So says the Prince in Hamlet Act 3, scene 4,” as he prepares to turn the tides of the King’s nefarious plot. A classy way of saying you’re about to have your own words thrown in your face, your own plotting used against you.
What the heck does that have to do with launching a new website, you ask?
Just this: I’m about to launch a website, and I’m excited in a way that’s indistinguishable from terror. It’s not really all the way done, and today’s punch list is too long to get it there. It’s not perfect. It’s not really ready, according to my impossible standards. Hell, I am not ready.
And I’m going to do it anyway, and it’s about damn time.
Thank you ma’am, may I have another?
I’ve said for years that the saying “anything worth doing is worth doing well” is misleading. We use it to mean that we should pour our very best effort into anything. Ok, I’m with you so far. But usually we use it as an excuse to beat ourselves up, to stop ourselves from trying something new because it’s not yet good enough.
All week things have been showing up in my Facebook, Twitter, email, and blog feeds saying just the opposite. There’s Erika’s post, Hard Truths, Day 33: You’re Fucked Up, telling me I am a “beautiful mess.” And then there’s Aliza’s 5 Idiotic Ideas That Will Make You Fail in Business – see number 2, “I’ll launch when I’m ready,” and her 7 Stupid Attachments That Keep You Stuck in Business – see number 1, websites and the stupidity of holding out for perfection.
When I read 7 Stupid Attachments I commented that Aliza should get out of my head.
Damn I hate when I read stuff that makes me realize all the dumbass things I think that hold me back. But you know what I say?
“Thank you ma’am, may I have another?”
It doesn’t have to be the Taj Mahal
Years ago I had a boss who confronted me with a truth for which I am forever grateful. She wasn’t my favorite boss, a massive understatement if ever there was one. But she taught me something really important one day, when she said to me as I gave her a project document later than I’d promised, for about the 3rd (or maybe the 30th) time: “You know, I can always count on you to build me the Taj Mahal. Whenever I ask you for something, it’s always nearly perfect.”
At that point I’m feeling pretty good about myself. Clearly a mistake.
“It’s just that sometimes all I need is a lean-to in the back yard.”
And there it is. Sometimes a lean-to in the backyard is enough. Sometimes “done” is better than “perfect,” sometimes “good enough” is all it takes. Even the Taj Mahal started out as a freaking hole in the ground.
So hell or high water, the website goes live tomorrow. It’s better than a lean-to, but it’s not the Taj Mahal.
And here’s the lesson for all of us, on the day before we are about to leap into something new: Just, for the love of all that’s holy, do it. Because the truth is that if it’s really worth doing, it’s worth doing. Period.
Dr. Les Kertay, Awakened Moments