Done is better than perfect

As a recovering perfectionist, this is a hard concept for me to truly embrace. I would rather painstakingly imagine every possible outcome and dream up potentialities (often negative in outcome) than execute something less than perfect with my name on it.

Even the very act of writing this piece took an immense amount of discipline and self-pep-talking to just finish it. And then another heave of discipline to actually post.

I am constantly reminding myself that the only difference between the people who are doing the things about which I say “I’ve always wanted to do that!” and myself is the fact that they are actually doing them. It’s a pretty simple concept.

Close to a year ago, a coworker sent me an article about a 24 year-old girl in Arizona who had started an event planning company that had quickly become quite successful. My first reaction was probably similar to many other readers: wow, she’s so lucky to be so young and experiencing this level of success.

The less-than-challenging nature of my current job at the time left an empty afternoon for me to dwell on the story. The more I thought about, the more I realized I could totally do what she had done.

I’m normally not an advocate for comparing ourselves to others (the only one you’re competing against is yourself!) but as part of my processing the exciting nature of this woman’s success, I realized she is younger than me and as such, by the laws of time has to be less experienced than me. I don’t know her, obviously, but figured I am about as personable, qualified, and capable.

She had laid out a basic outline of what led to her success and I thought, I can do that! The only difference between the two of us (we even work in the same industry) is that she was just doing it.

Simple as that. And with that realization, my entire life shifted. It was only a few months later I quit my job and landed on my current path of solopreneurship.

But enough about me. What I’m trying to say is, quit complaining about how jealous you are about the amazing things the people you watch are doing. Stop sitting on the sidelines! Whether it’s a dream trip you’ve always wanted to take, the courage and vulnerability to tell someone you love them, or the hutzpah to quit your job and chase your entrepreneurial dreams, the Chinese proverb puts it best: the journey of 1000 miles begins with one step. Or, a more modern interpretation: just do it.

Nike that shit!

Seriously, just freaking do it. And if you can’t do it all, do part of it. Write it down, break it up, and figure out an action item you can make happen in the next 12–24 hours.

The steps are out there. It’s highly likely many people have already done something similar and have recorded how to make it happen. But it’s up to you to take the steps for yourself… No one can do it for you.

Success isn’t about perfection, it’s about action.

What are you waiting for?