Way Overdue

I’d like to take a trip back in time, say, 30 years or so.

I have quite a heritage. My dad, Steve Wike, was a hero in the church market. Back when card decks could produce response like no other medium, his publication Ministry Values for Growing Churches was the leader. To this day I still talk to advertisers who declare, “there was nothing like MVGC”.

But for his company Media Management, MVGC was simply the beginning.

Steve also knew how to grow a business. Over the years I’ve definitely come to learn that entrepreneurs are a dime a dozen – simply idea people. But looking over his career, I see that entrepreneurs who are also gifted leaders are rare. That’s who he is.

My Dad had a vision to share God’s glory to the ends of the earth. At the start of the internet in the mid to late 90’s he started GOSHEN.net (Global Online Service Helping Evangelize Nations). It wasn’t just the first of it’s kind, GOSHEN.net was the only of it’s kind – it was the “Google for Believers” you could say. This comprehensive search engine then evolved into a massive online Christian portal. Tools like StudyLight (searchable online Bible), LiveIt (resources/excerpts for living out ones faith), Religion Today (Christian News) just to name a few, grew GOSHEN.net’s traffic in the millions on a monthly basis.

It would be easy to assume his success was the result of a booming economy, but his journey did not come without its trials. Several economic down turns (including Black Monday) almost prevented MVGC from mailing. Then in the early 90’s when he felt led to start National and Int’l Religion Report, a newsletter sharing the stories of God’s work from around the globe, it seemed as if it would never get it off the ground. At one point the project was ended, but with patience the vision was eventually carried out online with great success at ReligionToday.com while being aired on the major Christian radio networks.

With hard times, when most would’ve given up, he tightened his belt both personally and corporately.
With good times, when most get comfortable with success, he used that growth to make ideas a reality.

Most importantly, he trusted God.

This post is barely the tip of the iceberg of my dad’s adventures and scares, and joys and risks in business, so…

To a great visionary, leader, and dad… Happy Father’s Day.

 

When is it “Good Enough”

It seems odd that wanting perfection in your business or role can be extremely detrimental. I’ve watched it prevent a sale, stop product development, and ultimately kill company morale (all my doing!).

Perfectionism is deeply rooted in my personality (whether learned or innate; probably both), so if you struggle with it like I do, you’ve got a friend in the industry!

But don’t put up with it.

There are several resources that address the topic particularly in how it relates to your business. The approach in Getting Real by 37Signals is fantastic. Instead of just stating principles and ideas, it actually provides practical steps to creating great products, but done incrementally through *good* releases.

The JCA website is a perfect example of me getting over myself (yep, let’s call it what it is!). The site wasn’t exactly how I wanted it… yet. There were incomplete sections, copy I wanted to adjust, supporting art that could be better, and features I wanted to highlight.

Thank goodness Guerra Strategy encouraged me to proceed as is.

Fact is, the rest will come. And it will come faster when you know it’s live. If you stop before that, you’ll waste years settling on an outdated product/website/blog for fear it’s not “just right”.

Moving Forward

Like most personality faults, perfectionism doesn’t simply go away. You have to choose with each decision that you will be good with good. As a matter of fact, “perfect” can be translated  “complete.” (Somehow the meaning has evolved to “flawless”, which is a lot like saying ASAP means “RIGHT NOW!”.)

So in order for something to be “complete” versus flawless, you need to define steps. That way when you reach the first milestone, you can press GO. Is it the best it could possibly be ever? No. But it’s the best it needs to be right now.

Perfectionism and Marketing

Are you afraid your marketing plan or ad buy isn’t flawless? Well, you’re right that it’s not perfect, but your wrong to be afraid. That debilitating fear is what can stifle your creativity and imagination, and worse, it can prevent you from taking calculated risk. As you know, creativity and risk-taking are both necessary traits for someone in your role.

So start today by defining the next step, taking the plunge, and resting in your decision. It’s good.