Do It First, Perfect It Later

I used to be hung up about doing things perfectly. Whatever I set out to achieve, I had to have it completely and utterly perfect before I could reveal it to the outside world.

What this meant in reality was that more goals than I care to remember were never achieved. I was rarely satisfied with what I produced, so I rarely completed things. Looking back I shudder to think of the missed opportunities and failed projects, but all that is behind me now. I choose to take a different view and if you suffer from the same issue, you might like to try these three ideas:

  1. Let yourself go Whatever it is you are doing, you need to lighten up on the self criticism. Whether you are starting a business, writing a book or building a website, my advice is simply get it to the stage where it can begin to take its place in the world and put it out there. OK, it might be scary, but like Frankenstein's monster, in order to fulfill its destiny, your creature needs to be given life and not spend all its time in the laboratory
  2. Let it free. By putting your project out in the world, you achieve two things. Firstly, you frighten yourself to death because you are finally facing your fears of failure, but you are not backing down and secondly, you are exposing your project to the gaze and opinions of others. The first is a necessary evil. The second is what will turn your rough prototype into a finely oiled machine. Until others offer feedback you only have your own incredibly biased and highly emotionally involved view to go on and whatever you think of your baby, you're most likely very wrong. Other people see things without the emotional attachment that you carry and they will give you incredibly valuable input.
  3. Now work for perfection. Only now, with the holes showing, the mistakes obvious and the feedback flowing in, can you create the kind of perfection that encompasses all viewpoints, not just your own.

Try this out-on-a-limb strategy next time you are bogged down in the search for perfection and I guarantee that you will find the world's definition of perfection is completely different to yours and that you are much closer to the finished article than you thought.

  • About

    headshot: David Beroff in St. ThomasDavid Beroff started writing software at the age of 11, and was teaching Computer Science at Rutgers University by the time he was 18. After designing software for two decades, he started his own Internet marketing firm in '95; one of his company's earliest successes was, a free feedback-form service that was later sold to Wondermill.

    Beroff had bought and sold four million voluntary, opt-in email leads generated with properties like LeadFactory and SuperTAF before the business failed in '07. He is the author of the book, Turn Funny Email into CASH!, and is currently developing a new social media site,

    He has two grown children, and now lives outside of Scranton with his girlfriend and five cats.

  • Contact

    If you have any questions or concerns about our website and/or our advertising, please feel free to email me directly: David (at) Beroff (dot) com.