by Jake Thompson

Action Over Perfection

Raise your hand if you are guilty of waiting for the perfect time t...

Raise your hand if you are guilty of waiting for the perfect time to come to you – either in the pursuit of your goals, asking someone out, or taking advantage of an opportunity. Anyone?

I know I have been guilty of it numerous times throughout my life. I waited. For some reason, I had this idea that the perfect time would arrive and things would be better, life would easier, everything would be a little bit more organized, and then I would finally do something. At that “perfect moment,” I would take this chance, I would go on this trip, and then I would do whatever. And you know what? I never did anyone of those things.

Because this idea of a perfect time, this lie that we buy into, it doesn’t exist. It is a magical unicorn that we tell ourselves, so that when we say I will do it “tomorrow,” we feel better about the lie we tell ourselves, knowing that it is probably never going to get done.

So how do you get past this idea of waiting for perfection? How do you move from waiting for the perfect time and instead move forward with action immediately?

1. Understand that 75-80% done, released and started always beats a 100% and never created.

Think about it. How many of you have an iPhone or Android. And how many updates that you had to do with just this phone, much less every other iteration of the phone you have had before that? I mean think about it. We are on the iPhone 6 now and I have updated it 4 or 5 times because the developers want to release software that works and then they are constantly looking to update it, upgrade it, make it even better. It is a better user experience.

You see, if they waited until it was absolutely perfect, they would never release it. We would never have certain things. You have to put something out there in order to improve it.

2. You have to understand that action builds momentum. You see this one small snowball starts to gain momentum, starts to pick up a little more snow and a little more debris and it gets bigger and faster, and bigger and faster, and bigger and faster, until eventually you have this massive avalanche roaring down the mountain.

But all of that started with one small snowball that started moving.

You see, action builds momentum, builds momentum.

Once you get started, you will be amazed at how many things else in your path start moving as well. This project that you finally started moving on, really gains traction and momentum once you start moving. But you can’t get any momentum if you don’t ever that that first step.

3. Understand failures happen. It is a part of the process. I’ll consistently encourage people with the idea that, “You should be absolutely embarrassed of your very first work a year from now.” I look back on the very first events we did with Compete Every Day and I just shuttered at how our booth looked and some of the apparel designs we had displayed. Literally, I will cringe looking at it this memory, wondering why some of you supported this. Why would somebody stop and talk to me when it looked like this?

But if I had never gone out there and never started putting stuff out there, I wouldn’t know what to improve on. I wouldn’t have gotten feedback, made adjustments, and I would have had nothing to build upon. It is okay to look back a year from now and be embarrassed of what that first creation started like – because you know where you are now is so much better and where you are going to be another year from now is even better.

I laughed one time and told a friend, “We all start out creating shit.” And then it gets to be a little bit prettier pile of crap and then it gets to be something that’s okay. And then it’s, “Oh, that’s okay. Oh man, that’s good. Wow! That’s really good. Man, that is awesome! How did you do that? That is so awesome.”

And you see most people see the, “Wow, that’s awesome” piece. They never see the muddy pile of shit that you started with. But we all start with this muddy pile of shit, and if we stick at it and we keep competing, we eventually create something that is awesome.

So understand that today.

You don’t have to be perfect coming out of the gate. Don’t be perfect coming out of the gate. Just come out of the gate. Start. Do something. It doesn’t matter if you have held on for so long waiting for a perfect time. Today is the perfect time. This is the sign you have waited on. So put it out there, and then improve it, and improve it again, and again, and again. Get better every single time.

Action triumphs perfection every day of the week.

So this week, take action. Quit waiting, and put something out there. Take that chance that you have held off on for so long. This week is yours – Compete for it.

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