This time I thought I would address part of the issue of setting and accomplishing goals. This subject is far to complex to cover in a single post. I plan to address the issue of putting off excellent even amazing work because you are chasing after or waiting for perfection.
Since I know different people prefer to get their information in different forms; you again have the choice of watching the video, listening to the audio, or reading the text. And the video and audio are available through embedded players or direct links. And for those of you who use Itunes or Stitcher, there are links to my podcast for both services. Reviews and ratings are welcome.
Watch The Video
Direct Video Link
Listen To The Audio
Direct Audio Link
Why Don’t More People Accomplish Their Goals?
Like I said the whole subject of setting and accomplishing goals is a big one. There are many reasons why more people don’t reach the finish line.
We could talk about the importance of setting reasonable, attainable, measurable goals. We could discuss having an accountability partner to keep you motivated and on schedule. Some people share their goals on social media so they know they have a large group of people watching over their shoulder. There is also visualization, prayer, and meditation. There is the old stand by of the carrot and the stick. And these are all valid ideas that I plan to come back to in the future.
But for today I want to talk about perfection and how chasing perfection may be keeping a lot of people from moving forward in their lives.
First, let me say that there is nothing wrong with chasing after or seeking perfection. However, if you are one of those people who is paralyzed because you can’t post a blog post, share a video, or even leave a comment until it is absolutely perfect; then you run into the problem. I have known many people who put off sharing work that was excellent, amazing, even miraculous for their lives and situations; but they kept it to themselves or continue to keep it to themselves because it isn’t quite perfect yet.
So, to help you overcome this problem I will share some of my own life experiences in hopes of motivating you to accept your short comings or perceived shortcomings and get on with it.
Now, many of you know that I come from a carnival background. My family never had more than about seven or eight rides. So, perfection wasn’t something we were very familiar with.
Our goal was to provide a safe clean family carnival atmosphere. This meant making opening without getting anyone hurt or damaging any of the equipment. As we used to say we weren’t going for style points.
Very rarely did we ever come close to perfection. If we were at a location for two or more weeks, then we might approach it by the end of the second week. We never had a major accident, and we kept bookings even when larger more prestigious shows would try to book them away from us.
I operated a couple kids games, but I also pitched in and helped set up rides. We used to have a medium sized roller coaster. It was about 45 feet deep by about 100 feet across the front by about 14 feet at its highest point. I helped them assemble the track. I would hold one side, my brother and another helper would hold the other; and I would follow them to the spot where the piece of track went. I held it while the bolts and pins were put in place. It was a dirty greasy sweaty job. But I loved it.
We had been providing rides for a family reunion and Juneteenth celebration in Burton Texas for years. They rented the rides, and we would set up the games and food on a free basis. That meant whatever we made we got to keep it. However, the games never did make much money there.
So, one year we booked the games into another fair about 40 miles up the road. But i still had to help set up the coaster. After spending all day in the hot sun helping them get the ride ready, my dad drove me over to the next lot. We had a trailer parked there, but there was no time to take a bath or shower.
So, I went into the bathroom and started cleaning myself up. I used go jo a grease cleaning product. I was so pressed for time I cleaned the grease off of my face and neck. Then cleaned from the end of my shirt sleeve down to my hands and from the hem of my short pants to the tops of my socks.
But I was ready to take their money when it was time to open. And that Thursday night turned out to be the only day worth being there for. If I had missed working it i would have lost money that week. I don’t think anyone even noticed. And yes after we closed that night I was happy to cool off and get a real shower. Don’t remember in which order.
Recording My First Video
I have always believed that doing videos would be helpful for my amusement equipment sales site. Some might even say I’ve been obsessed with doing videos. Well, its because one of my first relatively quick sales was a mall carousel in Georgia that I sold primarily because we had a good video of it in operation.
I remember that sale fondly because I was able to sell a ride that a much larger brokerage company wasn’t able to. And the seller paid me promptly which is always good. So, I really wanted to record my own videos.
I requested a video camera for Christmas and received a nice one. But I soon realized that I couldn’t record videos with it without help. And I found it difficult to schedule time with my brother. I also felt self conscious around him.
So, I experimented with recording videos using the built in camera on my laptop. My friend Robin Hallett helped out by connecting with me via skype and showing me how to set my laptop so my face would generally be in focus.
But I couldn’t get the audio level quite right. It sounded good in my head, but I couldn’t make it record loud enough. So, for the next Christmas I asked for a headset microphone hoping this would solve my problem and allow me to record videos that people could see and hear any time I wanted to.
I hooked the headset up, and it worked like a charm. It only took a little practice to figure out how to set the audio levels. I had done a test recording and was ready to do my first video.
That was when I realized I needed an intro. I did a bit of googling and tried a couple of suggestions. But none of them worked for me and time was running out.
You see, I had given myself a deadline of New Year’s Eve to record and upload my first video. I didn’t want to put off meeting my goal because of not knowing how to create an intro.
I decided to try singing a little at the beginning of my videos. The first one was a Christmas message, and I sang a bit of Nat King Cole’s Christmas Carol. It worked out just fine. And thankfully I managed to just beat the ball dropping with my first post to youtube.
People seemed to like my singing, so I kept it up. In fact I think a lot of people like my singing more than my messages. For that reason I have now started recording full length versions of the song I use just in case people want to hear more of it.
I managed to turn out some very good videos because i decided to share work that was excellent instead of waiting until it could be perfect. I still want to find a way to record the music with instrumentals. And I’m thinking of settling on two or three songs. But I don’t let that stop me. You shouldn’t either.
A Time When I Didn’t Take My Own Advice
It concerns my book Leading You Out of the Darkness Into the Light, A blind Man’s Inspirational Guide to Success. It was finally available on Amazon on January 6th of this year, but it could have been there so much sooner.
I started writing the book in response to a challenge from Eve Koivula. She had invited me to take part in an online summit and told me I needed an online product to sell or give away as part of the appearance. This was in August. I didn’t know if I could create an e product much less do it by the time of the summit in early September. But she reminded me of the Richard Branson line about promise to do it and then figure out how.
I started working on the book. About half way through the writing she contacted me again to say that the other presenters decided to make it an all female event. I was disappointed, but didn’t let it stop me from working on the book.
I got to a point where I didn’t think I had much more to add to the book. I should have sent it off to my editor Lorraine Reguly much sooner. But I fell into the same trap many of you have.
I checked my word count and thought this isn’t big enough. I wondered if when downloaded would people be disappointed with its length. I thought what makes you think you can give others advice. I even wondered if people would make fun of me or the book. Worse yet, I thought what if no one cares at all.
I was showing it to friends and asking for their opinions. Finally, one of my new friends from California said if I didn’t send it to my editor she would. She said Max why haven’t you already pressed send. She was so persuasive that I finally listened.
Now, I must say that Lorraine did a lot to turn the book into something special. Her editing, formatting, and rearranging turned it into something I am really proud of.
The bottom line is the book was finished in late September or early October. If I had sent it right off for polishing, it could have been available for sale by thanksgiving or Christmas at the latest. All I did by delaying was postpone the opportunity to help others by sharing my book sooner.
Back To Following My Core Belief
Many of you have heard me say that I do my best to live my life every day by the following core belief. I strive to do whatever I can as well as I can today and then do more or do it better tomorrow. And after the book was edited I returned to this approach with selling the book.
It was explained to me that for each site you submit a book to you have to follow their own unique editing and formatting guide lines. This meant that while the book was edited and available in a pdf document it didn’t mean it was ready for Amazon, Barns & Noble, or Create Space. It would take longer before that would happen.
I had done some research about selling products online and had an answer for this. I decided to upload the book to Selz and offer the pdf version for purchase and download while we were working on getting the book submitted to Amazon. It was my first book, so either way I would have to do most of the work promoting it.
I thought this was a good way to get the book out there. It wasn’t the way I wanted to do it, and it wasn’t how everybody else would do it; but it kept me from having to wait to start selling the book. I even made a few sales that way.
I still have the link to my Selz page on the website. And when I started offering autographed copies of the book I went back to them because it seemed the easiest way to offer that option. And I fully intend to use their site again with future projects. Its mainly because using the site fits in with who I am and how I live my life.
It lets me get the job done. Its not perfect. My Selz page isn’t real pretty or fancy, but its functional. Also, its a site I can use with a screen reader without needing any help. And that’s always big in my world.
A Decision About The Ebook
Before I continue I want to make an announcement concerning the electronic version of my book, the website, and my email list. I have a couple new projects coming up including a second book and an online course to show people how they too can use podcast, radio, and tv interviews to reach a wider audience, share their story, and promote their brand.
I feel that to do a better job of promoting these than I did with my first book I need to grow my email list. To do this I have decided to offer the electronic version of the book for free to anyone who signs up to my mailing list. The regular print and autographed versions will still be for sale. And anyone receiving a free copy is always welcome to show their appreciation by making a donation.
Creating The Online Audio Course
A few weeks ago my friend Michael Babcock asked me to share some pointers on how I get booked for all the podcasts and radio shows I’ve been on. He wasn’t the first to ask. I did what I usually do when a friend asks for help. I sent him a detailed email.
He wrote back thanking me for the suggestions. A day or so later he told me that he had found an online course offering to teach everything I had just shared with him for free. He said the course was four hours of audio and sold for $160. And he said Max there is no reason you couldn’t offer an even better course than he does.
It took a while for this to sink in, but I finally wrote him back and asked for the link to the course. I read the description and decided yes I could do it just as well if not better. Me and Michael talked more and I finally said yes I’m going to try to do it.
I’ve never done anything like this before, but trying new things is something I am pretty good at. So, I sent him a proposed outline for the course. He approved it and asked me how long I thought it would take. I told him I thought I could have them done in about two weeks.
He said great that would be July 19th. I said well okay I want you to be my accountability partner. I will send you the audios as I record them, and You will let me know how I’m doing so I can improve as I go along. Your feedback will also keep me from getting stuck wondering if a particular segment is good enough or not.
It took literally hundreds of takes. I am not good at editing, so making a mistake meant starting over. But I did manage to meet my goal. I have uploaded the audios to drop box and have shared the links with several people who are currently reviewing my work.
This goal was much harder than I anticipated. This was partly because of the heat here in Houston and the fact that one of our air conditioning units isn’t working properly. This resulted in my only feeling like working late at night or very early in the morning.
It was also harder than I expected because of starting physical therapy on my ailing right shoulder. This meant having to take about six hours a week out of my schedule. I figure that this is about right when you combine travel to and from, time getting ready, the therapy itself, and having to do some additional exercises at home.
I will admit to having set a goal that was too adventuresome. I met it, but by Sunday night I was wore out. I felt like I did after tear down night at the end of a fair or festival. It took a couple of days before I started to feel stronger again. And I honestly I believe I now know what it means when an athlete says they left it all out on the field or all out on the court.
One of the people who has reviewed the audio says the material is good but the audio skips some. She has offered her services to edit the files and make the course better. I have decided to take her up on her offer, but I’m still not sure if this will keep me from releasing the course by August 3rd as currently planned.
I could decide to go ahead and offer it as is and then upload the edited files later. I have already concluded the audios by promising people that if I revise, improve, or add to the series that they will get the updated or new material for free. I could decide to put off the launch for another week or so. I am considering this mainly because it would also give me another week to promote the course. Would love to hear your thoughts.
And there is still time for you to beta test the product. I am also seeking people who want to sell the product on their sites on an affiliate basis. I am also seeking bloggers and podcasters who would like to write a review, share on social media, or otherwise promote the course. And I wouldn’t expect anyone to do this without trying it out first.
I hope that by sharing my experiences that I have helped you to understand that putting off something wonderful because you are waiting on perfection is something none of us can afford.
You deprive yourself of personal growth, professional satisfaction, and the feeling of pride in a job well done.
By not sharing with the world you may be keeping someone else from shining in their own lives.
So, whatever it is you are doing be it a book, a video, a movie, a comic book, a t-shirt, an album, etc; stop waiting for it to be perfect. Embrace the beauty and value of your work. Accept that you have done it as well as you can at this moment and send it out into the world.
Because you know in your heart there is no such thing as perfect. There will never be a perfect time to take that first step to change your life. And no matter how hard you try nothing we humans does ever approaches perfection.
Answer In The Comments
I want to challenge you to share something that you have been holding back on because you don’t feel it is good enough yet. Or tell me about something you had previously struggled with and finally took action. That feeling of am I ever good enough or is my work ever going to be good enough is something that doesn’t go away. If you would prefer to share privately, you can always send me an email.
Sharing Is Caring
This is one of those problems that we all struggle with. No matter how successful someone may become there will always be times when they wonder could I do better. Since we all battle with this at one time or another, its a post we can all hear again and again. I hope you will help me share this with your friends, family, coworkers, and social media networks. Maybe there is someone in your life who you don’t usually think of but who you know can use a gentle push to get them beyond this feeling of inadiquacy and take action to share their gift with the rest of us.
I appreciate your taking the time to watch, listen, or read. I know you are busy, and I appreciate the gift of your time. I am always striving to insure that I deliver quality posts to show my thanks for your continued loyalty.
If I can do anything to help, I will. I hope you know I am here to listen whether it be to help you celebrate a victory or encourage to overcome a setback. I’m here for you my friends.
Until next time thank you for being you, God bless you, and take care out there; Max