How to Grow Your Business: Avoiding Perfection Paralysis
Part 2 of 2
In part one of this series, we talked about stepping out of your comfort zone in an effort to grow your business. In this second part of the series, we’ll cover how you can grow your business by actually releasing content and products before they’re “officially” ready.
You ready? Me too. Let’s dive in!
Your content and products do not need to be perfect
For all of you who are currently rolling on the floor either laughing or having an aneurysm because of that last statement: calm down. I did not say that you should release crappy products or content. I just said it doesn’t need to be perfect.
Seriously though, what good does it do to be a perfectionist? If you are constantly holding back your product because it is not completely perfect in your opinion, how are you able to grow your business? You have to actually have a product released in order to profit, and you need profit to grow your business.
It seems like a common problem for freelancers and young entrepreneurs (like myself) to constantly second guess themselves. Using myself as an example, I always get self-conscious about my blog posts. I never really feel all that good about my content, and I feel like I need to do better. But if I spend all of my time worrying about whether or not my posts are perfect I miss out on actually releasing content and getting feedback – thereby improving my product.
You grow your business by refining your product
Many major corporations make a habit of essentially releasing functional prototypes for sale. They release a ‘rough draft’ of sorts and then wait for feedback so that they know where they can improve. This can be a valuable lesson to freelancers and bloggers alike.
The most valuable method of refining your product or sharpening your skills in some area is to simply use what skills you have and then analyze the results. By publishing your content or putting your services out there – even if you aren’t totally satisfied with them – you will be able to better understand how you can modify your product to better suit your customer’s needs.
As you continually refine your process, you begin to get a clearer picture of where your strengths and weaknesses are. You will be able to better determine what your top priority should be for improving the next iteration.
Fire, aim, ready! – just do something already
It is very easy to fall into the trap of perfection paralysis. You get so caught up in making your product perfect that you fail to reap the benefits of producing that product. You miss out on finding out how to refine your skills and grow your business by improving the products and services that you offer.
The biggest help I’ve found in refining my writing skills and growing my own business has been to just do SOMETHING. We all have to start somewhere. If you never put yourself out there and produce some kind of product, you will never be able to receive feedback and finally make something you can really be proud of.
The next time you are second-guessing yourself on releasing something, walk through the following list:
- Does this product accomplish its core goal?
- Does this product provide some value to users/readers?
- (For a blog) Would this post pass a 9th grade English exam?
If you can check off all 3 of these items (remember to be objective) then you can probably go ahead and release your product or post. If you are this concerned about the quality of your product, chances are it’s good enough already.
Once you’ve released it, look for some feedback. Ask people what they thought in the comments. Look at your analytics and see which posts perform the best. Once you have some data to work with, raise your standards just a little bit and start over.
Using this method will help you to continue making progress, grow your business and avoid perfection paralysis. Remember that you will never have the perfect product or post. It simply is not possible. Just do the best you can, and then look for ways to improve.
Have you ever experienced perfection paralysis? How did you beat it? Let me know in the comments!