August 18, 2022

Good enough is often better than you think


What’s the last thing you did that was more work than you expected, and you ended up getting practically nothing out of it?

Try not to punch a hole in the ceiling when you think about it.

Inefficiency and waste can be frustrating as hell. These mistakes can make you feel foolish, regretful and shy about taking risk in the future.

All the more reason to filter your executional priorities through three key factors:

Energy, cost and market need.

Say you’re dreading doing a particular marketing activity that’s going to be expensive, time consuming and unlikely to move the needle for your company. But one person on your team insists on doing it every quarter.

That should be an immediate hard no. The juice isn’t worth the squeeze. Not enough energy, too costly and nobody asking for it.

Compare that with a project you’re really enthusiastic about doing. Something that will cost no additional dollars, only require a few hours of your time, and the customers have been begging for it all year.

Talk about a no brainer. Go knock that out right away.

This is what happens when you use energy as your organizing principle. You optimize for speed and efficiency, rather than just quality.

Now, that doesn’t mean you ship shoddy work. Creating value always matters. There has to be at least some standard of excellence to uphold.

But one of the lessons you learn after a few decades in business is:

Good enough is often better than you think.

Any entrepreneur will vouch for this, as many of their tasks and projects are executed in isolation, where they don’t have the luxury of being slow and expensive like a larger company might. Optimizing for speed and efficiency is their bread and butter, especially in the early days when the enterprise is still small lean.

I’ve noticed this trend in my own business more and more. You hire yourself to do the work, using energy, cost and market need as your filter, and the results are fantastic. And often times the high speed, low expense and deep satisfaction of executing yourself vastly outweighs whatever nominal dip in quality you’d experience by outsourcing the task.

Lesson learned, just hire yourself. Focus on a smart effort to impact ratio.

And remember that a good enough outcome today will always be better than a perfect outcome never.

What if you optimized for speed and not quality?