Perfect is a Mythical Place…Just Down the Road From “Someday I Will”

I cringe every time I stop to consider the number of great ideas that must go to waste simply because someone waits to launch their idea, business, work of art, or particular masterpiece because they felt that things needed to be perfect before doing so.

Take a moment to ponder the times in your life where you’ve thought of a good idea, but neglected to work on it, only later to see it magically appear for sale in some late night infomercial. How many people thought of “the clapper” (the device which turns lights on and off when one claps their hands) or the “sham-wow” before they achieved As Seen on TV fame?

We’ve all experienced those moments where we felt as though someone stole our idea. You know the one, where we think to ourselves, “I thought about that years ago.”

Of course our idea wasn’t stolen at all. Rather, we, like so many before us, never added the necessary ingredient: Action.

Action is what is needed if we truly want to grow our seedling of an idea into something real and tangible.

Instead of moving forward on our idea, we often convince ourselves that we lack the money, resources, or skill set to make things happen. And so we sit on it, as though it will magically work itself out. Before we know it, our great idea is a distant memory.

It’s easy to brush it off as we discount our abilities, but the sad reality is that we were likely just as capable as the person who ended up meeting with success on “our idea.” The truth is, whatever we might have lacked we most certainly could have learned or acquired had we moved forward in faith and remained open to the idea that we would attain whatever skills or resources were needed.

Life has taught me over the years that we don’t have to have all the answers prior to getting started toward achieving our endeavors. In fact, as you study the lives of many entrepreneurs you quickly find that many of them started working on one idea, and the very act of being in the journey opened their eyes to greater and greater opportunities.

One example is Colonel Sanders, who founded Kentucky Fried Chicken. When he first started, his idea was to sell his chicken recipe to some local restaurants and receive a percentage of those sales. In the beginning, he had not yet grown into the vision that would go on to become Kentucky Fried Chicken. He was turned down again and again and again.

Colonel’s persistence in following his dream is commendable…what’s often overlooked is that with each new rejection of his idea, his vision began to take hold. It grew from a small idea to a larger one.

Had he not started right where he was and taken some real action, even if he didn’t have it all laid out perfectly to begin with, he likely would have been in the same boat that so many are — caught thinking to themselves, “I thought of that years ago.”

Consider for a moment that more often than not the difference between the person whom experiences a sense of accomplishment for having achieved what they set out to do and the person who must live with the regret of “what might have been” … is often found in the person’s ability to set out in the pursuit of their ideas despite not having everything clearly laid out as to how they will get there.

Life has an incredible way of filling in the details for the person who is willing to set out in the pursuit of their goals and dreams. If you are willing to live your life in accordance with this idea, you will be infinitely better off.

Can you recount at least one time in your own life where your willingness to pursue something, even if you weren’t exactly 100% sure how you would achieve it, worked out for the best? Did you also pick up some valuable skills along the way?

We grow through the journey. To grow, we must be willing to take the first step and continue that path until completion.

Trust that the details, resources, and people necessary to help you along the way will reveal themselves … and that’s exactly what will happen.

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  • Bob Burg

    Always great wisdom from Josh Hinds. Consistently awesome!!

    • Bob, you my friend are a gentlemen and a scholar. I simply can’t thank you enough for your friendship over the years, and the positive impact having you as a mentor has made in my life. I have no doubt that countless folks would say the exact same thing.

      I appreciate you brother Bob!

      -Josh 🙂

  • Great piece – better to have failed trying than watch an idea whither due to “not being the right time” – too often when you think of an idea for a new service or product it is based on an immediate need. As the commercial says – Just Do It.

    • So glad you enjoyed the post. What I try to remind myself is that “failure” in and of itself is relative. Hopefully this won’t sound silly — particularly to the more financially savvy 🙂 I like to liken the term “failure” to the relationship between a stock going up and down… for example, say I bought a share of stock at $10, it goes down to $9, certainly I’ve 

      lost money”, but you could also look at it and say that technically it’s all mathematics. Plus, one has to factor in all sorts of things which may have moved the price of the stock down in that given moment. Things which may nothing to do with the actual value of the given share price. So in other words, assuming it’s a “solid” stock, it could go up relative to where it is in that moment. I’ve only really “lost my money” for good at the point that I make the decision to sell the particular stock down below what I bought it at. And so it is that I humbly submit that one only really “fails” at the point that they quite entirely. I should also point out that in both instances I’m not suggesting one stick with a “loser of an idea (or stock) indefinitely. But in each instance certainly something was gained — so long as one keeps a keen eye out for the lesson.
      Hopefully I managed to make my point above. And again, for those more financially savvy then I be gentle with my example.. lol

      Also, I to always loved those “Just Do It” commercial!

      -Josh

  • Wonderful words, Josh – and thank Heavens because I am definitely dog paddling as fast as I can right now waaaay past my comfort level. I needed this today.

    • Thank you Gina. Your kind note made me smile! I have no doubt you’ll look back in amazement before long, at how much that old “comfort zone” has stretched. You my friend are a rubber band that can’t break. Believe it! And if you find yourself in doubt, which is normal at times — reach out to me, and the many others who have seen you do incredible things! You can doubt yourself, but you past achievements are there as proof positive of the amazing you, that you are 🙂

      -Josh

  • This was excellent and this line was especially encouraging:

    “Life has taught me over the years that we don’t have to have all the
    answers prior to getting started toward achieving our endeavors. In
    fact, as you study the lives of many entrepreneurs you quickly find that
    many of them started working on one idea, and the very act of being in
    the journey opened their eyes to greater and greater opportunities.”

    This is so true. As we walk toward our God-given purpose, the answers will come.

    Great post!

    • I couldn’t agree more Beth. One of the most important things I was fortunate enough to have drilled into my head from a pretty young age was the idea that we all have unique GOD given talents and gifts, and that it was my responsibility to use them be ever on the lookout to identify them, and use them to the best of my ability. I can tell you I’ve had moments in my life where those words moved me forward when what was happening “outside” of me might otherwise have led me to bury my head in the sand.

      So glad you enjoyed the post! I really appreciate you saying so 🙂

      -Josh

  • Oh Josh!

    What a wonderful post! I know so many people — even in my own life who keep waiting… to lose weight, to get another job, to make more money… on and on. What’s so sad is they don’t take the time to realize they ARE living their lives now.

    Life IS the journey, The journey is NOW. Taking even some small action will help us all keep moving forward — step by beautiful step to our dreams.

    For me the most powerful lesson in your post is about persistence. Just keep on going….

    Thank you, my friend!
    Felicia Slattery

    • Thank you Felicia. A long time ago I heard a quote by Mark Victor Hansen which said essentially, “teach that which you most want to see implemented in your own life.” And so it is that I offer the article above 🙂 I like to consider myself a person of “action”, but like everyone, so some extent I confess to being but a student — but a student who is willing to practice and get better. And in doing so the really cool thing is I find that often that is more then enough.

      Again, thank you my friend!
      Josh

  • I’m deeply honored by all the kind words, and comments (not to mention the tweets & facebook shares) on the article.

    Appreciatively,
    Josh 🙂

  • Roxannsbauerle

    Your words are so truthful and encouraging. It is so important that we just move in the direction of our dreams and have faith in a higher power that will show us the way. 

    As one of my mentors says, “put your ass behind your aspirations.”
    Sorry for the bad word…..:)

    Roxann Bauerle

  • Love it, Josh! It was the imaginary “Someday Isle” analogy that woke me up to actually stop talking about writing a book and complete one. I remember where I was when I heard it 🙂 It dawned on me that if you asked any of my family or friends what my biggest dream was…they would give a consistent answer: write a book. It was up to me to put action behind my dream.

    Once I set course to complete my book…as you point out…many new opportunities came my way. In fact, I still haven’t completed the performance psych book I left teaching to write … because the Selling book came to me shortly afterwards (and I had the time blocked off to say “yes!”) and then the Wiley 12 Factors deal came…and now I’ve finished Walking with Justice, the book that was closest to my heart.

    My a-ha moment was realizing that I was violating a core value of mine (integrity) by acknoweldging something as my greatest dream but not taking consistent action toward bringing it to life.