How long have you been working on that new project?
Why haven’t you gotten it off the ground? What are you waiting for?
If you’re like many of us, you’re still trying to get it just right. I know I’ve said myself, “I want to get this right the first time around!”
But let me tell you, that is exactly why we have trouble getting those great new projects up and running. It’a all about what one of my mentors, Sean D’Souza, calls The 70% Principal.
So what is the 70% Principle?
It’s simply that if a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing 70% right. You can come back and do the 20% later.
If you’re building a new website, get it 70% right and come back and do the other 20% as you have time.
If you’re creating a new design and don’t have all the products you need, get it 70% as you want it and then add the 20% later.
Even when making a recipe that I found in a magazine, I usually don’t have 100% of the ingredients without making a trip to the grocery store. If you have 70% of the ingredients, make it and substitute for the rest.
I’m not telling you to create a less than good product or a less than perfect website or even a less than what you dreamed of kind of business.
What I am saying is that in our desire for perfection, we frequently never get past the starting line. The website is never built, the new product is never created, and the business is never begun. What I’m saying is get whatever is your best effort out there today and then work on improving it.
Let me explain what I mean. Way back when I first started my website for Creative Gifts To Go, it was a free site on homestead. I didn’t know much about websites but knew that I needed one. I created the best website I could at the time but it wasn’t perfect by any means. As I have learned more about website design, search engine optimization, and marketing, that website has evolved through the years. Today, it is the best I can do today. But it’s still not perfect. And it will continue to evolve as I learn more.
Another example, a number of years ago, members of my GiftBasketNetwork.com asked me to develop a site where they could communicate with each other. I didn’t know much about membership sites at the time but paid someone to create a site on the Joomla platform which I operated for several years. It wasn’t perfect but it was the best I could do at the time and it worked.
The Evolution Continued
Then, unexpectedly the print magazine for our industry, Rave Reviews, ceased to exist and left a great void. I had been a staff writer for the magazine from its very first issue and was asked by members of GiftBasketNetwork to create something to replace it. Research determined that creating a quality print magazine costs lots of money and wasn’t practical with today’s economy where vendors are spending less on advertising. So, I applied the 70% Principal and opted to go the digital route. The result is what you have today — a large information-packed magazine that readers can print out and use as they need to.
Is it perfect? Far from it. Most of us prefer to have a magazine that we can hold in our hands but aren’t willing to pay what it would cost to produce one that has the quality we desire. Will our magazine continue to evolve? Of course. That’s what the 70% Principal is all about. Will it become a print magazine eventually? Not until there is enough monetary support from subscriptions and advertising to allow us to make it a quality magazine that we can be proud of.
Instead of waiting until we had it 100% right, we created the best magazine for our industry that we could at the time and launched it. And we’re still working on, and will continue to work on the other 20%.
One Last Story
The magazine resulted in a desire for more from our readers. I had GiftBasketNetwork and the community that went with it on the Joomla foundation. It was 70% of what I wanted but it needed to evolve. By working with it through the years, I had discovered that the Joomla platform didn’t give me what I needed to create the other 20%.
So rather than working on something that would never be 100%, we went back to the drawing board and created a new community on the ning platform. This was an improvement over the original one but it was still 70% and had problems that we could see in the future. The result is that we launched the best community platform we could at that time and it worked. The activity and participation is great. But there is still that other 20% and still the desire for perfection.
So we’re still evolving. You’ll see announcements in the coming months about where we are headed in our desire for the other 20%.
So, do you see what I am saying?
Any project that is worth undertaking is worth doing 70% right. You can always evolve and fix the 20% later. So if you’ve been planning that next project but have delayed getting it off the ground until you have everything you need to achieve the perfection you desire, don’t wait. Just do it! The other 20% can come as you grow and evolve.