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Perfection is the enemy. This episode is about how to get more stuff done faster by embracing imperfection.
The need to make everything perfect before you take action is crippling. Both Anthony and I have been victims of this mentality.
In this episode of HFB podcast, we want to share with you our own struggles with the need to be perfect and how we overcame it to start helping more people, doubling what we are able to accomplish, and getting more stuff done.
I personally think that the need for something to be 'perfect' before it being released is the best way to never do anything. It may be just an unconscious way to avoid the discomfort of putting yourself out there. It is a big mental barrier that, when trained, can be overcome.
Get after it!
This Episode's Challenge
Do something before YOU feel like it is 100% done and let the world see it.
Ryan: I’m Dr. Ryan Debell. Welcome back to the Health Fit Biz podcast. This is episode number six, episode 6. And what we’re talking about in this episode is the curse of trying to be perfect. Both Anthony and I suffer from this and I know many other people suffer from this. The need to or the feeling that you have to only do something if it’s perfect. And so, you wait and wait and wait and wait until something is perfect but it is never perfect. So, what we want to talk about in this episode is how to get over that need for perfection before taking action, how to do things imperfectly so that you can get more things done, help more people, and do more awesome stuff. Without further ado, let’s listen in to episode number six.
Anthony: Hello and welcome to the Health Fit Business podcast.
Ryan: Dr. Anthony.
Anthony: I’m your host, Dr. Anthony Gustin. Here is…
Ryan: I’m Ryan Debell. Anthony good to see you!
Anthony: Thanks for having me.
Ryan: I’m having you. This is our podcast.
Anthony: Too much coffee or not enough. I don’t know. Today we are going to be talking about perfection and why it is your enemy.
Ryan: Yeah. Being a… Now, I have a big issue with this, trying to be perfectionist.
Anthony: Oh yeah, me too.
Ryan: Being a perfectionist is actually, I think, detrimental because nothing will ever be perfect and if you’re a perfectionist, you become extremely afraid to actually do something because you feel that it has to be perfect before you do it.
Anthony: Not only being afraid but in my scenario, being such a perfectionist has led me to not doing things because it takes so damn long getting process on the ground.
Ryan: Yeah and what we really want people to do, you know those of you listening to the podcast. What do you think? Is it six or seven people listening now?
Ryan: Five? What we want people to do is take action whether or not something is perfect because imperfect action is better than perfect inaction and we both have struggled with this but I think we’ve broken through because we’re really improving our own ability to take action without something being perfect.
Anthony: You’re always in the notice if something is not perfect. If it’s not going exactly the way you would like it to go and so the difference between you taking a project or something you’re working on from 95% of perfection in your eyes is to 100% is never going to be noticed by somebody else. That’s just a loser’s game.
Ryan: Yes, it is a loser’s game. The challenge from going to 0% completed or 0% perfect to 95% perfect is probably about the same level of effort required to go from 95 to a hundred. So, going from 95 to a hundred, you can take a whole another project from 0 to 95 in that same amount of effort you can really do twice the amount of work. There is really very low return on your invested time going from 95 to a hundred because most people won’t notice. Only you would really notice.
Anthony: Doc, you want to give us some examples of times were you maybe have gone for perfection and it stalled you out and or times where you haven’t and you got projects on the ground where you wouldn’t have otherwise?
Ryan: As I mentioned, I think you have two. For example, thinking that I have to make videos or podcasts perfect before I can release them. Like “Oh I need all the best equipment. I need to have this perfect intro. I need to have the perfect outro for video before I can post it” when in reality, nobody gives shit if there is no video putout. Do you know what I mean? So, I would have to buy all this equipment and get all these stuffs so that I can have the perfect videos when in reality no one notices that there isn’t some like little 5% thing that’s not added. But you know what, if you don’t put it out in the first place you don’t even have a video. So, that would be an example of trying to wait until something is so perfect. Now, a time when I took action when I wasn’t ready, I wasn’t perfect was… Think about that Healthfit.biz website which is just under development and quite honestly, we could spend two months trying to build this website to make is as beautiful website but that doesn’t matter. What matters is starting to put out information for people even though the website isn’t this perfect website. It is still going to work and serve the purpose that we needed to serve without it being this pristine thing. So, rather than wait two months we can do all the stuff that is valuable without having to wait. Waiting until something is perfect is really sort of like a fool’s errand and because you could really be extremely productive without being perfect.
Anthony: Right. So, we went to the CrossFit game and we decided to do this little project as podcast. We recorded the first episode and I think it was two days later we, in what? An hour? Came up with the name, the logo, the website, just some color, some kind of plan of what we want to do, and because we’ve kind of gotten use to not being the perfectionist, is getting the ball rolling, that we have four, five, six episodes up now.
Anthony: Whereas, if we are ruminating “Oh my God! What shall we call this? Is the domain name available? Social media page going to be good enough?”
Ryan: “Oh! Are these colors going to be good or most effective colors?”
Anthony: “What logo should we have? Is the logo should be like this? We have an icon? What are people going to think this or that?”
Ryan: Right. Those things could be changed the fly as you progress. I know for example, you and I both used to be particular with our websites. And we want our website to be super complicated and fancy. In reality, it really doesn’t matter that much. What matters is that you put things that are valuable for people. That you create something worthwhile for either patient or a client or customer or just someone who is trying to learn something. No one cares if it looks perfect. What they care about is the thing that you are trying to portray or got across.
Anthony: Exactly and same thing for me, always being a perfectionist in the past when I was turning pureWOD. It went from concept to deliverable products way quicker than I could ever imagine. I remember when I told you I’m going to start this and like “Yeah. I’m going to ship next week.” Like what?
Ryan: I think, what this back? I think, you told me this when we used to play like a lot of Xbox, like Call of Duty. We would play, we actually have a lot of business talks over Xbox playing Call of Duty, which is kind of funny. Remember we talked about “Dude, you know we should do is record a podcast where like it’s us talking over Xbox live while we shoot people and make it into like a business podcast.” So, I guess this podcast actually took a long time in the making.
Anthony: The only thing that is missing is Xbox though. Maybe next episode, we will put out and see.
Ryan: Yes. We can play something in the computer here and do that but anyways. Yeah, you made that first batch of products so fast. You told me “Yeah, I’m going to make this thing” and suddenly you sent me sample. I was like “how did you make this already?” Wasn’t it a beautiful bag like it is now?
Anthony: No. The name obviously not great. I’m still is around but the logo I made in 45 seconds immediately. I put a website up. I put a landing page. I test the product.
Ryan: You got a stock of brown paper bags and a stamp and you started doing it and now, it’s been able to evolve into a beautiful bag. You’ve changed the formula, some of the product, the tastes based on feedback. But that feedback you never would have gotten if you have not have done the other stuff quickly.
Anthony: Exactly. Action equals feedback equals improvement.
Ryan: I think, an example for me would be my first workshop that I ever taught was… I look back.
Ryan: No, yeah! Right! The first workshop that I ever taught, I look back on it now and I think. Man! It has changed in a way that I never could have imagined that it would have change.
Anthony: If you try to model all the guys that you look up to and taking workshops from and thought “Oh my God. I should have those huge elaborate process and blah blah blah…” you never taking action for the first workshop.
Ryan: Yeah. I’ve never would have done the first workshop and what I’ve been able to do is to refine it each time. Now this process is actually extremely common like in the business world outside of health and fitness. Like think for example of, just think about the car industry. Are people waiting until like “Oh, we can’t make a car until it is like what today is Tesla is.” Or did people have cars that are like very inefficient. It didn’t have computer screen in it but each generation, each model year, they make improvements. They don’t wait until it’s perfect. They have to make improvements over time so that gradually it turns into something that’s amazing. But you don’t start at amazing. You start by taking action and then you can improve over time.
Anthony: So, when people are thinking about like some in this podcast, they are in the day to day. They are either health care provider or trainer or whatever and thinking “Oh yeah. I could provide value to a lot more people.” A lot of people that we’ve talked to, colleagues and friends of ours, this has been a biggest thing holding them back is thinking that it has to be perfect before they launch into new projects because more people are going to see it which is completely backwards. The quicker you can take action and provide value and see what people want or don’t want, the quicker you can make that better and keep improving.
Ryan: Yeah, exactly. Speaking of Call of Duty, if you think about videogames, like in the videogame industry. People are going to think “Wow. Ryan really!” I think I posted it on my Instagram stories, my Instagram snapchat, I don’t even know it. Is that what it is called? Instagram snaps? My InstaSnaps? I was playing along, I was working on photography stuff. So, I downloaded Frog Frenzy on my iMac from the appstore and I was fragging it up. Posted on there. People are thinking that I’m some weird gamer guy, but anyway, if you think about the video, the videogame industry is an interesting industry. If you think about it, they ship games before they are ready. Just why when someone gets a game they have do download a gigabyte of updates because they literally ship out the game and make the game on DVD, whatever it is on before it’s ready. Like “we know this is f’d up but by the time it finally gets to people houses, we will have a patch that they can then download.” This people are nailing out games, before they are ready. They sure hell know that if they waited until it’s perfect, they will never be able to publish.
Anthony: And you see the same thing in software.
Ryan: Yeah, exactly.
Anthony: Anything that’s super easy to do
Ryan: Windows 10 update just comes out destroys everything.
Anthony: Anything that is super easy to do, perfection is definitely the enemy because it leads to inaction and that is the worst thing that you could be doing, not taking action.
Ryan: Yeah. What’s the challenge that we have for this week?
Anthony: If you five guys out there listening, five guys or girls, have identified the ten or ten thousand type of value add. Whatever you’re going to start giving to people and helping them out with. What’s a way that you can start taking action but not doing it in a perfectionist mindset. So, our challenge, I guess bullet down to doing something before you feel like it’s 100% done and letting the world see that.
Ryan: Yeah and then, based on that make a version 2.0. Make a version 3.0. That’s why version number exists. If there is ever a thing that is perfect, there would be nothing with a version. Something that’s been on your mind, something that you’ve been thinking of doing. What are you really waiting for? You’re waiting for this perfection that’s never going to happen? Take the action. Sometime this week on something that you feel uncomfortable with because the more frequently you can do that, the better off you’re going to be and the more stuff you can really get done, and the faster you can reach ten thousand people that you’re helping.
Anthony: So, there’s a difference between that’s good enough, let’s get some feedback and I need to make this perfect. And so, the challenge is in the next week launch something, write a blog post, do a social media post…
Ryan: Make a video.
Anthony: Make a video, post on your InstaSnap, thinking that’s good enough. I don’t need to make this perfect.
Ryan: Exactly. So, that is the challenge. Let us know how it goes and until next time.
Anthony: Get after it.
Ryan: Thank you guys for tuning in to this episode of the Health Fit Business podcast. If you find it helpful, please share with someone that you think it would also help and leave us a five-star rating on iTunes, make sure also to go to healthfit.biz and sign up for the email notification to which you can find right on the homepage so that you get all the updated podcasts and blog post sent directly to you. Until then, we will see you next time.