Complete vs. Perfect

Complete vs. Perfect

Every one  of us, from the nervous intern on her first day, to the rock stars of your industry, face a common struggle; deciding when our work is good enough.

In fact I’ve been struggling with it myself over the last few weeks while developing a new online marketing course. Logically I know it kicks ass, but no matter how much I put into it, I always feel like there’s room for more. The truth is, there is always room for more, but at least 90% of people will get far more than their money’s worth just from the information contained in the first draft.

We each have different reasons, but we all do this.

Some of us obsess about the value we deliver. We want to exceed dramatically expectations so we add, revise, and improve our offering until it’s perfect—only it never is. This cuts into profits, delays deadlines, and stresses us until we lose our passion.

Others suffer from something called “imposter complex” where they believe they aren’t good enough. They doubt their work, which leads to overcompensation and downward-spiraling self-esteem. Then they start setting the bar lower and lower, living a life of mediocrity.

Your work will never be perfect; not by your standards, not by mine, and certainly not by your client’s. Perhaps by your mother’s standards, but her opinion doesn’t mean anything. She probably still has your shitty kindergarten drawings tucked away somewhere.

Hell, Google is a multibillion dollar company that hires the smartest people in the world and they aren’t even perfect, so why would you hold your self to a higher standard than them?

Your work is good enough but you doubt it because it’s second nature to you. You posses a wealth of knowledge that others value. You’re like frickin Confucius to people who don’t have your background—leverage that!

You can doubt yourself or over analyze your work to death, but you’re just slowing down your progress. Complete is better than perfect every single time.

When you finish your work you get immediate feedback from customers. Maybe they’ll love it as-is and you won’t have to do anything else. Or maybe they’re want something changed, but it’s something you hadn’t thought of so they saved you from unnecessary work. Or perhaps your whole idea sucks and you have the opportunity to scrap it before wasting a ton of your time.

But until you finish it, you’ll never know.