Perfection is a Delusion

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Seeking perfection is an act of pointlessness, uselessness, and futility.

When we seek perfection, we spend (read “waste”) so much time trying to squeeze one last drop of innovative content to create the most amazing, never to be duplicated, unconquerable product, service, or idea.

Whether it is a gadget, a widget, a product, or a program, the more time you spend trying to make it absolutely perfect is a waste of time.

It’s just not worth the effort. Why?

Two reasons:

  1. Lost market share
  2. Nowhere to go

Let’s look at each of these reasons, one at a time.

Lost market share: Honing your product or service into perfect existence puts you behind the competition. When you spend time trying to craft the perfect product or service, you lose time in the market and you lose your share in the market basket.

Think of all the revenue lost as you craft this idea into the one that you believe will be the most amazing, perfect thing ever to hit the market. Well, the market won’t wait. Someone will come along and put something out there that approximates your idea and take what they can before you get there.

You may think your idea is unique and unprecedented…and it may well be. And your competition is already thinking the same thing, because ideas usually come about at the same time from different geographical locations. It’s called multiple discovery or simultaneous invention.

Let’s explore a little history to see what I mean.

Discoveries happen all the time across the world with neither party knowing of the others’ work. Here are a few examples of multiple discovery: the discovery of calculus at the turn of the 17th century, the discovery of electricity and the lightning rod in 1759, the discovery of oxygen in 1772, the discovery of the stratosphere in 1900, and the polio vaccine in 1953.

Each of these discoveries occurred independently across the globe without collaboration within months of each other.

As for inventions, here is a select list:

  • In 1876, a patent was filed by two people, Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray, on the very same day.
  • In 1953, the super strong plastic material, polycarbonate, was discovered at the Bayer laboratories in Germany and just one week later in the US, GE made the same discovery.
  • In 1967, the ATM was invented in the UK by John Shepherd Barron. He decided to keep it a trade secret. Less than twelve months later, in the United States, Don Wetzel made the same invention, and he got the patent for it.

At the end of the day, you are losing to your competition because you didn’t produce a pretty good product quickly enough.

Nowhere to go: If you do somehow manage to create the “perfect” product or service, where can you go from there? It’s already “perfect.” You’ve essentially lost the capacity for future upgraded versions. And upgrades are the easiest and most lucrative sales you’ll ever have.

Why? Because with upgrades you are dealing with existing customers. They already love your product or service. They’re raving fans, and they are eager to buy the next version of the product or service that they already enjoy.

I mean, who isn’t sucked into the marketing line “new and improved?” Problem is, you’ve not allowed yourself any space to improve, because your product or service is already “perfect.” Now you’ll have to make a whole new product or service, and start the marketing scheme all over again.

That makes for long and laborious repeated efforts. Make creation a little bit easier for yourself.

Don’t strive for perfection.

Sometimes good enough is good enough. And getting your idea produced and published ahead of the competition is what is most important.

So how will you know when you’ve got something that is good enough? How will you share your idea with a small group to test it out? And how will you limit your perfectionist mindset to allow room for growth, improvement, and easier creation and future sales?

Telling yourself that good enough is good enough is really hard to do when you’ve led a life of perfection. And it is also that mindset which prevents you from showing yourself and showing the world that you are always improving.

Do yourself a favor. Give it your best and put it out into the world. Someone out there is waiting to hear from you. Don’t make them wait. Give them the best that you’ve got right now.

You’ll get to market quicker, gain market share, and increase sales because of it. Then follow up in a few months with a new and improved product and sell it again!

Your Mindful Moment:

Good enough is the best place to start.

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