When Good Enough is Good Enough

We hear it over and over again that people spend so much time trying to get it perfect. Trying to do just a little bit more and at some point, we have to ask the question when is it good enough.One of the things that hold many coaches, speakers, and others back is their drive for perfection. You’ve likely heard that phrase or that quote that, we’re often our own worst critics, and that that’s absolutely the case. It’s really a challenge for a lot of people and it’s something that you really need to work with. The key is to know when it’s time to stop creating and start offering.When I was in my Master’s program and I had to write a paper and you kept saying just turn it in and be done with it. I kept rewriting it and rewriting it. It had to be emailed to the professor by midnight and if it was late after that I would get a one-grade penalty. So, I had to make the choice; do I send it as it was or do I rewrite it. No. The best I can do is get a B and I pushed the send button and guess what I got today. To me that was the big aha moment of learning about good enough because I think you’re absolutely right, we all keep thinking we’ve got to do just a little bit more a little bit more. And it’s so important to get into action and don’t let needing a little bit more put you in paralysis and not get into the movement because it really is.

How do people know what the time is right, when can they say it’s good enough?

This is really the key because we’re not talking about lowering your quality standards. That’s really important to understand, it’s not that you’re willing to put out something that’s of low quality. What we’re talking about is stepping back and coming to the realization that your gauge of high quality is likely much higher than everybody else’s outside of you. What I mean by that is we always get back to that, a lot of times that we are our own worst critics. We’ll pick apart a document or a presentation or a chorus or whatever it is. While most people wouldn’t even notice that it was there. They wouldn’t notice that it could have been better. So, it’s really important to know when that time is and there’s a couple of secrets for knowing whether it’s the right time, or when it’s good enough.

Set clear objectives when you start the creation process.

You need to know what the end product will look like when you start. It will also help you if you know the audience you’re going to be addressing. Know what the key objectives you have are and what you want those clients to walk away with and what knowledge you want them to walk away with. Then you keep that foremost in your mind as you’re creating. Anything that doesn’t support that vision then is not included.

Keep track of those ideas you get.

Keep a written list of those ideas as you’re going along. Just jot down either in word or excel or a piece of paper, but just write them down. You then have all those ideas in one place and when you get to the point where you’re ready to implement you’re ready to take a look at that list and ask yourself, are there any things on this list that I have to include or it won’t be a complete product, or are they just ideas for making it better. Every company goes through this with every product. If you look at the software world they’re always creating new features new functions, new things that it will do. There’s a very specific process that they follow to cut off development and release a product and then put the next enhancements into the next release. It’s really important for people to use that processor, or some version of that process, no matter what it is they’re creating. Creating software, writing a book, creating a course, creating a talk or presentation, whatever it is. Set a very clear limit and when you get to that limit you release, you go ahead and say it’s good enough.

Have a revision cycle.

The reality is that a lot of times you’re going to learn a lot the first time you deliver it. You will have a lot of things you didn’t anticipate, you will then have a revision cycle after you’ve given it once or twice.There is a revision cycle, what sounds good on paper and looks great in an application or the way people respond to it isn’t always the same and that’s OK. It’s like thinking on your feet. It’s trying it a little bit differently. It’s seeing what additional language you need. We all want to be seen as great. We are our own worst critic. We think that if it doesn’t have everything that we’ve spent years and years learning that it’s not exactly what someone needs and we need to take a step back because they’re just starting out at the beginning they’re not where we are. For example, when you don’t have a car a basic car is just fine, you don’t need a Ferrari or a Lamborghini. You just need something that has four wheels that is going to get you where you need to go. So, start at the beginning and just know that it’s going to be great. The right people are going to be there and get it.

Have just enough to get them started.

With car analogy, if you don’t have anything at all if a student or client is coming in with nothing at all, you want to give them enough that they can make some improvements in their life or their business. But you don’t want to give them so much that they are overwhelmed. A coach, speaker, or an author doesn’t want to put too little in their offering, they always want to put too much. It’s a matter of really cutting back to what’s really just essential and leaving the rest out. That’s part of this good enough ideas. You know it’s good enough to get somebody started. Don’t overwhelm them trying to make it a Ferrari or Lamborghini. Most of us, if we got into and tried to drive those, we’d be lost because there are so many electronic gadgets. That’s the same thing for your clients, if you give them all the gadgets and all the buttons and all the cape ability they’re going to get lost. It’s important for people to ask themselves what do we need to deliver and really focus on what you’re trying to accomplish. That will help you know how much to put into it and realize that you don’t have to give them everything the first time out. That doesn’t mean that you are not delivering exactly what they need. If we give them too much you overwhelm them. When you go into overwhelm you do nothing and what you’ve just created becomes shelf help and not self-help. They really need to get the results that they’re looking for, that’s why they’re doing it. It’s a matter of when is it good enough and you need to figure out when that is for you. Recognize that you know things could always be better. It’s a matter of when you cut it off and start offering and start making money with it and start improving people’s lives with it as opposed to just trying to make it better.