The story you choose for your next direct mail solicitation won’t be perfect. . . and you’ll still raise money.
The picture you choose for your next magazine cover won’t be perfect. . . and people will still read the story.
The major gift proposal you put together for the donor won’t be perfect. . . and she will still give if she trusts.
The color of the event invitation for your next gala won’t be perfect. . . and people will still attend.
Many advancement teams spend significant amounts of time, energy, and resources trying to “get it perfect.” And that’s always been a misguided goal.
A far better goal is to “get it good enough,” and, then, “hit send.” When we strive for perfection we worship at the altar of the god who is never quite pleased. There is always something more that we can do, just one last tweak that can be made, another choice we should examine. Meanwhile the tail of diminishing returns grows ever longer.
“Getting it good enough,” on the other hand, is not a lazy cop out. Good enough is strategic and effective. Good enough recognizes that the vast majority of our results emerge from getting the fundamentals and basics right. Good enough knows that spending additional time and effort in a wistful attempt at perfection is wasteful and, over time, burns people out. And good enough gives us permission to hit send on time so that results can flow.
Not only is perfect impossible to achieve, it also is an unhelpful and unhealthy ambition.