Today is so far an awesome day. A lot of awesome things that I want to share with you guys. I’m going to talk about one of the concepts from my book, Get Out of Your Own Way. It’s a compilation of not just things that I’ve thought and seen and put out there, it’s also a combination of things from when I interviewed a lot of 6, 7, 8, even 9 figure business owners to get their idea about how they got out of their own way to build their business.
In this book, one of the chapters is titles “Excellence over Perfection.” This is something that I wanted to share with you guys because I think it’s important and overlooked too often. That’s why I say, “Perfection is Bullshit,” because it is. There is no other way of saying it. I’ll share a handful of things from my book about that. Perfection is bullshit and I don’t want you guys to chase it. New and existing business owners, going after perfection can continuously is always going to lead to negative results.
First things first, I want to start with a story. I use this story all of the time because it’s relevant and it illustrates the idea of “Excellence over Perfection” the best. When you look at Samsung versus iPhone, a lot of times, the ideas between those two phones are a little bit different. iPhone says, “we don’t want the latest greatest biggest thing in technology in our phone. We want a fraction of what is available but when it’s in there it’s going to work flawlessly.” That’s what they put out there. Samsung says, “We want all of the latest and greatest things in technology. If a phone should be able to do it, it can do it. It might not be able to work flawlessly, but it’s something that no one else has.” That’s the difference. Either way that you look at it, you have to admit that when Samsung or Apple put out a new phone, either product is going to excellent, but not perfect. For Apple, it’s missing a lot of technology that Samsung has. Samsung has all of that cool technology but it might not work flawlessly, so it’s definitely not perfect, but they’re both excellent products. I think that the sales speak for themselves with those products. They have an insane amount of the market share and that means that it has to be an excellent product. If it was crap nobody would buy it.
So when I say “Perfection is Bullshit,” what I really mean is not that you should strive for it or make it as good as possible, but just that you need to make it as excellent as possible. One of the biggest misconceptions out there is that you can achieve perfection. We can never really achieve perfection. The difference is here is that perfection can only be defined by us as human beings and something that we think as perfect, someone else can think of as not perfect. So when we put something out there that we think as perfect, we are not defining perfection, our customers are. Other people defining perfection, and since they’re defining perfection for us there is no way that we will ever meet their expectations for perfections. Even if we meet one person’s expectations, we might not meet everyone’s. In fact, that’s almost impossible. What you can do is make something excellent. Excellent is defined more defined by you than by everybody else. What I mean by that is you can put something out that is excellent, you know if something you put out is excellent or not. Excellence is a much more even playground across everything than perfection. Something doesn’t have to perfect to be excellent. Think back to the phones, they’re not perfect, but they’re excellent devices. That’s what we want to achieve in your business, or brand, or a customer base, or product, or whatever you’re building. When you put something out there it doesn’t have to be perfect. What it does have to be is excellent. Don’t ever let yourself put out sub-par stuff just to put it out.
Now, this gets back to a phrase that my good friend Ralph Plum told me 4 or 5 years ago when I was getting mentored by him and the MindProtein Team: “Done is better than Perfect.” This is not an excuse to go out there and say “alright it’s done let’s put it out there, who cares if it works or not.” It’s a way for you to say, “we’re 80 percent of the way to what we’re defining as a perfect product, let’s get it out there.” Don’t let it hold back, don’t let it push back, don’t let it stop you from getting things done. That’s the biggest hiccup that so many entrepreneurs get stuck on, they get in their own way. That’s why I wrote the book Get Out of Your Own Way. They get stuck in their own way with the idea of perfection instead of striving for excellence. Excellence is far more important than perfection ever will be. In my book, I have a bunch of ways for you guys to go out there and dive into striving for excellence. I’ll share just a couple from the 10 that I have in my book.
One of the ones that I think is the most powerful is just to truly listen. Listen to your customers, peers, critics, people who praise you. Why are they praising you, what are they praising you for? Listen to your haters. Your haters are going to give you more fuel to move forward and make your stuff excellent than anyone else out there. I encourage you to listen to all of those people. Don’t just listen, hear them. Don’t just smile and nod. Listen to them, take their feedback objectively, not personally, and then make decisions about whether this feedback is valuable. Can I use this to improve myself, business, product, services, or whatever? If you can, it’s valuable feedback no matter who it came from. If it’s not valuable feedback like, “that’s a good idea but just not in a real house of what we need to be doing” then that’s ok too. You thank them for their feedback and then move forward. One of the most powerful things that I do on a regular basis with a group of folks that I speak with is that I get feedback. I went to an event in Detroit a few months ago and one of the other speakers who we call a captain, he’s kind of in charge of all the other speakers. He gave me something like six pages about my speaking. I could have easily sat there and said “I’m offended, what do you mean? I did great, how could you give me six pages of notes?” and be pissed about it. Or, as we talk about in our group of speakers, and I full heartedly believe this, we could say “thank you!” All of that criticism that you gave me was a gift. I can use to make everything that I’m doing better. So I say thank you for that gift. I encourage everyone to say thank you to your haters and everyone else out there that gives you feedback, because whether the feedback is valuable or not, them giving it is a gift to you and your business and you need treat it as such. If you don’t, then you’re wasting it and a wasted gift is no good to anyone.
So again, truly listen, get out there, make things happen, find out what they want. Then use that feedback in your business to make yourself better. Don’t just assume that just because someone is a hater that their feedback is irrelevant. Some of the best advice I’ve gotten is from people who I would classify as my haters.
One more that I want to share and if you want more after that, you can go pick up my book and get all 10 of them. Define your mission. All too often, people don’t have clarity in their head about where they’re heading. They don’t really understand why their doing it. The biggest problem with just chasing the money is, even though I would never say that money isn’t important because it is, but it’s important not because of what it is, it’s important because of what it leads you to. That’s the difference that most people don’t have. They chase the money, then what? I talk to people who are massively successful and are making literally one metric shit ton more money than I am. But they don’t have their mission and their kind of floundering. Even though they’re “rich,” they’re rich in money but they’re poor in a lot of other areas of their life. So I encourage you to define your mission. Understand what it is that you’re doing all of this for. Why are you doing all of this? It could be for your kids, spouse, or just because you want to travel, or whatever. The money is enabling you to take care of all that and that’s fine even if it’s just to be able to drive fast cars. It doesn’t matter what the reason is, you just have to find what reason. When you figure it out, that’s the most important thing, and that’s what I want you to look at. Why are you doing all of the things you’re doing, why are you sacrificing your 9 to 5 to work from 5 to 9. I want you to think about that. If you realize right now that you have no chance of getting that mission done and of really getting there right this second, it’s about not about right this second. It’s about long term. I didn’t start out where I am today. It took time and effort, but that was the goal. I always knew that this was what I was working towards. The money is going to allow me the time freedom to work on the book, to launch it, spend the money on the marketing and transcription services and everything else that went into it. This is what it’s all about. I achieved that goal and now onto the next goal. So I encourage you to put that out there. What’s your Why?