Cast the Imperfect Net

I like things to be perfect. It's a problem I have.

The perfect presentation, the perfect answer, the perfect workshop, the perfect blog post. Really anything I put out for people - like you - to see. 

Left to my own devices, I would pour vast amounts of energy into the final 1%. You know what I mean, when 99% just isn't enough. This isn't a 2017 realization. God has put people in my life for the last several years to help me see it. And I've worked on it. I think I've even made progress. 

But the rubber meets the road again, here, as I start blogging. Blogging wisdom is to do it  regularly. In fact, I've learned that consistent blogging is helpful at a "brain level" to stay engaged with readers, colleagues and clients. You have to keep at it. It's like a news deadline. 

Enter "the problem." I want each of these blogs to be perfect. At the very least, I want none to be boring - I've seen boring blogs! In my perfect world, I'd have 52 perfect blogs already written for 2017, lined up like ducks in a row. And when each one posts, I'd have 50 responses on how meaningful it was and another 50 that challenge me to think more deeply on the topic.

"Until we cast the net, we had no idea what might come back. And it's been great!"

Thankfully, I have people in my life that talk me off the ledge - or push me towards it, in the best sense possible. Roy and Judy Bethge recently gave me the book Fail Fast, Fail Often: How Losing Can Help You Win. As the title suggests, the authors advocate leaving behind visions of perfection in order to embrace early and repeated trial and error. Those experiments bring experience, feedback and new opportunities that are essential to future success. I recently got to try something new with Judy and Roy. To quickly put out a good - not perfect - product. The responses, feedback and stimulation-of-thought have been terrific, some of it completely unexpected. Until we cast the net, we had no idea what might come back. And it's been great! 

Then this morning, I spoke with my friend Brandon Cates, who I find downright inspiring. Brandon observed that, of a popular blogger he reads, less than half the posts are earth- shattering. But there's something healthy about the rhythm of publishing and reading. Like it takes those daily reps at the gym or on the trail to get to the personal record. 

Brandon is no casual observer. For the better part of a year he's been publishing a Friday journal for his team. He says the first ones weren't the best, but the process has been incredibly healthy and helpful to the team. The journal has been a gift. It's inspired, encouraged, and started conversations. Brandon's own thinking has been challenged for the better. 

"Let's act before perfection"

So what does this all have to do with YOU? My money is on "A LOT" -  no matter where you stand in your organization. Maybe you have crudely formed thoughts about your vision for your business. Maybe you've noticed a potential improvement to workflow or process.  Maybe you've been inspired by a video or an article. Maybe it's heavier, and you feel like you should confront a client, colleague or your boss about an issue. Or maybe you just have a question that you've been embarrassed to ask. 

But you've sat on it. Perhaps waiting for the perfect time or for no time at all. There may be a cloud of reasons - some of them legitimate - not to do it. Today, let's take the risk. Let's act before perfection. Until we do, we have no idea what good may come.

Ask the question. Give the feedback. Share the unformed thought. 

Cast the net.