I have a great CD from Mike Litman titled Greatness Held Hostage. Listening to this CD is like taking a high impact aerobics session on audio. You’re left feeling the same kind of high level intense energy that you get after a great workout session.
In this 47 minute CD Mike outlines the reasons why people’s greatness is held hostage. He also gives step-by-step instructions on how to release the chains that are holding you hostage.
Stop waiting for perfection
One of the things he teaches is that people wait for things to be perfect before they take action. They wait for:
- the perfect job.
- perfect income.
- a perfect spouse.
- the perfect time to go back to school.
- the perfect time to start a fitness program.
- just the right time to release an information product they have been creating for ages.
- the perfect time to start a business.
They live in waiting mode: waiting for the perfect time, place, space…they’re just waiting.
Mike then outlines the easiest and best solution to this disease called ‘waiting for perfection’. The cure is, to quote Nike, just do it! He also recommends a solution that was given to him by a mentor who told him that:
“You don’t have to get it right
You just have to get it going!”
The Ready, FIRE, Aim philosophy
Michael Masterson gives similar advice in his book Ready, Fire, Aim: Zero to $100 Million in No Time Flat.
What Mike and Michael are talking about is the fact that you don’t have to wait for things to be perfect. Just start with what you have. The resources, people, etc that you need will meet you on the way as you are already working on your goal.
Say for example, you want to write a book. You have written and rewritten the draft a number of times. However, you haven’t gone beyond this writing and re-writing stage.
It’s time to stop.
Remember, you don’t have to get it right, you just have to get it going. You are ready. It’s now time to fire and then adjust your aim.
Get moving now!
Just write that book and get it out into the market. Then collect responses from the market and create an edited second edition.
At this point, you don’t even need to work with a professional editor. Ask a few friends and family members to read it and edit the final draft with their comments.
Hire a graphic designer on Fiverr.com to create a cover for your book. Turn the document into a PDF, insert the cover and you’re done.
A few sales at this level will earn you enough money to pay for professional editing. Plus, you will now be editing the book using feedback from the best people – those who have bought it.
The market will teach you what it wants. And in today’s world of eBooks and self-publishing, the whole world is your market.
How this philosophy changed my life
I learnt the lesson on writing the easy way when I started writing weekly articles for my ezine. I’m an avid writer and have journals and notebooks full of thoughts and articles. Writing is so ingrained in me that I always carry a notebook to jot things down when inspiration strikes.
I’ve always wanted to write for mass consumption, but was afraid. The perfectionist in me was afraid of criticism and people’s negative opinions.
Then I listened to Mike, read Masterson’s book and got a very interesting audio CD by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer and Dr. Deepak Chopra called How to Get What You Really, Really, Really, Really Want.
Wayne’s advice on being totally independent of the good opinion of others was spot on. He further advised that you need to be 100% in control of your life. Different people will have different opinions about you. You need to be so sure of yourself that it doesn’t matter what they think of you.
Wayne also shared an experience from his early years as a speaker when he used to get lots of criticism to his talks on TV. One day, he came across a recites a response used by H.L. Menken (a newspaper columnist) to silence his critics. Menken’s response read:
“To anyone who might have some criticism to say to me.
I’m sitting in the smallest room in my house, with your letter of criticism before me.
Soon it will be behind me.”
Signed: H.L. Menken
(And of course he wasn’t talking about the storeroom…)
Menken would send this response to anyone who criticized his articles. Wayne loved this idea so much that he made copies of this response and would send it out en mass to his critics. I’m sometimes tempted to put that out as a disclaimer when giving a talk.
When you really think about it, you’ll take up with Wayne’s advise, “What you think of me is none of my business!” and move on with your life.
Moving beyond fear
These experts helped me get over the fear of putting my writing out into the public or speaking in public. Publicity was always something I had avoided and I was very scared of the responses I would get.
Seeing how these people were handling publicity and criticism has helped me accept the responses I get. It’s also helped me start selling my first book 12 Weeks to Startup when I felt that it was only 60% ready. That book has is still selling online and it’s a passive income stream for me. Where would I be if I was still waiting to reach 100% perfection?
In life, there will always be people who will not like you. There are others who will have something negative to say about you or your work.
If you spend time trying to win these people over, you’re headed for disaster. It’s much easier to let their criticism and negativity wash off you and concentrate on being better at what you do.
What does it take to reach such a level of confidence in yourself and your abilities?
All it takes is a strong belief in yourself and in the fact that whatever you have will be of use to someone else. It doesn’t matter if it is of use to only one person in the universe; there is someone out there who will be helped by it.
So what happens next?
Take the idea that you have been playing around with in your mind and turn it into whatever it is meant to be. Take action with what you already have. You will never know it’s viability until you test it out.
Once it’s out, monitor the responses you get and make changes accordingly. Then take the second version out and test it again. Repeat this process until you succeed in your goal.
You can do this for any area of your life.
Suppose you’ve met someone and want to get to know them better. Don’t wait. Ask them out for a date now. Maybe they have been waiting for you to ask or they were afraid that you’d decline. You have nothing to lose by asking, so just ask.
If it’s a business idea, start the process of turning it into a real life business and not just a figment of your imagination. I read somewhere that more money is lost by not taking action than by taking action, making mistakes and then learning from the mistakes.
You want to write a book? I’ve already outlined what you can do to move from wanting to actually having a book. Start now.
Is there a career path you’d want to take? Start now.
A second stream of income you’re waiting to explore? Explore it now.
You want to go back to school and further your education? Start the process now.
Maybe you’ve been thinking of quitting your job for a long time… Stop exploring other opportunities now and take action with the information you already have.
Want to get fit this years? Start today with what you have!
There is never a more perfect time to take action than now.
All you have to do is start and the rest will unfold. The first step is always the hardest. It gets easier with time and practice.
Remember Mike’s advice, “You don’t have to get it right, you just have to get it going”.
Something extra for business
Do you want to start a business or create a new product or service for sale?
Mike Litman has a simple but highly effective solution to make money fast. He advises that when you have done steps A, B, C, D; you should have put it out there in the market by the time it was at C.
Don’t wait to reach step F before getting it out. Do it at C and let the market show you the changes that you need to make before going on.
Imagine how long Bill Gates would have had to wait to make the perfect version of Windows™? Windows is still being developed and re-developed as feedback comes from the market. It has many kinks and some versions keep crashing…and yet this one product made Gates a billionaire!
Your market or the people around you will always tell you what needs to be tweaked. And as you grow in your dream, you become better and better at finding out the direction you need to move to next.
Your next step
It’s your turn to take action now. Practice the Ready, FIRE, Aim! philosophy everyday. Take one action today and start living the life you’ve always dreamed of.
Have you used this philosophy in your life, career or business? What were the results? Feel free to share with us in the Comments.
(Image Credit: Stuart Miles at Free Digital Photos)