From planning to imperfect action

Chris Esh

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It always takes courage to do something new and different. It’s risky and vulnerable. That’s why most organizations stay within a safe zone of predictable, repeated action.

No matter how many times you’ve consciously stepped out of your bubble, each new time brings a new rush of terror.

I see this with almost every client when we’re just about to launch a website. We’ve worked together for months to reinvent their online presence, a process that is usually loaded with inspiration and fearlessness. We’ve brainstormed, processed, refined, and eventually created something we’re really excited about.

We make the final rounds of revisions and do our best to perfect every little detail, then I ask for the go-ahead to launch the site.

And more often then not, people freeze up. They don’t respond to my email right away, or they start doubting all of the decisions they’ve made and want to change things all over again.

I experienced this intensely when I was preparing to launch my business, and experience it anew every time a re-launch my own website or try something new in my business. Suddenly the inadequate system I worked so hard to replace seems tolerable because at least it’s safe. I’m afraid to stick my neck out there to the merciless mob of internet users.

I’m not avoiding it, I tell myself, I just want to make sure it’s perfect.

Take Imperfect Action

The best advice I got was from Troy Dean, a WordPress business coach who changed the way I do business: It’s not about planning out the perfect course and then embarking on it. It’s about diving in, taking imperfect action, reflecting, then doing it again until you find what works.

Plan, but don’t overthink. God knows how many brilliant businesses will never exist because they live in somebody’s brain who is afraid to take imperfect action. Or how many game-changers shriveled up and died on somebody’s list of goals for next year. Or how many thousands of badly needed donations never came because the edgy email appeal never got sent. Or how many clients you’ve lost because you stayed with a terribly old website that makes your business look out of touch, instead of trying something new.

How to launch a website without freaking out

When a client is having pre-launch anxiety, I remind them this: you can re-write all of the content and replace all the images tomorrow. Or next week. Or next month. A website should be a dynamic tool that’s updated frequently to reflect your organization in real time.

Perfection is an elusive unicorn. Instead of perfect, pursue good enough with a commitment to continuous improvement and growth.

As a business owner, there are probably a dozen things you’ve been wanting to do but haven’t had adequate time to plan them out. Break them into actionable chunks and take on the first one today.


Photo by Arnold Exconde on Unsplash.


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