Are you committed to getting value into the hands of your customers or satisfying your need to get it just right?

How do you know when it’s time to stop improving your product or service (or even your content) and just send it out into the world?
Many of us tend to want to spend a lot of time getting something just right.  If it’s a product, we may want to make sure all the features that create the essential value are there.  Or we may just have a feeling that it’s not quite good enough to charge for.  Or not as good as we had wanted.  Or even not as good as we think we know we could do.

Here’s a perfect example of this is in action in my own life:

Today is the day after my target date to get this challenge note out to you.  And this week I’m late – I missed the target.  That in and of itself isn’t a big deal, although I realize it has an impact on me and maybe on you and your expectation of this showing up for you on time.
Here’s how this happened: I had particular document to complete before doing this email – they were related.  I missed my target because I wanted that document to be perfect.  I wasn’t willing to go with good enough, and I wasn’t willing to delegate.  AND I can completely rationalize all of my decisions and actions that contributed to spending lots of extra time in pursuit of perfection.

The Impact of My Misplaced Focus 

In fact, my need to continue to refine my work to get it ‘just right’ impacted all kinds of other work I had to do, plus my state of mind around it all.
The bottom line is that my focus was on getting something just right rather than delivering the value to my audience.  That’s the big deal.  While there is a balance of doing something well and having that contribute to the value, when your focus isn’t on getting the value into the hands of your audience, you are likely to spend more time trying to ‘get it right’.

Your Challenge:

  • Ask yourself: Does this happen to you?  If so, where, when, what are your triggers and needs for perfection?
  • Take some time to think about what the essential value is of whatever you’re creating.  What is the absolute core value you intend to deliver – what pain are you trying to solve for your customer or audience?
  • Focus on just the single core pain point or essential value you are committed to delivering on for your next offering – whether that’s a product, a feature, a service, or a document – how does that change your plan of action?
  • Consider that the longer it takes you to deliver the value that will solve someone’s problem or improve their life, the longer you’re making them wait for that.  What are you implicitly trading off in that equation?  Is it really worth it?

I’ve learned my lesson.  I’m applying it not only to documents and tools I create for my clients and audiences, but also the products I’m working on with my startup team.  My mantra for the week: I facilitate the delivery of value.  What’s yours?  Let me know!

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