As an author, speaker or thought leader you obviously take great pride in what you do and you’re probably quite good at it. You’re proud of your work and you want to make sure that your brand is represented in the way that it deserves to be treated. Your work is an extension of you and your thinking so it’s only natural that you may be a bit particular when it comes to things like the look and feel of your work. And that is a very logical way to think about it. It makes sense on an emotional level and typically on a financial level. I wouldn’t expect to see typos or grainy selfies on the site of a world renowned speaker or globally recognized thought leader. Ever!
That being said I’ve seen far too many folks develop a certain level of OCD when it comes to their web site, their solutions, their communications, and their head shots. The list of specific places it manifests itself is almost endless.
I see it as an incredibly inefficient use of valuable resources. Time, money and energy are invested in things and there is a point where the ROI goes from incredibly positive, to marginal to zero to a negative. Not good. We all can appreciate something that is done well, whether it’s from a design perspective, a marketing and communications perspective, a visual perspective and so on. However, resources and opportunity costs must be taken into account when making decisions as they have a direct impact to your business and your bottom line.
Authors obsess over book covers and head shots; speakers spend endless cycles editing and finding the “perfect” clip that encapsulates their work. Thought leaders revise and revise and revise articles and blog posts. Perfectionism has a cost and I’d suggest that if you find yourself falling into some of these traps that you look at the things you do through the lens of ROI. We all admire perfection; but at what cost? Financial, emotional and opportunity costs must be taken into account on every project you embark on. It takes discipline and it can be difficult to release something into the world that you wanted to tweak once again but I’d suggest that you start by doing so with some lower risk projects or deliverables. No one is going to die (I promise) and you’ll probably be a bit relieved that you were able to move onto the next thing in a timely manner.
Keep your standards high. Create amazing, impactful and beautiful content. Get it out into the universe so that it can be enjoyed and change behaviors and thinking and drive results. However do so in a way that insures that you aren’t killing your ROI because of a slight case of OCD.
Have you ever tried to calculate the ROI of OCD?