Perfection is the Enemy of Done

 For many hardworking and motivated people, they find that their to do list continues to grow and they don’t get everything done that they wanted. By using the 80/20 rule to focus on the 20 percent that creates 80 of the value in any task and eliminating the worst 20 percent that creates 80 percent of your difficulties will free up time to work on other important tasks or to have more free time with close to equal output. Do you remember in school when you had to quickly write a paper the night before it was due? How was your grade on that paper? Almost as good as when you spent hours more writing a paper? This is because you used your constrained time to only focus on the essential and not the details that don’t add much to the final product. The difference between something that is good and perfect is huge in terms of the effort required. You can sell more if you focus on the 20% of clients that account for 80% of your sales, find more clients like them and fire the 20% of your clients that create 80% of your headaches. When starting a business like when we started TheFigCo, we focused on the essentials. What would create the most value? Should we spend weeks finding the perfect name? Hundreds or thousands of dollars finding the perfect graphic designer to make the perfect logo? When we made the logo for Ella Te Explica, we used Logojoy an online logo service that costs $60. We had that logo finished and ready to use in about an hour. Should I wait until I have the perfect equipment and have practiced speaking in front of a camera to launch my YouTube channel? NO! Dive into the deep end! Start before you’re ready, focus on what creates the most value, learn from the feedback you get and continually improve! You can use the 80/20 principle to focus your efforts always on the highest value tasks and work your ass off or you can work 20% of what you used to work and earn 80% of what you used to make, but have 80% of your time to spend enjoying life. If you haven’t read Tim Ferriss’ book The 4-Hour Work Week, please pick it up from Amazon, it could change your life. Also, this is similar to how Eric Ries talks about entrepreneurship in his book Lean Startup.

Jeff Thelen