Anything worth doing is worth doing…..

by Michele on March 28, 2012

Solopreneurs and qualityat the appropriate level of quality.

Gotcha, did I? The popular version of this saying is “Anything worth doing is worth doing well,” and for the life of me I cannot figure out how something so plainly false got to be so generally accepted as true. I could give you numerous examples from my personal life, and it applies to business as well.

There’s something about working on the internet, having a website, and posting things that everyone can see forever that compels us to try to do it perfectly. This is not only a huge time suck, but it’s also a disservice to the people who want to hear from you. They don’t want perfection, and you can’t deliver it anyway. No matter how great something is, it can always be better. I’ve found for myself and clients that most of what you do to run a business can be “good enough” with great results. I know people (not in my community) who delayed months even starting a business because their logo wasn’t perfect, or their website needed work or some other item wasn’t in it’s final form yet. As an entrepreneur, your website/logo/business cards/tagline/etc will always need work so don’t delay offering your unique gifts to the world getting them perfect. It’s an educated guess anyway until you start working in your business.

As solopreneurs, we are particularly vulnerable to this because the business is so closely related to ourself. This is a valid concern – you certainly don’t want to be putting junk out there with your name on it, but try to make an honest assessment of how good it needs to be to serve the people who need you. There’s often a direct correlation in how long you delay something and how close to perfect you try to get it. If your goal is to serve others though your work, you may be depriving them of something they want or need while you try to get it perfect.

I think, sometimes, there’s a temptation to procrastinate or hide behind getting things perfect. If a person can spend all day writing perfect tweets, then they’re “busy” and “working,” but don’t have to risk putting any real work out in the world.

The only place I encourage you to always do your best is in working directly with clients or in creating things to sell. These things should always get your best efforts.

How well do you do things? How do you decide? Are there things that aren’t worth doing well? Leave me a comment and tell me what you think.

Comments

  1. Don Talbert says:

    Michele,
    This really hits home. So many of us want to get everything perfect, before going out there to do it. Sometimes it’s a courage thing. We derive a false sense of confidence, by striving to get it just right, before letting the world in on our unique talents. “If I had one more degree, designation, etc., the world would beat a path to my door.” Nice thought but unrealistic.
    Learning is most powerful in the trenches. When you are out there doing it, you’ll get closer to perfection, than by any other means.
    Thanks for addressing this critical issue.

    1. Michele says:

      Don, I agree with you about being out doing things. Learning is important, but only gets you so far. You really get things right by putting them into action. I also agree that trying to get things just right can be a way of avoiding doing “real” work. It’s easy and safe to not to get out there with what you know.

  2. Mozette says:

    I have a friend who is an artist and I model for him (yes, he pays me well for it; as being a life model, it works well to make sure you’re paid the right amount of money). Well, the last time I modeled for him, he drew one of the photos we took of me onto a canvas for me; so I could do a self-portrait.
    That was about 1 1/2 months ago. Now, he’s pushing me to get it finished in time for a showing in May. In recent years, I’ve found that I don’t rush my paintings anymore, I work on them at a slow rate until I’m ready to show them. Last year, I did 6 paintings and they’re all outstanding! I finished them all when I wanted them to be finished. If there was something wrong with them, I didn’t sign them.
    However, it wasn’t until the last few days when I told my friend that I wasn’t ready for the showing; and neither was the painting. And I don’t want to show just one – I want to show all of my paintings in my works that I have been working on. He sulked a little when I explained how not ready we (the painting and I) were; until he dropped by my place and saw the painting and realised I was another two months from it being ready.
    You see, it may look ready to the average person, but my paintings are finished when the details are just right. And for me – in my life – the details are the main and biggest things of all that keeps things from falling apart.

    1. Michele says:

      Mozette, that’s a great point that you, as the artist, don’t feel ready but the general public might think you are. I think it would not be fun to display something you don’t feel proud of. On the other hand, it would feel great to finally reveal the result of months of hard work when you feel great about. Also, another good point is that we should not let other people rush us when we can’t do quality work that way.

    2. Michele says:

      PS – Mozette, I tried to leave a comment on your blog but couldn’t get past the sign in process. It prompted me to sign up for Blogger when I tried to sign in with Google and it wouldn’t take WordPress since I host my own site.

      1. Mozette says:

        Michelle, Google is having big problems with their sign-in and commenting sign-up forms. I’d leave it for a a week or so before trying to comment on my blogs for a while. Even though a good number of my blogs don’t make you go through a we’re-making-sure-you’re-not-a-computer thing, I still have people who are running into problems with it. And the other bloggers have had big problems being unable to comment on other blogger’s blogs – including me. It’s been 4 days and counting and nothing is fixed. 🙁

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