I’ve had this column on my mind for a few weeks now, but haven’t figured out how to get it “just right.” I laugh at myself as I write that, because the entire point of this column is that you don’t have to get it perfect to get it DONE.
I’m reading a book right now entitled Finish by Jon Acuff. The subtitle of the book is “punch fear in the face, escape average, and do work that matters.” That’s an invitation I can buy into! Let’s get something done that matters! Truth is, I’ve started far too many projects with lofty goals, only to see them fizzle as reality sets in and day-to-day life gets in the way.
Wouldn’t it be nice to just FINISH something?
Without stealing thunder from the book, I have to say that the suggestions from the book are quite a shift from the norm. Rather than setting lofty goals and action plans, the author suggests to “cut your goal in half.” Rather than finding a way to juggle everything, he suggests we “choose what to bomb.” This goes against the grain of most motivational books, but as the suggestions sink in, we begin to see that they might just work. Perhaps finishing something “OK” is more important than not finishing something grandiose.
As business leaders, whether we’re running a small tech shop like I am or a large manufacturing business, there’s value in this perspective. It really is good enough to just be “good enough.” Sure, we want to exceed client expectations. Yes, we’d love to exceed our profit goals. But if we set a goal, and then we hit that goal, why do we find it so hard to be content with that achievement?
My articles tend to focus on technology, and while this one strays from that somewhat, I do want to share some thoughts on how we can adopt this perspective when it comes to tech.
Is a small yet “decent” website that’s done better than a hundred-page website that’s only half-baked?
Is a home-grown mix of tools that uses free or inexpensive tech that gets the job done better than hiring a consultant and building a custom system from scratch, only to run out of money half-way through the endeavor?
In both cases, and many more I’m sure you can imagine, the answer’s simple… of course “good enough and done” is better than “perfect yet unfinished.” Yet how many times do we strive for perfection, only to leave something uncompleted or to wind up dissatisfied with mediocre achievement?
As we prepare to enter a new year, we’re told that it’s time to set high and lofty goals. Perhaps, though, now is the time to sit back, enjoy a moment of achievement, and create a target we can hit for 2018. Whether it’s with updating our websites or preparing our budget, let’s find new levels of contentment and satisfaction with FINISHING, because good enough truly is just that… good enough.
By Chet Cromer – for publication in the Hendricks County Business Leader