Episode 359: Show Notes
If you have not already heard of the law of diminishing returns, it states that everything we do is on a bell curve and as we do more work so the results improve. But once we pass a certain point or amount of work, the results begin to lessen and the work we do becomes less effective. After a certain amount of time and effort, our results can even start to decline and drop off to a point below our earlier work! The main lesson we want to extrapolate here is that more work equals better results up to a certain point.
As we work on projects, we have to find these points and understand how far our effort is going. We have to be able to apply this theory to our business otherwise we run the risk of shooting ourselves in the foot through overwork and time-wasting. We need to focus on productivity, how to spend our time wisely and when we are done with a specific task. Learning the answer to this question might take time but we can start to notice patterns if we are sensitive to this dynamic. This law will apply to physical as well as digital work and remember that your creativity and energy is subjective, we never really know for sure, but we can work on our mindset and perspective to minimize these negative effects.
A New Mindset for Good Enough
Obviously, we do not want to settle for subpar work but in the same breath, we do not want to slave away for worse results. We have to ask ourselves, "Can it be better? Can we develop a 'good enough mindset'?" We believe this is such a great idea and opportunity, remember, perfection is the enemy of progress. As we have both gotten older and more experienced in the business world, we see this more and more clearly. There are always things that could be better or areas that you could improve. But in the end, you cannot weigh your work against that sort of measurement. Maybe someone else or even a future version of yourself could make what you are working on better, but thinking like this can put you in a dangerous position where you can end up chasing your tail and never knowing when to quit. It is imperative that you find some finality and realize that even if you might be able to do it better in the future, this is what you are able to do now and that is worth something!
The Magical Limits of Excellence
We love the quote, 'The pursuit of perfection will motivate you and the pursuit of excellence will limit you'! There is a strange paradox here because those limitations and the pursuit of excellence itself is actually quite limitless. We do believe that done is better than perfect and it is a lesson that we all really need to swallow, especially early on in our businesses. This whole thing can go the other way too, we see people taking the lesson too far and pressing publish when they are clearly not ready! We think you should be asking yourself, "Is this excellent for me?" This leads to thinking about how you can produce excellence more often and once again we want to bring you back to processes, procedures, and systems. With better systems, you can avoid doing everything manually and the process of creation can be easier and more rewarding. We also want to make the customer or audience experience as consistent as possible, no matter your situation or limitations, the customer should know what to expect from you! Utilize these resources, they truly can change your life!
Finding that Vital Return on Investment
We know very few people who are just content with where they currently are. Maybe this is in the DNA of entrepreneurs but for most of us, the needle is always moving. We want you to be able to listen to that spark of motivation, that desire to be the best and use it as fuel to bend that curve to your will. The idea here is to increase quality without increasing your time and effort. At the same time, we can never lose sight of returns on investment. We all want our efforts to be worth it! But sometimes we are too quick to narrow ROI down to just cash, there are many ways we can see returns, so stay open to these too! Our businesses can grow in lots of ways from lots of different sources. It does not all have to come from one place and this can be damaging to us and our work!
Why are You Trying to Reinvent the Wheel?
Don't worry, we have all tried to reinvent the wheel at some point! We thought we could come up with something completely new and unique and world-shattering, but in the end, this was just frustrating and disappointing. What if we told you that thinking inside the box can drive your creativity? Constraints naturally eliminate options and this in of itself can be helpful. Remember school projects, didn't it seem much easier to get things done when the options were a bit more narrow? Out in the big, real world, it can feel harder to decide and thrive without those kinds of limitations. So why not simplify things and look to serve clients in the same way as another business. Use the constraints of an already established model and then once you have that mapped out to add a little bit of yourself and your personality to it! Even Apple does this, Facebook and Instagram did it. You can do it too! Being a small business can actually be a luxury in this respect, as you can deliver directly to your audience and tweak as much as you need to.
The Limits of Copyrighting and Patenting
There is a line where something is blatant copying, so work on your own ethical boundary and usually, you will know when something feels uncomfortable or dishonest. You do not have to be completely unique but if you pour yourself into something it will be yours. It is also important to remember that being unique can mean being alone. We personally feel that we would rather be amongst friends and peers than being isolated in our business! We are pretty sure you would also like to feel a part of a community. It can be so affirming to see someone who has already done what you would like to do and being a pioneer is difficult, expensive and time-consuming. So why not find out who is already doing this thing and learn from what they have done. This does not mean cyberstalking and funnel hacking, it just means observing and building on to the mountain of culture in your own way. You got this, go thinking inside the box!
A New Mindset for Good Enough. [0:04:22.4]
The Magical Limits of Excellence. [0:11:08.1]
Finding that Vital Return on Investment. [0:20:39.8]
Why are You Trying to Reinvent the Wheel? [0:27:32.2]
The Limits of Copyrighting and Patenting. [0:36:51.5]