Marie Forleo has a terrific video about #ProgressNotPerfection. You can check it out below.
I wanted to share this with you, because this video is a good lesson for me, and I will internalize Reid Hoffman’s lesson: “If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you have launched too late.” As you may know, Purcella and I just released her first EP. We were tweaking and tweaking – that is, I was tweaking and tweaking, because I’m a TOTAL perfectionist – but we finally just said, “It’s good enough, push it out there!”
We got into the habit of releasing what we call a “first listen” of our tracks because there was a contest on Reverb Nation for a song to be used in a TJ MAX commercial. When we learned of the contest, the deadline was only 2 days away. We had already been working on our very first track, “Snuckleberry,” for a week or so. It was still in progress, but nowhere near ready. We only had half of the 2nd verse, I still didn’t quite know how to mix and master, and the sound quality was pretty poor.
Upshot: knew we probably had zero chance of being selected for the commercial, but we uploaded what we had at the time and entered the contest anyway. Once it was out there – OMG LIVE and people can hear it – in what was a highly embarrassing version – it motivated us to work our butts off to polish it.
We ended up replacing that first sound file on Reverb Nation about 10 times between when we first put it up and when we released the EP. No, we weren’t selected for the commercial, but it definitely broke us out of the fear we had of pushing something out there.
(The “Snuckleberry” (Official Video) is pretty ridiculous, too. But it’s out there!)
If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you have launched too late.
— Reid Hoffman
With the two next tracks (“Own It” and “Yellow Brick Road“), there wasn’t an external deadline, but we purposely made ourselves put up a “first listen” version before we felt like it was ready. And they were equally embarrassing 🙂 We ended up completely changing the lyrics of the 3rd track after it was out in the wild (no one noticed).
Now it’s a habit. We push out little previews of our work in progress on Purcella’s Instagram feed – her Rinsta 🙂 – and push the demos to her Reverb Nation page when they’re “good enough.” We’ll be doing that soon with another couple of tracks that are in the works.
Do it, everyone! Put it out there while it’s still embarrassing. You’ll quickly get over your fear 🙂
Here’s Marie’s video. Highly recommended viewing!