My friend, Keith, is pulling his hair out.
Keith works at a university, in a particular department, that wants to try social media. So they’ve created a committee to look at what they should do on social media. They’ve been working for about six months, and they haven’t decided a single thing.
They’re still wrestling with all the ‘what if’ questions. What if someone says something bad about us? What if we say something wrong? What if, what if, what if?
I loved Seth Godin’s statement in Linchpin (affiliate link), “Real Artists Ship.”
That means you don’t worry about perfect, you worry about done. You don’t worry about 100%, you ship at 80%, and then fix it.
I know people who are waiting on projects, and won’t launch them until everything is done just right. One friend waited nearly 9 months before he launched a blog, because everything had to be just right, and now he’s not doing very much with it.
Shipping doesn’t mean you can do something half-assed or incomplete, but it means you can be a little less than finished and get your product or service out in front of your customers. It means you can create your Twitter account and start tweeting before you fully understand how to use it.
Real artists ship because they understand that all the work they put into their latest offering is going to change as soon as they ship, because their customers are going to have something to say back. Changes are going to happen, things are going to be fixed or dropped, and the last 10% you spent 3 months working on was completely ignored by everyone.
For Keith and his committee, they just need ship. Do something, and see what happens. Start a Twitter account, and then decide what to do if someone says something bad about you. Start the account, and then fix the thing that goes wrong. Start it, measure it, and then fix it.
But for the love of God, ship it. Remember, real artists ship. The timid, the perfectionists, and the procrastinators are still fixing, tweaking, and perfecting. But shippers win, the timid, well, don’t.
My book, Branding Yourself: How to Use Social Media to Invent or Reinvent Yourself (affiliate link), is available on Amazon.com, as well as at Barnes & Noble and Borders bookstores. I wrote it with my good friend, Kyle Lacy.
Photo credit: jekemp (Flickr)