General excellent person and queen of leaning Sheryl Sandberg knows a thing or two about operating. In case you weren’t aware (what have you been doing with your life?), she’s Chief Operating Officer over at a small new startup you may have heard of called ‘Facebook’.
I think it’s safe to say that she knows what she’s talking about when it comes to productivity. Luckily for us, she also loves to share her wisdom. One of her most famous quotes explains her overarching ethos in five simple words, that when trying to achieve your goals,
“Done is better than perfect.”
However, when applying this to my own goals (like starting this blog for example) I had to disagree. I Initially scoffed at the thought, the perfectionist in me throwing her hands to her imaginary cheeks in abject horror. What does Sheryl know? Surely nothing can be better than perfect? It’s perfect for crying out loud! If everyone thought that way we would have no nice things, floating out the rest of our days in the lukewarm paddling pool of mediocrity.
But then I took a long, hard look at my life and my recent progress in achieving said goals.
I had wanted to start writing, but in order to promote myself I had to have some work out there, or at least a few examples.
So I needed a blog, but it had to look professional to be taken seriously, so I needed some design experience to create amazing images.
So I also needed a camera, but I didn’t have the money, so I needed to start saving, so I should stay in my current job until I had the funds.
And I needed experience around web development to learn to code, but the only people I knew that could teach me were at work. Again, I figured, I should wait it out until I could take in some more knowledge.
And then I would need to promote it, so I should build up a good social following before starting out. What better way to do that than by networking and connecting with my existing peers?
All roads (read: excuses) led me to sticking around and waiting it out, because I didn’t want to move forwards unless everything was perfect and I was a total master of blogging. And then I remembered Sheryl.
So I set up a blog, having no idea how to lay it out or what to put in it. I learned on the fly about widgets and HTML and SEO. I did what needed to be done in order to get something done.
I kept setting new imperfect goals for myself; using my own imperfect photography in a blog post, posting every single day with (sometimes embarrassingly) imperfect writing, testing new apps to create my own imperfect designs. Slowly but surely, I had created an actual blog, with actual things in it that actual people actually read. And the biggest surprise of all was that my overwhelming feeling upon realizing this was one of pride in everything I had achieved, rather than worried about how ‘perfect’ everything was.
So Sheryl, I apologize for doubting you. Turns out, you’re still the queen of getting shit done. Who knew?