Just Hit Publish

Ideas that help consultants overcome perfectionism and ship more content.

I previously wrote about the importance of content creation in your marketing engine, and how you can increase the odds you will perform it consistently. But sometimes, the biggest challenge is not about creating but putting it out there.

We are our worst judges. Anxiety, imposter syndrome, and perfectionism will attack you when you're almost there. And the sooner you learn how to deal with it, the better.

Several ideas can help you overcome this block, but the ones that I've seen work better for consultants were being aware that:

  • You can't assess quality if the work is not exposed to the public.
  • Perfectionism is a selfish and self-centered act.
  • Content has a compounding effect.

First, if you want to deliver good work you need to finish it. You can't expect clients to be delighted if your perfectionism prevents you from finishing projects. This also applies to your content - if you don't publish it, how can you judge its quality?

All writers, entertainers, and executives have delivered low-quality work and made poor ideas. But that’s how they’ve grown. The feedback and any eventual mistakes will reveal themselves, and allow you to improve.

Second, perfectionism can be demolished if you see it as an act of selfishness. By not publishing something that would otherwise help your audience, you're keeping them in a worst place than they could be. Shipping imperfect content is an altruistic act, as long as it helps someone to at least partially solve a problem they have.

You don't want to make it perfect - you are afraid of critique. You fear that your work will be disliked and you will be seen as inferior. That's putting yourself first, not your audience and clients.

You could spend weeks editing and improving a piece, but at some point you just need to ship it. So I always try to think, is this something I want to tweak just because I care? Or is it something that anyone else would also care about?

Finally, I'm a strong believer that quantity is more important than quality. Even though I've been writing for a while now and like to think that my pieces have reasonable quality, I still think the most important thing for us to optimize is quantity.

If you write one page a day (400 words) in a month you will have a 30-page ebook. An in a little more than 4 months you will have a book manuscript (50,000 words). I know consultants who will spend 3-4 days writing a single proposal, but can't seem to find the time (?!) to write one short page about their expertise every day.

And it compounds in many ways. Online content that educates will keep attracting people who need your help. Expertise that's packaged into info products like books and courses will keep making money for you as you sleep.

Focus on usefulness. Be on the side of your prospects. Show them the good things, and warn them about the bad ones. Inspire. Educate. Encourage them.

And hit publish.

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