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How To Achieve Success Despite Imperfection

by Travis Miller


So frequently we encounter business people waiting. Waiting to do, well, anything. Waiting to make that call, waiting to make that decision, waiting to write that letter, waiting to place that ad, waiting to create that new product.

Sometimes they stop waiting for a little while and actually start the project. But then they start waiting all over again after just a few steps.

Waiting is a bad strategy for pretty much everything. When you wait, nothing happens. When you wait, you get passed by.

Usually, the excuse for waiting has something to do with "getting it right." Well, turns out that "getting it right" isn't always required to succeed.  And "getting it perfect" is very rarely required to succeed. More often, success is really just a string of failures that winds up with success. But it's those failures, the process of error-correct-error-correct, that helps us earn the success. Waiting to "get it right" has little to do with it.

Case in point: in doing my due diligence for this year's election, I studied the web sites of all prominent candidates on both sides of the aisle. There were vast differences between them, but only one noticeable similarity between each and every single candidate. What was it? You're going to laugh...

They all have typos on their web site.

Believe it. It's probably because they're updating the content at such a rapid pace. Seems they value the communication of the ideas over the perfection of the delivery. These are candidates for the President of the United States.

Am I criticising? Not at all. In fact, it impresses me. It tells me that they know that typos (or lack thereof) will not lead to victory. Victory will be clenched by the communication of ideas and the rapid proliferation of them. Perfection really doesn't factor.

Just today we received the first bound final copy of our book. More on that in another post. As I was flipping through I noticed a typo. That means there are others. This book has been through the hands of more editors and proof-readers (on our end and on the publisher's end) than you can imagine. Yet, still a typo. And where there's one, there are bound to be others. But it's a good thing for all the folks who get their copy next month and are able to begin benefiting from the information that we didn't wait until we were assured of 100% perfection before we released it - otherwise you'd be waiting for years, decades...well, let's face it, it would never be perfect, so you would never see it.

If you're waiting for perfection, while wondering why you haven't achieved success, take my advice and get moving.

Do you have a story of a time when you prospered by refusing to wait? Leave a comment - I'd love to hear about it.