Don’t Wait for Perfect…..

Dan Miller —  March 7, 2012 — 16 Comments

One of the beauties of today’s workplace is that we can just get in the game and then refine our business as we go.  The unfinished and imperfect business, book, website, house, job, garden, or fashion design is a starting point.  Releasing a trial version can be an act of transparency – and an invitation to customers and friends to help complete and improve it.

When Joanne and I purchased our current house we had made a list of all the things that would come with a perfect home.  What we found had about 90% of what we were looking for.  In the 11 years we’ve been here we’ve had the pleasure of changing and adding things we didn’t even have on the original list – and we love what it is becoming.  One thing we wanted that was missing was a nearby stream or lake.  Over 10 years we dreamed and planned for how we could add a water feature – so we were able to create exactly what we wanted – not just accept what was already here.

“Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” — Mark Victor Hansen
Think about Wikipedia, TripAdvisor, Yelp and many other online services.  They are changed and improved every day by the people who use the services.  They require the interaction of their customers to make it anything of value.

We launched having very little knowledge of how social networking sites were going to work.  But we asked the members and have allowed them to suggest improvements.  Opening the Chat feature, requiring an application to become a member, tolerating opposing views, developing a 48Days app, having video tutorials, and having an Advisory Team all came from member suggestions. Once the fear of imperfection is removed, experimentation, innovation and improvements can flourish.

If you’re working on something important you should recognize that it’s never finished – it can always be improved.  And that’s a good thing.  Don’t wait until it’s perfect to jump in the game.



  • Dave Anderson

    I love the comment:  “Once the fear of imperfection is removed, experimentation, innovation and improvements can flourish.”

    I am much simpler but say something similar:  “Done is better than perfect.”  

    Both these applied to the launch of my website last week.

  • Loren Pinilis

    It’s also worth noting that you often don’t know from the outset exactly what “perfect” is. I’ve heard of people who built their own dream homes but later wished they would have done this or that differently. Adapting on the go allows you to adapt to information as it comes in, instead of thinking that you have to know everything before you start.

  • kimanzi constable

    I’m proud to be a member of, there has been so much help and encouragement that it truly has helped my writing. I believe Jon Acuff once said that we can make something 100% perfect but no one see’s it or it can be 90% perfect and the whole world see’s it.

    • 48DaysDan

      Thanks for your comments here.  Yep – less than perfect can still get things moving.

  • robclinton

    Right on, Dan. It’s never finished. The goals we aim for should be the things that make us move forward, not sit and wonder what it would be like to see it come to life. I know a painter who envisions her work before she paints, but then let’s it go; she gives it to God. In the end, the painting is much more beautiful than she had first imagined.

  • Adam Rico

    Great post Dan. When we look at software or apps on an iPad, they are never really “done”. There are constant updates and upgrades. The product continues to get better and better. It helps me to look at my work as version 1.0 and to know there may be version 5.0 at some point. 

    • 48DaysDan

      Adam – that’s a great perspective.  It’s not “imperfect” it’s just version 1.0 – cool.

  • Cayce Phalen

    This is the way I look at my blog.  I figure the more I write the better I will get the better the blog gets.  I play around with the design and features.  It will always be my work in progress as long as it exists. 

  • Michael Good

    Thanks for this reminder, Dan!

    I’ve been thinking a lot about this and how you’ve done this in your own life. I’m now working fulltime in my own business because of you and thoroughly enjoying it!

    Does it look like my ideal business today? No, far from it. However, I’m getting started and figuring things out as I go. Things like, “What do I really enjoy? How can I provide more value? How can I leverage my unique skills and abilities to get started today?” 

    Thanks for challenging me to a new level of success!

    • 48DaysDan

      Michael – thanks for your comments.  Yep – the key is to get in the game at any level and then improve as you go.  If we waited for all the lights to be green, we’d never leave the house.

  • Skmeece


    I enjoyed this article!  Thank you for the challenge!!  So often, because of our perfectionism, we all want to wait for the “right” timing. (I know I do!)  However, I loved this reminder that we can always build upon our solid foundation.  I appreciate your nudge towards greater expectations and even greater success!  


  • Younjin

    Thanks for the article.  I don’t know how I started to subscribe your newsletter, but whenever I read this, Gosh.. it just speaks to me directly into my heart.   Thanks for your writings.  Thanks God for your gift to me.  

    • 48DaysDan

      Thanks for your kind comments!

  • Kent Julian

    Love it, Dan! As we heard over and over, 20% of success is the idea…80% is simply getting moving! 

    By the way, here’s a little video that really illustrates this point as well:

    • 48DaysDan

      Kent – ha that’s an awesome video and certainly nails home the point!

      • Kent Julian

        Absolutely! Stop sharpening; start writing :)

        GREAT to be with you and the gang this week at WTTB. It’s such a joy to serve alongside of you.