A while back I blogged about the 4 P’s of Marketing. Today I ran across the 3 P’s: Perfectionism, Procrastination, and Paralysis after I Googled “procrastinating perfectionist”. An unusual combination of words that I read on my Android phone today.
You see, I loaded the Amazon Kindle reader on my smart phone to give it a go. I always thought that there was something special about the printed page, the feel of the paper between my fingers and so on. I thought the phone LCD screen was too small to read effectively but the Kindle app re-formats the text to fit the screen either portrait or landscape. Just tap or swipe the screen to “flip the page”. Hold and drag to highlight. I love technology that just works.
I just started reading Jon Acuff’s latest book, “Quitter: Closing the gap between your day job and your dream job”. It’s the first eBook I’ve purchased and for $9.99 and instant access, no shipping charges I thought what the heck. I thought I would not be a big eBook person but I think this technology will work for me. I can read books on my PC at home, the office, my laptop and my smart phone. Now I have to get that tablet!
Back to Acuff’s book. I’m 1/3 (26% really) the way through on the first day. It’s very engaging and I highly recommend it. The chapter I was reading today lead to a real “Aha Moment” for me. The light bulb went off when I read about Jon’s struggle with trying to get things perfect and giving up midway through because of feeling overwhelmed and discouraged. He described how as a kid, his mom asked him to clean his room. Instead of just tidying up, he spent two hours on two square foot area. Rather than just of putting a couple of books back on a shelf, he cleared the shelves of all the books, thoroughly dusted each shelf, and then tried to put the books back in alphabetical order.
I have an invention that I started almost two years ago. I’ve been trying to get it perfect for two years. Seth Godin writes a lot about shipping . http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2010/06/fear-of-shipping.html Do the best job you can in the time allotted, not a perfect job but work you can be proud of. Ship it and have the opportunity to ship something else again.
Jon says “90% perfect and shared with the world always changes more lives than 100% perfect and stuck in your head.”
I am stuck in the 3 P’s. I’m trying to make the perfect prototype, the perfect provisional patent application, the perfect pitch video. I get discouraged and procrastinate by working on other projects. Good projects, but not the priority project I should be working on. Fear settles in and then I get paralyzed and don’t do anything because I’m afraid to fail.
WOW! Knowing this is liberating and also a challenge, a call to action. Whatever ideas you have or are working on right now you need to get it out of your head or off your laptop and get it out there. Sure you may fail but you just might succeed too!
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