Done is Better Than Good

“Done is better than good.”

I heard someone say this in a meeting almost two years ago and it stuck with me. It’s become a bit of mantra for my life, and Macky and I dredge it up whenever one of us is waffling about putting something out into the world — say, a blog post or a video or an email to a potential sponsor. “Done is better than good,” one of us will say. And then the other will let the thing, whatever it is, out into the big, scary world.

“Done is better than good” doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strive to create good things. It just means that finishing those good things is the most important part. Done trumps good. And done definitely trumps perfect.

Getting it done on Milagrosa Trail in Tucson

You lose 100% of the races you never start.
You get ignored by 100% of the sponsors you never email.
You get zero views on 100% of the blog posts you never publish.

“Done is better than good” is about getting rid of that fear of putting imperfection out into the world and just doing things. Nothing is ever perfect, anyways. And if you are as self-critical as I am, it’s rarely even good. But done? Now that is a benchmark even I can meet.

Sometimes you have to achieve “done” before you can even start thinking about good. Macky and I launched our YouTube channel before we had any idea how to create good videos. We made some bad videos, but they opened up the opportunity to start making better videos, and to meet some amazing people and to learn a lot. We didn’t need 1000s of dollars of camera equipment – we just needed to get something (ANYTHING) done.

I set a goal of writing a blog post here every week for 2018. In the past I would only post “when I had something good.” Miraculously, I have come up with a post every week for 19 straight weeks and only a few of them suck. Sometimes, done is good.

DFL beats DNS every damn time.
An awkward emails beats no email every damn time.
And the occasional subpar blog post beats an unfinished book that lives on a hard-drive in your attic.(I know because I have several of both of these things).

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t train your hardest or strive for your best, and it certainly isn’t to say you shouldn’t proofread those important emails. For f*ck’s sake, proofread your emails. But then hit send. Let it go.

Let go of perfection. Strive for completion. Be a person who finishes things. Be a person who shows up and gets shit done.

Done is better than good, because done is all that counts. Done is all there is. Be a person who understands that.

Syd Schulz

Pro mountain biker.

Average human.

I write about bikes and life and trying to get better at both.

more here

6 thoughts on “Done is Better Than Good

  1. Perfect is the enemy of good
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    From this French dude Voltaire

    Perfect is the enemy of good is an aphorism, an English variant of the older better is the enemy of good, which was popularized by Voltaire in French form. Alternative forms include “the perfect is the enemy of the good” or “the enemy of the good is the better”, which more closely translate French and earlier Italian sayings, or “[the] perfect is the enemy of [the] good enough”. Similar sentiments occur in other phrases, including from English, and are all attested since around 1600.

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