Have you got eleven seconds to learn a simple principle? A principle that will radically change the way you do things?
You do, don't you?
Ok, tick, tick, tick….here's the principle.
It's called..um…the 70% Principle
So what's the 70% Principle?
If a job is worth doing, it's worth doing 70% right.
You can always come back to do the 20% later.
Yes, read it again, and no, the math isn't wrong.
If you're going to build a website, a 70% effort is fine.
If you're going to do a presentation a 70% effort is fine.
If you're going to bake a cake, for that matter…do you need all the ingredients?
The perfect cake? With all the perfecto ingredients? Or the cake with ‘70%' of the ingredients?
The ‘perfect' wording on a website? Or the ‘70% perfect' wording on the website?
And nope this isn't a case for mediocrity
No one is telling you to do crappy stuff. No one's saying that you need to keep your project unfinished. But in the quest for perfection, most of us never start.
The 70% principle is about getting your best effort out and into the hands of your clients. That you don't need to start off with a 100%-kaboom-wow-start.
So let's tell you about our ‘who pushed me?' start in 2002
We started Psychotactics,in the year 2002, with a 16 page booklet. We called it the ‘Brain Audit.' And indeedy-doo, it started with just 16 pages. Those 16 pages, we cheekily sold for $20 or thereabouts.
And you know what?
We weren't trying to keep the pages down to 16 pages, but we certainly weren't trying to pad up the contents of the book either.
The 16 pages of information were all we knew at the time. And yes, we could have made it 100% perfect, but decided to put our 70% effort out anyyay.
Did I say, put it out? I meant, I got ‘pushed'
You see, I wasn't keen to sell the Brain Audit. I wanted to get the e-book just right. But I was forced into putting it on the market.
I was forced to putting it on a sales page, by another marketer who promised to promote the book to his audience.
And he never did promote the book
I reminded him. Gently. Then became a bit of a nag. But that promotion never, ever happened. What did happen was that the ‘Brain Audit' began to sell.
And as it turned out, I was able to add the next 20%,
and the next 20%, and the next 20%.
And yes, the math still adds up
Because all along, that ‘so-called incomplete' product was selling. And when you think about it, which product or service of yours is ever complete?
As your knowledge grows; as your customers ask more questions; as you apply the concepts in different ways, your product or service gets better all the time.
And today, the Brain Audit is a comprehensive document that not only helps you understand how the customer thinks, but is also the basis for being a member of 5000bc; for doing any of our courses like the copywriting course, product-creation course.
What started out as a ‘who pushed me?' product, now helps us get thousands of customers. And helps us grow our business considerably from year to year.
Kinda like the iPod, you see
When the iPod came out at first, it was just 10GB (yeah, pathetic ten gigs).
Then it went up to 30GB. And hey, we got video too. Then whoopsy-doo, it was 60GB. And uppity up it keeps going, both in size, features and ease of use.
Where's the market for the perfect iPod?
There's no market for the perfect product or service. The product or service that your customers want, is the product or service you have now.
That 70%-perfect product/service, will do fine for your customer.
How can I be so sure?
Could this article have been at least 30% better?
Couldn't I have found more examples? More case-studies? Put in more details, perhaps? Tweaked my words just so to make it richer, more vibrant?
Sure I could. But you've got the point, right?
If a job is worth doing, it's worth doing 70% right. You can always fix the 20% later.
Next Step: “There are marketing books and there are marketing books – I bet there are not many you have read many times over?
The Brain Audit really teaches you the art of persuasion because it gives an insight into how people's brains work. I have used the principles in writing WebPages, writing articles, making presentations, networking, negotiating and even writing submissions for a judge!
But the best bit about the Brain Audit is that it actually works.The principles are easy to understand.
Would I recommend it to people serious about getting on in business? Absolutely.”
Michael Smyth, approachablelawyer, Auckland
Judge for yourself The Brain Audit: Why Customers Buy And Why They Don't
“I actually didn't join 5000bc a year earlier than I did assuming it would be a lot more expensive than it is. Silly me.”
I found it was far better than I ever imagined, over the years I have been a participant of many different memberships and forums and none of them come close to what 5000bc offers.
I would recommend 5000bc to any entrepreneur or small business owner as a great source of knowledge and information from like minded people who have often already achieved what you may be struggling to do and can help save you loads of time and ultimately expense in getting to where you need to be.
Duncan MacIntyre, officechairadvice, Derbys UK
5000bc now has a Waiting List. The waiting list joining time is approx. 30-45 days. So if you are serious about getting your business to the next level, get on the waiting list now.
Judge for yourself https://www.psychotactics.com/5000bc
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I think the 20% that will fix this article will be the comments 😉
Grateful Al says
All I could think of was the great, mighty, powerful, all-knowing MicroSoft.
Man, to get a new release of anything from them working at 70% would be a real blessing!
Thanks for taking away one of the crutches of a self-confessed, non-producing perfectionist!
Paul Simister says
Excellent points well made.
I have a huge problem with the desire to try to make something perfect…
But nothing can ever be perfect.
Sometimes good enough really is good enough.
Sean D'Souza says
@Paul: Most people do. Even now I’m tidying up a mini-book I wrote. But guess what? It’s 5:40am now. By 6am that book is done. Whatever state it’s in, it’s done. 😉
That’s exactly what is happening with all of my business related stuff. But looking at it from the 70% point of view – it doesn’t look that bad at all. I even posted a comment! Thanks!
Mr Hesitation says
Boy, you got that right, Sean. I’m fine doing client work, but not my own info products. I smack into a “crisis of confidence” at the 70% mark. After working for weeks (yeah, literally — ain’t that pathetic?!) I start questioning the value of everything I’ve written. Is it correct? Is it as boring as it now seems to me? Am I just plowing old, familiar ground that everyone already knows? Will I embarrass myself? Is it worth the price (or ANY price?)
Sean D'Souza says
@Tom: If you look at my watercolour (yes, I’ve started doing watercolours over the Christmas break) you’ll think they’re really good. I think they’re okay. I’ve been a cartoonist for many years and can hold my own, but here’s what happened yesterday. I was in the presence of a master watercolourist. And my watercolour looks like crappy stuff compared to his. Would that stop me from selling my work? No, because it’s the best I can do at this point. I will be super-duper in the future, but when I’m super-duper I’ll charge accordingly. Get the watercolours while they’re still a bargain. 🙂
So get on the infoproducts. Our first book: The Brain Audit was just 16-20 pages when we first sold it. If we’d waited, we’d never have met so many wonderful people and never sold the product. A product needs a deadline. At the point of the deadline it’s 70% ready. Then fix it later.
Lisa Livingston says
My father, who worked as an aerospace mathematician for 30 years, told me several summers ago that customers (whether internal or external) only expect an 80-percent final product. I was shocked. Why would Dad encourage his conscientious daughter to tone it down?
“Anything beyond a B+ effort merely feeds your own ego, but accomplishes little extra in return,” he said. After I firmly planted that principal in my head, I started to meet deadlines with less anxiety and more success.
When you consider the number of mediocre movies in the marketplace, certainly Hollywood chants the same mantra. Yet as consumers, we continue to purchase these less-than-perfect films while asserting that we have been adequately entertained.
Thanks for the reminder, Sean. As a recovering over-achiever, I now believe that production is generally more significant that perfection.
Sean D'Souza says
@Lisa: Your father was truly wise. I’m sure he battled with perfection too. Only those who battle (and overcome) perfection can make statements like that 🙂
Mr Hesitation says
Thanks for the feedback, Sean. May I send it to you for your honest feedback? (Feel free to say no.)
Congrats on your watercolors (or watercolours) too. It’s great to stretch our creative muscles.
Sean D'Souza says
It’s difficult to answer your question, because I’m not sure what you’re talking about when you say “I’ll send it for honest feedback”. Is it a book? A whole product? I don’t tend to critique information, because otherwise I’d be swamped. That’s one thing. The other thing is also the structure you’ve followed. If for instance you’ve read The Brain Audit or are a 5000bc member, then you know better the kind of structure behind the whole construction of a product/salesletter/article etc. So unless I know, it would be hard to answer your question.
This is great stuff for an open-minded perfectionist to hear! There is hope for me yet.
Flora Morris Brown, Ph.D. says
You are marvelous, in all your incarnations.
This was the exact push I needed this morning. I have been absorbing information from teleseminars, blogs, articles, books, etc. to figure out how best to promote my books, blogs, coaching, etc. And, it’s even clear to me now that I don’t need to know more, but to do more, to just get my work out the door.
Perfectionism is paralyzing. It makes so much sense and cents to put your 70% best out and improve and expand as time goes on. Thanks for this clear-headed but firm push.
BTW, I love your fresh presence on Facebook with updates about your family and your activities.
Paul Simister says
@Flora I think Rich Schefren made a good point when he was promoting his constraints training program.
Too many of us focus on increasing our skills to raise our potential.
When we should be using what we already know to make more of what we’ve already got.
It’s a very valid point for those of us always looking for that little bit extra… perhaps as an excuse to procrastinate.
Thank you for this wisdom! Just what was needed today 🙂 Years ago, I learned a term – Satisficing. It was a made-up word to describe the point at which a project/product was “good enough”. Thanks for the reminder — perfectionism can mean the difference between doing it well enough and never getting out the door.
cindy @theglasschick says
From the perfectionists is your audience, we thank you! It means seeing my work differently. My perspective is often that it’s not complete. This changes my perspective to-what I have started is good and it’s only going to get better. I needed to hear that. Thanks for the counseling session. Now who do I send my check to?
Sean D'Souza says
Oh, no check required (as you can tell). Glad to help. Though you can write yourself a check by learning the concepts in The Brain Audit and being a part of http://www.5000bc.com 🙂
Trisha Cupra says
Thanks for reminding me of this again. I need a lot of reminding.
I also remembered that “It takes 20% of the time to do 80% of the work, and 80% of the time to do the final 20% of the work.”
Guess that means I can save a whole lot of time. 🙂
Angela Artemis/Powered by Intuition says
I had no idea that what I’d been doing all along had a name!
Great! I feel better all ready about my efforts. I’m about to put out my first free ebook and this is just what I needed to hear to day.
Great stuff that rings true. And honestly, it’s a great scheme. If I tell my brain I’m only doing 70% of the work, I’m more relaxed and, therefore, am more in the flow and, therefore, bring my “A Game” to the table. I feel like I have less to lose and the result is that I’m getting s#it done when so many other products / services etc. are stagnating in The Eternal Abyss of Fine Tuning.
What worries me in this article is not the premise, which I totally agree with except I think the percentage is slightly higher and have some IT proof of costs for perfectionism, but the fact that people then begin to think that 70% is acceptable and so only give 70% effort.
The 70% should never refer to your effort but should refer to products on the market – 90% perfect usually satisfies 99% of people and the rest need to pay for more perfection.
In effort and delivery of a service each of us must always do our best not just 70% of our best.
And a prediction – Microsoft will change.
The Mad Webmaster says
Now I know why I couldn’t change the 80/20 rule! I didn’t know the 70/30.
Great post Sean.
Michelle Clark says
Hey Sean, that’s the kick in the butt I needed. I just spent the last year having people read and comment on my book while I was editing and proofreading. I’m done with the darn thing and just want it available to inspire others. I started blogging last year and that is where I want to spend my time along with growing my subscriber base. This week I decided to go the ebook route – perfect timing. Thank you!