Would you rather the laundry be washed but not yet folded, or still piled up in the dirty hamper?
Would you rather have a 10-minute phone call with your best friend because you’re both busy? Or keep waiting for that hour-long phone call that never happens?
Would you rather have a card from your kids that has your name misspelled? Or no card at all?
Would you rather meet a goal, or never meet the goal because you were waiting until it was “perfect”?
Hopefully these examples show you that in many situations, particularly in business, getting something, even if it has room for improvement, is better than waiting until it is perfectly polished. Because it may never be perfect. When we start using new apps and computer software, we know they may be buggy. We use it anyway and happily install the updates when they tell us they’ve fixed a glitch. There’s no reason to choose whether you would rather be perfect or ready.
What matters is that you are working, and your work is evolving. It is fine to set a goal and meet it, with the realization that you have a chance to go back later and improve it. In fact, you probably should go back and improve it. If it’s perfect already, that doesn’t give you any chance to make it better.
Don’t let the goal of perfection be a roadblock to putting your work out there. The beauty of the world today is that you can update whatever it is . . . your website, your product packaging, your email, your hairstyle.
It’s better to try and fail and learn and find moderate success and improve than to have no success at all. As Seth Godin says, “Polish with your peers, your true fans, the market. Because when we polish together, we make better work.”