Replace Great Intentions with Imperfect Action
We moved to the countryside last year and I love it. As I look out my home office window at rolling hills and fields, not to mention the historic Monasterboice Round Tower, two phrases keep popping into my mind when I think of 2014:
- Great intentions
- Imperfect Action
I have the best of intentions – but intentions are nothing without action. I committed to writing a newsletter every week last year. And you know that I didn’t! But things got busy with clients, so I was writing for them and not for me. Then the gap between writing and sending became too long that I didn’t send emails at all..bar the one or two in the last six months of the year.
So great intentions but no action.
I ran a marathon last year. I had no great intention of running a marathon, I just went running in the evenings and the weekends, bit like Forrest Gump! Imperfect action turned into a marathon.
I got to thinking, in this second week of February, especially when I heard that 95% of people who set resolutions on 1 Jan have broken them, what if you and I combined our great intentions and committed to imperfect action?
Last week, I spoke to a few entrepreneurs who are already stuck. They’re looking at their website and they’re planning on changing it. But they’re not going to until the designer has all the plug-ins and the committees or the team all agree to it.
Look – my website needs changing. But that’s not going to stop me from getting out there and helping people communicate a better message. Or stop me from talking to people informing them that their words are the most important part of the marketing.
So as we work our way through 2015, lets keep to the goals but commit to imperfect action. Lets not paralyse ourselves with waiting for something to happen or waiting for the perfect opportunity where all our ducks are in a line.
Lets just get out there and do things imperfectly.
I’m going to give a specific example. Take a client from last week. I’m working on the content with him. Last December, he told me that he didn’t want to publish his website because his blog is empty. He wanted to write about 10 blogs to show longevity and credibility. I applaud his desire to give away content and share his knowledge with his clients and prospects.
But I also know that it takes time to write 10 blogs – so a month after we met in December, I asked him how is with the blog content? He hasn’t had time – Christmas, getting back into after the holidays, you know what it’s like.
I told him about my commitment to imperfect action – it might be right first time but at least I can learn from it. So he’s pushing the publish button today on his new site…with a plan for a blog a week.
Over the years, I’ve seen (and experienced) business paralysis. The truth really is dreams are great but if you don’t work toward them, they’ll never be achieved.
They say ‘hope springs eternal’ and yes it does. Hope is a wonderful emotion. But instead of waiting for perfection, get out there and take imperfect action. It take a while to sit comfortably with it but once you do, you’ll learn so much and achieve so much.
What say you? I’d love to hear from you.