard if you must, but declare war on it regardless. Understand that the only thing between you and the success you seek in a chaotic world is a lizard that figures out that safe is risky and risky is safe. The paradox of our time is that the instincts that kept us safe in the day of the saber tooth tiger and General Motors are precisely the instincts that will turn us into road kill in a faster than fast internet-fueled era.

The resistance is waiting. Fight it. Ship.”

Download a copy of Seth Godin’s Ship It Journal here: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/files/theshipitjournal.pdf

Takeaway points

  1. Perfectionism is really fear. Don’t let it stop you creating. Will you make mistakes? Sure. Will everything you produce be amazing? Sadly not.

    Ever tried? Ever failed? No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.” – Samuel Beckett

    Aim for excellence, not perfection.

Action steps

  1. Today is the day to start. Turn off the TV. Get off Facebook. Take that project you’ve been postponing and spend an evening working on it. Then tomorrow, repeat. Rate success as completing what you start and getting it out into the world, regardless of what you think of it.

Photo credit: blu_pineappl3 via Foter.com / CC BY

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