Why Done Is Better Than Perfect

Listen to the full podcast

Get this episode on iTunes
Download this episode

Stream this episode

Partial Transcript

[The following is a partial transcript of this episode of The Scott Alan Turner Show. Listen to the full episode to hear this story, listener questions, money hacks, and inspiring stories of people that are changing their financial lives. Subscribe to the free podcast on iTunes or Google Play]

Ever been in a hotel lobby or at an event where there is a piano with nobody playing it, and you walk by and press on of the keys? Every kid has done this.

Anytime I walk by a piano or my kids walk by one, I press a key. I think that’s just built into us as people, we want to be able to play music, and hitting any one key on the piano sounds good even if you can’t play piano.

The same isn’t true for the guitar or the saxophone. They take more skill.

One of my guitar teachers once said:

Don’t spend two months trying to master a whole note.

What he meant was, it doesn’t take long to get really good at playing one note. Do that, and move on.

The one piano key you hit, that’s about all it takes to get get good at pressing that one key, no matter your age. It’s hitting all the other keys in a specific order with two hands and ten fingers where the challenge comes in.

But you’ll never get there or be able to play anything if you spend two months, trying to perfect pressing

  • one key
  • with one finger
  • over and over
  • four hours a day
  • weeks at a time

Make it good, make it great, then move on.

Perfection is like chasing the wind, you’ll never catch it.

Think about this:

  • Have you been spending too much time planning the work, instead of just starting the work?
  • Do you have employees or customers that consume the majority of your time and energy, when you should consider letting them go
  • Are you waiting to be happy and enjoy every day and moment, until you’ve hit some big financial goal
  • Are you going to work on being better parent or better spouse after the big promotion or big raise happens, or the big project ends
  • Or did you miss out on just enjoying the outdoors, because of the 15 things on your checklist that were mission critical and the world was going to end if you didn’t do them.

Everyone has said to themselves at one time – if I just could make this much money, all of my problems would go away.

What that really means is, I’ll fix my problems later when I have more time or more money. My perfect life can wait. I’m not going to enjoy the good things going on around me right now.

And you have good things in your life, right? Can you hear me now? You can hear, that’s a good thing.

Isn’t it true that every year, no matter how much Vitamin C you take, how many times you wash your hands, if you got a flu shot or not, you still get sick?

And isn’t it true that at one point you were making more than when you were at age 24, or 18, and you’re still struggling now to just get by.

Or maybe now you’re making a lot more, and now you’ve got a lawn service, a laundry service, food delivery, a house cleaner, but you have less time and more stress.

Being perfectly happy isn’t going to happen with more money any more than you’ll have perfect health next winter if you wash your hands 50 times a day and drink Sunkist orange soda at every meal. By the way – I don’t think Sunkist has any real orange juice or Vitamin C in it, so don’t try that.

Years ago when I was going through a low point in life. My girlfriend of five years who was my only friend at the time, she dumped me. I had focused so much on work that I didn’t have any friends, except for a few co-workers.

Out of pure loneliness I looked up online for a social groups and I decided to show up one day at an event not knowing a single person.

Trust me, if I can do it, you can do it.

  • I met my wife there
  • I met my friend Pete, who would become the best man in my wedding there
  • Ania, my friend from Poland I’ve talked about before on the show, who showed up in this country with nothing, I met her there.

If I had waited to perfect the art of meeting people or perfect the art of conversation, I would not be here with you today. I would have never met those people. Never met my future wife. Never have moved to Texas. Never started my show.

Water Cooler Conversation

Ask someone what is one thing you’re really good at? The follow up question is what did it take to get there?

You’ll find that person started from nothing, and got better and better. They didn’t start at perfection.

Action Item

Oh yeah, you’re going to get a kick in the pants for this one. What’s that one thing you need to wrap up but your too afraid because your not quite ready. You will never be 100% ready, so why wait?

  • ship it
  • send it
  • schedule it
  • order it
  • follow it
  • do it

Then go do that. You listened to the show a few weeks ago about how to make an extra $50,000 by negotiating for a raise. Are you still waiting to negotiate for a raise?

  • Are you waiting for the perfect moment to ask?
  • The perfect words to say?
  • When the boss is in a perfect mood?

Are you waiting to be friendly and meet people because you are socially awkward like I was?

  • Until you develop the perfect social skills?
  • When you have 500 questions for small talk memorized for every situation and every type of personality on every subject someone might be interested in?
  • Until you have an impressive life so you feel good about your background?

Are you waiting to approach him or her because you think they are wicked hot, but it’s not a good time.

Today’s Action Item

Go out there today and do something that’s just good enough, and you’ll stop the worrying about is it good enough, and start feeling a sense of accomplishment that you did it.

Quotes