We are living in the Age of the Amateur Invasion. With the gazillions of online marketing methods available today and the popularity of “reality” TV, anyone at any level can make a name for themselves. You don’t have to be an expert, a professional, or a guru. You can claim your status and portray yourself to be anything. And what you’ll notice is that those who take themselves to market the fastest claim the lion’s share of the profits. It doesn’t mean they are the best, it does mean they are the fastest and often the least perfect. Today, getting there first or at least close to it counts.
Perfection is procrastination personified. Making excuses about why you aren’t farther along the path of success is all about procrastinating because you are stalling for perfection. I’m not suggesting you eliminate valuable market research. You need to know who your market is, what three (not 103) niches you serve and where to find them. You need to do your keyword research or hire someone to do it for you. This isn’t about winging it. That is a waste of time. This isn’t about throwing randomness into the marketplace to see what sticks. This is about executing your plan with all its imperfections and taking action instead of stalling out over imperfection.
What are you waiting for? Perfection is killing your profitability. I hear business people waiting for perfection constantly.
Some of my favorite lines are:
I can’t do video, I’m not photogenic enough.
This isn’t a beauty contest. Surely you remember Susan Boyle from American Idol? It isn’t her looks that got her a multi-million dollar contract, it is her voice and her courage to step up and stop waiting for when she might be perfect (never).
I don’t have a website, I don’t need one in my business.
Every business (except perhaps loan sharking or being a spy) needs a website today. Whether you sell wholesale or retail, business to business or business to consumer, to the trade or directly to the customer, you need a website. Yes, you can have just a page and not a full site, but you have to be found and a website legitimizes you and makes you findable.
I can’t blog, I don’t write well enough.
This has nothing to do with your ability to write. You can record and have your recordings transcribed and corrected. You can use transcription software like Dragon. This is about getting your thought leadership and your excellence into the marketplace to enhance your credibility and validate your expertise.
I don’t use social networks, my business is all word of mouth.
What do you think social networking is? It is WORLD OF MOUTH, as in word-of-mouth on steroids. No, you don’t have to be on every network, only those where your clients and customers are hanging out. And if they aren’t hanging out in a network, then I’m betting the have a private network or group they’ve set up to exchange ideas, contacts, and opportunities.
I can’t Facebook, I’m not interesting enough.
Being human and yourself is as interesting as it gets. Let down your guard, jump in, the conversation is fine.
Get over yourself and your quest for perfection or you will drive your business truly and really into the ground. Go for “As Good As It Gets” more than just the name of a great movie, instead a critical business success philosophy. In fact, I’m betting that you perfect is someone else’s unreachable. Strive for done to the best of your ability instead of some lofty unattainable and unnecessary goal of perfection.
We are each works in progress, life is a work in progress, and business is a work in progress. The progress in any of these is stopped cold when perfection kicks in. You will stop your growth, stall your life out, and kill your business. Let go and step into NOW and realize that you are way ahead of the amateurs who are invading but you’ll fall behind when you indulge in perfection. The amateurs don’t care about perfection, they care about speed to market. Don’t you?
Please tell me your stories of perfection and how it has held you back, or dish me how you dove into imperfect and trumped the marketplace!