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Is DONE really better than PERFECT? Exploring the Barriers to Success.


– If you can dream and not
make dreams your master, If you can think and not
make thoughts your aim, If you can meet with triumph and disaster And treat those two
impostors just the same… That’s one of my favorite excerpts from a poem called If, by Rudyard Kipling many of you may know. If not, I’m going to link to
it in the show notes below. But I love that, and especially for what we’re talking about today, about what is that concept done is better than perfect. Let’s deep dive into that. What does that mean? And when is it appropriate
and when is it not? When does it work and
when does it not work? So today chatting all about
done is better than perfect. I’m Andrea with the ADS Agency, here to bring you the
very best in marketing and branding tips, as
well as business tips for those of you who are
aspiring entrepreneurs or current business owners,
or even those of you who are just working on
your personal branding, trying to figure out how to make your personal brand better out there. Thank you for joining us. We’re here for you. All right, so, again, that
poem is by Rudyard Kipling. I love that for this topic of
done is better than perfect. And I’ll tell you a quick little story of something that happened,
was said to me recently, and I came across someone at an event who said oh yeah, I
know you, I met you here and you said next time you see me and we chatted on LinkedIn,
and you said to tell you next time you see me, make sure you say hi so I know who you are, blah, blah, blah. They happened to see
me at this next event. They introduced themselves and said yeah, I heard a lot about you. And I said oh really, what did you hear? One of the things they heard was that they heard I was quite successful, which to me I could really laugh at that. Because, you know, success is truly in the eye of the beholder. Maybe… some of the things I’ve done could be viewed as successful. I have served on a global level in a branding capacity and
lived in Scotland for a year working overseas in a
global branding role, which was awesome, and I thought it was a great adventure and really fun. And just started a business. It’s a year and a half old
now, plus, and growing. Maybe people look at
things like that and think okay, so she’s pretty successful. And in my world, I think
I have so far to go. I really have so far to go. That’s not to say you can’t celebrate successes and wins along the way and that kind of thing. Certainly I’m a big proponent of that. We can cheers it up anytime you like over any little success,
but I would never, ever feel like–and I
think a lot of people may feel like this–but I would never feel like I’ve arrived, so to speak. I just always feel like
there’s so much more to do. We have so far to grow,
we’re always trying to find a way to continue
learning and growing. Again, that’s all to say that success depends on your viewpoint, and I think that’s what all this is about. We talk about done is better than perfect. It all comes down to accomplishing things, getting things done, getting ish done. How do we do that, and
why is that important? That is what the path
of success is paved with is all these accomplishments,
but really, honestly, also failures along the way. Failing forward, as some people call it. It’s trying. It’s trying and learning from
our mistakes as we do that. Nothing is a better teacher than failure. Failure is also perceived,
you can perceive it as failure, you could
perceive it as your education, so to speak, as I often do. This is my education in the business. So…right… Two things that come to mind when we talk about done
is better than perfect. What are the barriers to success for a lot of people in this capacity? One is analysis paralysis, which is thinking so much
to Rudyard Kipling’s point if you can think and not
make thoughts your aim. Or also, as he said, if you can dream and not make dreams your master. Meaning we’re not always
just only dreaming, not always just only thinking, we are people of action as well. That action is important,
and that’s a little bit what the idea of done is
better than perfect speaks to. So analysis paralysis,
that’s an enemy of success and getting things done. Another is what I like to
call perfectionism paralysis. A lot of us, especially if
you’re an A-type personality, if you remember those
terminologies when it came back decades ago, if you’re
an A-type personality and everything always has to be perfect and everything’s all about
making things just right, and exactly the way you see it, and exactly to your vision,
and nothing is better, and if you don’t achieve that, then you’re not getting it
done the way you want to and you may as well scrap it. Perfectionism paralysis is a
barrier to success, it’s real. And honestly, I’d like to address that. It can come in many forms. If you’re writing a book,
it’s writer’s block. If you’re an artist,
working on a painting, working on a piece, a sculpture, your next song, whatever it is, it might be artist’s block, or art block, as they may call it. It’s the idea that you’re
always endlessly tweaking, endlessly tweaking to no end. You never quite finish
something because of that, because you’re always of the mindset that it has to be perfect
or I can’t put it out there. That brings to mind a wonderful artist we will never forget, Michael Jackson. Michael was an excellent,
he’s such an excellent example of this, because
he did not sacrifice perfectionism for getting things done. He got it done, but he pushed so hard to make
sure that it was excellent that the moves were perfect,
the sound was perfect, that it was just exactly
the way that he envisioned. He didn’t let up. It doesn’t mean that you sacrifice on the quality or how
amazing something can be, but it also does mean you
finish, you get things done. There’s an author I really
like named John Acuff. He wrote the books Start and Finish. We actually hired him to speak at an event a couple of years ago,
and he was talking to us all about the idea of starting. You know, so not letting
analysis paralysis keep us from starting a project and not letting perfectionism paralysis keep us from starting that business, writing that book, all those things that we have great, grand,
grandiose plans for. He wrote a book called
Start to get us going. And actually what he
learned in his travels and speaking about that book, Start, people were always coming
up to him and saying you know, John, I actually don’t have a problem starting things. My problem is I don’t finish them. People were always telling him I start things and I
never quite finish them. And it’s because of
this analysis paralysis and perfectionism paralysis that we have going on with ourselves, and honestly a lot of very negative talk,
that we’re not good enough, we’re not ready, we don’t
have all the right equipment to get this done, we don’t
have the right education, we’re not old enough, we’re
not quite pretty enough. We need this done to ourselves and that done to ourselves
before we can start. Or finish. All those kind of negative
talk things in our head can keep us from either
starting or finishing a project, a goal, getting us there. That was so much of an
issue, he heard that so much, that he decided to do something about it. And what did he decide? Don Acuff wrote those two books. Not only did he write Start,
but he also wrote Finish. And why? Because they’re both critical
to getting things done. Not only do we have to start things, but we also have to finish them. Okay? So start and finish. Do try. Try, it’s important to
get out there and try. You’ll never know what you
can do until you do that. What it doesn’t mean? We’re not asking you to
sacrifice excellence. It doesn’t mean sacrifice excellence. Do strive for excellence. Not perfection, there’s a difference. Not necessarily perfection, excellence. Do strive for it, but just not at the cost of getting things done, okay? So do strive for excellence, not at the cost of getting things done. How do we get these things done? Tip number one, set a firm deadline. Set a deadline. Whether you make it up, whether
it’s artificial or real, it’s a real deadline, a
hard one you’ve gotta meet for whatever reason. Real or fake, you made
it up, whatever it is, set that deadline with
your team, with yourself, with an accountability
partner, a good friend who’s going to hold you accountable. And why? Because, to our friend
David Patterson’s point, who was here not too
long ago, talking with us a couple months ago
about The ONE Thing book, accountability is so critical
to getting things done. It is the fire underneath you, underneath your…mm…that
gets things done. If you’ve got good accountability partners who will be there for you, listen to you, but at the same time say Andrea, mm-mm, don’t forget you did say by this date, this was gonna get done. Holding you accountable
as much as possible. We understand some things happen. Sometimes you can’t help
a deadline being missed for whatever reasons,
unforeseen things that come up. But try your hardest to stick
to those deadlines, okay? And that’s how things get accomplished. It’s gonna force you to
perform with excellence. Sometimes we need that to
help us get those things done. Okay? So set that firm deadline, and again, get that negative talk out of your head. Out of your head. Get it out of there. Tip number two, be comfortable with flaws. This is hard for those of
you who are perfectionists, those of you who’ve…you’ve
got a vision for something, you need it to happen that way, it will. Ninety-nine percent most likely happen the way that you see it. Hopefully, ideally, if it’s realistic, if you planned well, all those things. However, you’re gonna have to be
comfortable with some flaws. Something will always go wrong. It’s the law of the universe. Something will always go wrong, it will. And you just have to be
comfortable with that. Don’t let that keep you from getting the big check
mark knocked off, okay? That’s important. Set a firm deadline, be
comfortable with flaws. I’m pretty certain Michael Jackson had something go wrong
just about every show, just about every, just
about every video shoot, photo shoot, press conference, ask him. If you could ask him,
I’d bet he would tell you something went wrong on
a lot of those things. You wouldn’t know, because
he’s a professional. And what happens if something goes wrong? You make a note of it,
you fix it for next time. It’s how we get better. It’s how we continuously
improve and continuously learn. We do lessons learned, you know, post a major event, post a major effort. Sit down with your team,
sit down with yourself, sit down with your accountability partner, and do lessons learned. What went wrong, what went great? What can we do better next time? This is how we grow,
this is how we do better. Prince, same thing, MLK, ask ’em all. If you could ask them
all, they would tell you things go wrong. They do. Michelle Obama, I’m pretty
sure she could tell you. All right? And again, let those artificial
mental roadblocks go. Out of your head, out of your head. Get ’em out of your head, okay? All the things that are telling you that you’re not good enough, not ready, not well equipped, don’t listen to it. It’s not true. You are ready right now. You’re equipped with everything
that you need right now. It’s possible, you can do it. Okay, so I’ve come across… I’m in marketing and branding. The ADS Agency is a
marketing and branding firm. I’ve been doing this for
over a dozen years now. I will not make you guess my age. Those of you who know me know my age. (laughs) So I run across a lot of people who, for example, are
often working on websites. And websites are one of those difficult little beasts, creations that are hard, hard for a lot of people,
because it’s their baby. We understand that. It’s your baby, it’s your business, it’s your personal brand. You want it right, you want it great, you want people to be amazed
and wowed, and all of that. That’s good, but you have to remember that all those things
happen under constraints. Time constraints, budget
constraints, all those things. If you have a deadline for when you want to launch something, you’ve gotta do it
within those constraints. And you’ve gotta be happy with
getting the big things done. Get the big things done well, get ’em done well. The other things you have time to tweak, to work on, you know? You do, you really do. It’s okay, you can breathe. It does not have to be
1,000% perfect on launch. Most things often are not. So that’s a great example
of how we can often let our perfectionism get in the way or our need to always
have things just right. When you’re on deadline, some things, you have to learn, and just say it’s okay. It’s okay if we make sure these big things get done, and done well. We can work, these are the
things that we can work on, our B, C lists of importance, that we can work on later, okay? And that’s all right. There’s a wonderful concept
I learned in French class. Parlez-vous Francais? For those of you who love Francais. Called bricolage. Bricolage is the art of pulling together what you have to get things done. It’s really tied to actual art. A wonderful example of this is collages made from shards of glass, broken pieces of plates,
all this, basically, junk. You know, just junk. And bricolage says take that junk and use it to make art. Make something beautiful out of it. Use what you’ve got and
make something beautiful. A wonderful example of this
is on the Atlantic Beltline, for those of you who are in Atlanta. And you may have seen these beautiful, massive pieces of art made from junk. Made from scraps, metal scraps, stuff you can find in a junkyard, Goodwill, side of the road, wherever. And it comes together so beautifully. Beautifully. You see? So bricolage is just how
we need to be thinking as entrepreneurs, in our
careers, wherever you are. Think about what you’ve
got at your disposal and how you can use what you’ve got to create something beautiful. It’s possible, you can do that. Okay? Tip number three is to remember that every master was once a beginner. It’s true, they were. And so it’s okay if things
again don’t go right. The point is that you remember, you remember that, and
you learn from that. You learn from your mistakes,
and you use it to get better. But remember that every
master was once a beginner. Don’t beat yourself up so much, okay? It’s all right, it really is. The point is that you keep learning. You learned something, right? Again, it doesn’t mean that
you sacrifice excellence. You’re a master in the making. You are honing your craft. Take the time to hone your craft, okay? It’s all right to do that. I know we’re a fast, a super-fast society, but it’s all right to
learn, to master something. That takes time. Excellence takes time. You can take the time to do that. And again, do the best that you can with what you have right now. So those are our three tips today. Tip number one, set a firm deadline. Tip number two, be comfortable with flaws. They’re gonna happen,
be comfortable with it. Make sure the big things get done, the little things will take
care of themselves over time. Tip number three, remember every master was once a beginner, okay? So that’s it for today. What projects are you
working on right now? We want to know. Let us know in the comments below. Are you working on a book, writing a book? We just did a wonderful video about that with Dennis Ross not too long ago. Are you working on your Ph.D.? We know how long those take, forever. Marketing campaigns, maybe
it’s a marketing campaign you’ve been working on
and wanting to get done and want–dropped my pen–wanting to talk to someone about, you know? Those are things that
you could be working on. So let us know in the comments below. What’s your latest project that you either want to start or finish? We want to know about that. And let us know what you think about this topic today in general. We loved the concepts of If, by that poem Rudyard Kipling wrote called If, talking about dreams, not
making dreams your master, not making thoughts your aim. We are people of action. Let us know what you think about all this. There’s so much. There’s so much good
stuff to chat about here. I love it, love it,
love it, love it, okay? And thank you so much for being here. We so appreciate you. If this is your first time, let us know where you’re from, where
you’re chiming in from, in the comments below. We’d love for you to come back. We love it here, we love
having you here with us to talk with us about these great topics. And for those of you who are returning, (blows kiss) you’re marvelous. Love you being here. Thank you so much for your support. I do this because of
the wonderful comments that I hear from you, and I feel that it has value and
it’s beneficial to you. If you want to hear something
different in the future, also let us know in the
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