My son’s second grade teacher sent a photo today of the CookieText® Andrew gave her for Christmas that year. It was 2011, and I’d launched the business that October.
Cringeworthy. That’s the best word to describe the CookieText in the photo sent by Mrs. Hunt. It made me wince a little to see it: I clearly hadn’t found the best way to frost and “finish” the cookie cake, the sprinkles appear to be put on in the same manner as when someone salts and peppers a steak. My actual piping of the writing on the cookie is as if a fellow second grader of Andrew’s did it.
That CookieText® was miles off the mark of what I would deem acceptable to send out today.
Though this blurb from Seth Godin is from 2014, I clearly applied its concept in 2011 when I launched my business:
Start your first business this way: Begin with the smallest possible project in which someone will pay you money to solve a problem they know they have. Charge less than it’s worth and more than it costs you.
You don’t have to wait for perfect or large or revered or amazing. You can start.
I was sure of my concept, that’s critically important, but I had to get started in order for my product to evolve. I had to learn by doing, my product had to have the opportunity to grow into what it was meant to be. It simply couldn’t do that as an idea in my head-I had to put it out in the world.
Things don’t have to be perfect to begin, in fact, I don’t think they should be.
Whatever your idea or product, please don’t wait until it’s flawless to start. If you have a sound concept get moving. Don’t wait until ‘perfect’ or you’re likely to never going begin. Throw caution aside and begin.
Looking back at the 2011 photo makes me cringe, but it also makes me very proud that I had the courage to begin. I put myself out there and here we are 11 years later, making cookies that look as delicious as they taste.
If you have enough of the equation right (ex. our concept was sound, our product delicious, and our customer service exceptional) something will stick, you’ll get to keep working at it, and the growth will happen.
And if you think your business concept or initial product is going to be too rudimentary, take another look at what I produced at my start and draw your courage from that.
Put perfection aside and get your thing out into the world.