Success, It’s Not a Mystery

runners

There are some things in business you simply cannot get wrong.

And, depending upon the type of business you have, there may be more things for you than other types of businesses. (I’m not trying to generalize all businesses.)

What I am trying to do, is point out one key difference between success and the lack of it in business.

But first a little story,

A few days ago I published my first Kindle book on Amazon. The book had been sitting on my hard drive for three years. I had originally sold copies of it at my website but eventually I removed it thinking I would rework some of it.

Never happened, it just sat there forgotten. Then, about a month ago I decided to take on a new writing project… my first Kindle book. As I began organizing, outlining and writing the first few chapters, I remembered the dusty old book sitting on my hard drive. I figured I had a bit of work involved in the new book so, in between writing time, why not just edit and get the old book up. I did.

I admit, as I re-read it I felt like it could use some work in the writing department. My feeling was that the information was solid, but that my writing had simply improved over the last three years.

I had a decision to make at that point, I could re-write the entire thing or I could fix the worst stuff and get it shipped.

I chose the latter.

Here’s why…

An extra apostrophe isn’t going to change the underlying message of the book. It won’t bring down a government, it won’t be remembered in my eulogy, it won’t change my service rates.

After I’d been through the content six different times, while itching to do one more editing pass, I stopped. I flipped the switch in my brain that said, “but wait what will people think if you miss something,” and I stopped. I haven’t opened the file again.

I passed it on to my Kindle conversion genius and called it “done”.

I will likely never write a typo-free anything. My writing brain is far to right-sided to see all the technical involved. If you think for one second that you could actually present a perfectly written anything… I urge you to send it to a copy editor. It will not only freak you out, but you’ll gain a vast amount of respect for the work they do… and they miss things too. (I’m talking to you Random House.)

My point in this is that you can work something to death making it perfect, but is that what your clients really want?

I suspect that when the fire starts, my clients don’t want me mulling over what they should do for a few weeks, they need answers now – there’s no time for perfect.

You become successful by shipping stuff not by holding onto it.

So you might get “the grammar meanie” to point out your mistake. You might feel embarrassed. You’ll likely feel a little bad. You’ll live… I did. It is at that very moment, that you need ask… what have they shipped recently?

Success depends upon forward motion. If you get stalled, get help, seriously. You can’t see and know it all. Find someone who’s been there and ask them what they think, what they would do… get un-stalled.

Successful businesses ship. There’s not much more to it. This is the part you need to not get wrong.

Stop looking for perfection, take whatever hit you might get in stride, and keep making progress.

It’s just like the runner who comes in last says, “I’m faster than the guy sitting on his sofa watching TV.”

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