So you ever find yourself planning and planning and planning something but never actually doing it? Do you find yourself both frustrated with your lack of progress, but also by your inability to get it done? Maybe its that fundraiser idea you can't seem to make happen, or that new donor campaign that you can't get off the ground.
This is a huge problem for a lot of people.
When I find myself doing this ( which is all the time) normally it’s because I've allowed perfectionism to come in.
I've seen the epic way that someone else achieved something, and for some reason, even if I've never done it before, I set the bar super high because I get it in my head how things should look. Can you relate?
The problem with this is that we will completely disregard important background info like how long that person or organization has been doing this, how many resources they have (that can be volunteers, raving fans helping move the message, and money), and the story of how they actually got to where they are now.
Sure, some people do things for the first time and just crush it, but that's more the exception than the rule.
And if they do, normally there is a ton of research, preparation, and skilled mentoring behind that superstar success.
Set the bar at what you can do with the impact you have now.
In business this is called creating an MVP, or minimum viable product. The more common use of this idea is to bring your idea to life, and just give it to people before you think its perfect. That way you can not only see if this is something that people actually want, oor maybe you need to work on how you're presenting your message. Its also used so that you can get real feedback from your audience, instead of guessing ( and potentially guessing wrong).
Basically its a principle that keeps people from being trapped in their heads and spending a ton of time making something that no one really wants, or worse, getting stuck in It Has to be Perfect purgatory and never putting anything out at all!
This same idea can be super helpful in fundraising.
I'm a huge fan of creating a vision and going for that, but sometimes we can get stuck in the details. You have an epic vision of having your next fundraiser at a certain place but can't afford it? Don't wait to have that event!
Figure out what you can do, and WORK IT like Missy!
Who knows, it might even give you better results than your original plan. The point is not to let yourself get sucked into doing nothing, just because it won't be perfect.
There are people out there who believe in the same cause that you do and want a way to help. Get your message out there. Don't wait for the stars to be aligned.
Plus if you're not as put together as you might want your first time around, usually people want to see you succeed and will be a lot more patient with you than you are with yourself.
I've found that whenever I'm honest about doing something for the first time, not as an excuse, but genuinely looking for feedback on how to improve, people have been so incredibly gracious and actually step up a ton to help out.
Dont wait for the idea you have of perfection. Great work takes time of testing, looking at results, and testing again.
Putting your message out this way also allows for you to improve on the things in a sustainable way. Instead of spending a ton of money you don't have right away, it allows you time to get your message out, raise funds for your cause, and then get a laser focus on how to better your community and get the support you need.
Just be brave and try it. It might not work the way you want, but you’ll get super valuable feedback on exactly what works for you. Or it might just blow your mind and be unicorn awesome.
I’d love to hear about some of your MVPs. How did they go? Did it exceed your expectations? Did you hit the ground running and learn a ton?
Let me know in the comments below.