Version Done is Better Than Version None

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ian garlic quote Week after week I speak to coaches, small business owners and entrepreneurs who feel stuck – they have the need to generate cash now, but don’t feel they have time to get all of the pieces together to deliver at the level they want to. I understand this position very well. I’ve spent a long time in deep “planning mode” when designing products, only to find I rarely finished them. And even worse, when I did get to a finished product, many of them failed to sell! It sounds crazy, right? Weeks, even months, spent designing the perfect program, product or offer… and then nothing. Have you experienced this? A friend of mine and online video storytelling expert Ian Garlic has a t-shirt that says, “Version Done is Better Than Version None”. That quote landed for me like a kick in the pants.

Done With Fear

I’m not going to pull any punches here but know what I’m about to share comes from a place of love and experience.

That “planning mode” we tend to get stuck in? It’s simply FEAR. Yes, we can call it procrastination, but that just seems to make it okay. It’s not okay. It is very common, but not what you need if you want to run an actual business.

Why exactly do we get stuck? What is this fear I mentioned? Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of letting someone down, fear of having someone think poorly of you, and even fear of getting everything we want!

Begin with Coffee

Done with Money Lies

Now, before you stop reading because you wonder why on earth someone would have a fear of success, let me ask you this: Is there anyone in your life who may think less of you, or may suddenly mentally group you with a different set of people, if you quickly became wealthy? In fact, in many cultures we are taught from a young age that money is scarce, and the wealthy are bad. Have you ever described someone as “filthy rich”? The statement alone suggests that the person had to do something dirty to get their wealth.

Have you ever heard, “Money doesn’t grow on trees” – ah… well, most money is paper, paper comes from trees, and therefore money literally does grow on trees.

This was a tough one for me: “You’ve got to work hard to make money” – I’ve seen many people work really hard and still be broke. We live in a world where effort doesn’t count, only results. Your job as an entrepreneur is simply to make sure the results are delivered. You don’t personally have to do any part of the process in making it happen, as long as it does.

For the record, most of the things you’ve been taught about money and wealth are wrong. If you can adopt that into your belief system, it will leave you open to a new way of thinking.

Now that we are clear on the problem, and some of the stories we hold onto about fear and money, let’s talk about how to make the shift.

Better Action: Ask, Don’t Assume

I’m going to save a conversation around offer creation for another article, but here are the highlights.
Ask yourself the following questions:

What problem can I solve for my audience?
What problem does my audience experience that is significant enough that they would be willing to pay for the solution?
Who do I need on my team to deliver it?

You’ll notice I left out any questions about your passion and what you love to do. Why? Because we get so attached with what we want that we forget to find out what our audience actually wants.

Think you’ve found a problem that you can solve, and they will pay for? Great! Now go ask them to make sure. Reach out to current, previous or potential clients and explain that your team is developing a solution for their problem and you’d love their help to improve it. Go with open ended questions – How would you prefer to be supported? What would you like to see? How much would you be willing to invest to solve the problem?

After you’ve asked at least 10 people (the more feedback you get, the better), you should be able to draft an outline. And that’s all you need.

Better Validation: Let Them Vote with Their Credit Card

turn ideas into reality

Before you go to work building this beautiful solution, I want you to go sell it. (Take a breath, it’ll be okay). What I want you to do is go and pre-sell the solution based on the outline you’ve created. The biggest difference here is that you are no longer asking “would you buy this?”, you are asking “do you want to buy this right now?” The presell is the only true way to be 100% sure your solution fits the market. I’ve had a mentor describe this a letting people vote with their credit cards. Once you make sales, and only once you make the sales, you build it. If you don’t make sales, you’ve saved yourself a pile of time building something nobody actually wants.

Better Beta, Better Expectations

Now, before you get overwhelmed at the idea of building a program and worry about it being good enough, I’ve got you covered. You get to use the power of the beta to get you through. When you are pre-selling your solution, you can simply explain that you are excited to be enrolling the first group in your beta program. You may offer a bit of a discount or a bunch of bonuses to get people in, but if your solution really solves the problem, people will buy. Once they do, you just need to get the beta version (also known as the minimum viable product) out the door. Version done is better that version none.

As you go, your first group will give you feedback, allowing you to make changes to improve the next round. You will also be able to get great testimonials from your beta group, which will make selling even easier in the future.

Better Iteration: Feedback for Success

Done is better than perfect

When you get to the end of your first beta, you’ll be tempted to stop and call it a day. Don’t. Although version one took work, version two will be much easier, and much better thanks to the great feedback from your beta group. I encourage you to not give up on an idea that is selling until you’ve completed at least 3 iterations of it. By then, you will have done most of the heavy lifting, and even if you decide it’s not your favorite thing in the world, it’s significantly easier to keep on using as a revenue stream while letting you focus on your next beta project.

We all want to make a difference, and sometimes we place a lot of pressure on ourselves to do so. When you find yourself in a procrastinating place of “planning” remember this; if you never get a solution in the hands of those who need it, you will help no one. Version done is better than version none.

Jeremy DeMerchant

Jeremy DeMerchant

Jeremy DeMerchant is a #1 best-selling author, award-winning speaker, and creator of the Momentum 120 Sales Accelerator. Jeremy founded Permission To Sell Consulting Group after two decades of sales and leadership roles for industry giants in telecom, finance and education.

Jeremy DeMerchant

Jeremy DeMerchant

Jeremy DeMerchant is a #1 best-selling author, award-winning speaker, and creator of the Momentum 120 Sales Accelerator. Jeremy founded Permission To Sell Consulting Group after two decades of sales and leadership roles for industry giants in telecom, finance and education.

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