When you gather your gumption to share your idea with the world, be prepared for two consistent responses:
Get your business plan together before you start
Don’t wait to figure it all out. Just go for it!
Awesome. Which is it? Figure it out first, or take a leap of faith? The answer lies somewhere in the vague and misty in-between land we’ll call Good Enough. A place with no actual coordinates that you wouldn’t be judged for believing was entirely mythical. It’s real. But be forewarned, there be dragons awaiting you on your journey to Good Enough.
The first one is Doubt. It hovers low and dark over you. Doubt will cause you to question your talents, experience, even your intuition. It’s an oppressive bastard that pokes at your insecurities and presses against you making every step an extraordinary effort. It’s so easy to give in to Doubt, because fighting it is exhausting. But you know what else resistance does? It makes you stronger. So, push on.
The next one is Perfection. God, I hate this manipulative fucking trickster. Perfection obscures the obvious and traps us in an endless round of tail chasing. It’s the shimmering desert mirage we’ll pursue so relentlessly we won’t bother to notice how far off track we are. You won’t slay this dragon because you won’t catch it. Best to fucking ignore it and its glistening pile of horseshit.
Watch out for Hubris. Hubris beckons you to keep looking at the sky and never at the ground in front of you. It comes disguised as confidence, but be careful – it’s a real shitgibbon. The kind of blue-eyed asshat who thinks being pretty is enough. It’s not. But you know that.
Enough with the fantasy. Let’s get real. What does Good Enough look like? It depends on where you’re standing.
Good Enough To Get Started
This one is easy. Your idea is good enough to explore if you believe in it. If you’re incurably curious about it. If you can’t stop thinking about it. It might be the simple outline of a business plan, one that identifies the problem you’re out to solve and your theory for solving it. It might be the sketch of your product on the back of a cocktail napkin, a doodle of the vision that wakes you up in the middle of the night, and dominates your waking thoughts and conversations. If this is where you’re standing today, there’s no good reason not to start exploring it. Talk about it with people who will ask you great questions and both validate and challenge your assumptions. Pull that thread and see what unravels.
Good Enough To Quit Your Job
This one is riskier, and the stakes are multiplied for each person who depends on you and that paycheck you’re ready to forego. Here, good enough is more than the mere shell of an idea. You want some evidence that your idea is viable, there’s a market for it. If you think your idea is a venture scale startup - it’s time to do your homework about what that means and what it entails. Talk to others who’ve gone that route. If your idea is a product or service that you’ll start delivering immediately, sink your teeth a little deeper into that business plan, and make sure you have some idea how long it will take before you’re able to turn a profit. Start building a support network, fast.
Good Enough to convince others to quit their jobs and join you? To mortgage your house? Pitch to investors? That’s a blog post for another day.
Good Enough is not about mediocrity. Not half-assery. It’s not a pass on quality or thoughtfulness. Good Enough is a place of sufficiency. Doubt, Perfection, and Hubris can keep you from recognizing it. But as you learn to push past those dastardly dragons, you’ll get better and better at recognizing Good Enough and feeling empowered to claim your ground there. Don’t let the quest keep your idea from finding the light of day. And remember, the journey is a lot more fun with others.
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Megan McNally is the founder of the FBomb Breakfast Club. She’s currently scaling a femme-powered, full-service, badass business law firm for entrepreneurs and changemakers in Seattle. She’s also co-conspirator of a startup idea that isn’t quite Good Enough to share with the world yet. But stay tuned.