Have you ever had a great idea, like one that just woke you up in the middle of the night and was so exciting and so compelling you couldn't go back to sleep? Maybe it was an idea for marketing your business. Maybe it was a concept for a video or blog post, or even a book.
When I started my weekly newsletter, The Ketchup (subscribe here, please and thank you), it was one of those middle-of-the-night inspirations.
My brand colors include Ketchup Red.
My favorite football team is the Georgia Bulldogs, whose color is also Ketchup Red and whose unofficial motto, when we're behind at halftime, is "Our color is ketchup (catch up)."
I wanted to create a newsletter where agents and brokers could "catch up" on the week's real estate news.
That was the mental progression and, thus, The Ketchup was born.
I was so excited about the idea, that I sat up all night designing the first newsletter. Over the months since, I've tweaked it, sought advice, changed some things, added others. The point is, I didn't wait for it to be perfect. I got that first newsletter out there, and did the tweaks on the back-end.
My hope is that it will continue to grow and develop. I always tell people I want to be the Morning Brew of real estate, and that's still my hope.
I say all of this to say, it would have been so easy for me to roll over and go back to sleep, then try to recreate that nighttime inspiration later that day or later that week. I could have sought out a ton of advice, thought about things, and, probably, never would have ended up doing a newsletter at all.
You may have heard the saying, "The perfect is the enemy of the good." It means that if we're waiting for perfection, we often end up not doing something that would have been good, serviceable, workable, buildable.
Think about how many bright ideas you've had that just went nowhere while you were trying to figure out how to make them perfect. Maybe it was an idea for lead gen. Maybe it was a social media push or a content marketing plan.
I recently read an article on Future Social called "Just post the bad social content." It's geared toward marketers, but I think the point applies for entrepreneurs and business owners as well.
The article included this piece of great advice:
One (or even a few) bad posts don’t hurt you
Most brands post on social media every day, across three different platforms. It’s incredibly likely your brand posts 100+ times a month.
You wanna know what’s gonna happen when you post [...] bad content?
It won’t get results. It won’t generate engagement. But it also won’t trigger unpleasantness or unfollows with your audience. It’ll just get scrolled right past, forgotten among the sea of social.
So why get upset about something that doesn’t matter?
I'd say the same applies to many aspects of marketing your business. Unless you're posting something controversial — stay away from religion and politics at all costs — if you make a mistake or if you post something that's not fully baked, it will probably just lay there. And that's okay.
I am a firm believer that you learn by doing. Make the video. Do the interview. Start writing. You're never going to get better and develop mastery by playing it safe.
I'm not a fan of Facebook or Mark Zuckerberg, but I love the Facebook motto: Move fast and break things. It's the way you'll eventually find where your talents lie.
What you can learn from YouTubers about progress over perfection
I watch YouTube more than any other streaming service or broadcast programming. I love that I can put on a YouTube channel and let it run all day while I'm working or play all night when I can't sleep.
I love the variety you'll find on YouTube. I subscribe to channels about true crime, makeup, pop culture, ghost hunting, fashion, interior design, building off-grid houses by hand, restoring antiques, and, of course, real estate.
Over the years, I've started following several YouTubers when they were first beginning to grow their channels, and continued watching them as they attained mega-influencer status. It's compelling to watch someone go from regular person posting on YouTube about their interests to a mini-celebrity with millions of followers and significant brand deals.
Often, you'll find that they had an interest and wanted to share it and they — just did it. They refined over time, yes. Got a better backdrop, moved into a nicer house, got more and better equipment and maybe an assistant, but they learned as they went. You can go back and see those earliest videos and track their development.
I'm not an expert on Middle East real estate portals
My first client ever was from Kuwait. He wanted a presentation on real estate platforms with a script and a PowerPoint. He was trying to build the "Zillow of Kuwait," and he needed help with his pitch to investors.
He found me on Upwork and hired me for not a lot of money (I was just starting out). He loved my script, hated my PowerPoint, paid my fee and moved on. I learned from the experience, I moved on to my next client, and over time I developed my skills as a content creator for pay.
What if, when he first reached out, I had told that client, "I don't know enough about Kuwait to do this" or "I don't know enough about real estate portals." What if I had kept waiting for that client I felt really ready for? I probably wouldn't have a business at all.
Stop waiting until you feel ready. Stop waiting to see what everybody else thinks. Stop waiting to feel like you are good enough, smart enough, perfect enough to do things.
Start doing things you're afraid of. Start doing things that teach you something. Start doing things that challenge you. Then keep doing them and get better over time.
You may never be perfect. In fact, I'll guarantee you won't. But I guarantee you'll get better and along the way you'll figure out what works for you.
Now go out there, move fast, and break things.