How to Move a Mountain & A New Mantra for Perfectionists

Have you ever faced a feat that took your breath away with its sheer size and air of impossibility?

Seems intimidating, because it is.

Our ability to tackle these challenges with enthusiasm tends to relate directly to the distance between where we are and where we ideally want to be. If you are a perfectionist, then where you want to be can be virtually unattainable and nowhere near where you are coming from.

And more distance = more stress = giving up and finding something easier but less important to do.

This is why many businesses (especially those with perfection-hungry leaders) put off optimizing their brand across their marketing materials, products, and customer experience.

They get hung up on the amount of work necessary to “get it right.” We all know the perfectionist’s mantra:

Do it once, and do it right.

But here’s the deal: you can’t brand your business just once. Sure you set the strategy once, but then you build and manage your brand every day.

Your website? It’s going to change. Multiple times. Logo? Yup, likely going to evolve. You will tweak your products, your colours, your policies and practices, and maybe even your business name. So stop taking it all so seriously. 

If you know that your business isn’t representing your brand as well as it should be, do something about it. Something immediate. Not something big, but something small.

The best way to move a mountain is with a handful of rocks at a time.

(Unless you can hire a dump truck, of course.)

A couple of years ago, I led a small team tasked with a big website revival project for a large organization. You know how these things work: the bigger the organization, the slower they change, and the more behind they get, ultimately making it impossible for them to ever “catch up” (there’s that intimidating gap again). It is all very discouraging for the people that care about the success of the organization.

We managed to make an incredible amount of progress in a relatively short period of time. The key word there is “progress”.  Each time I presented status reports or project direction, I managed the sense of overwhelm by getting everyone on board with a common goal: “Progress, not perfection.”

That mentality has since become my mantra for tackling any monster of a task or project. This is why I put so much emphasis on starting to improve your brand from right where you are.

When it comes to dealing with monolith undertakings like optimizing your brand, in fact, I think this credo can be made even better:

Progress is Perfection - the new mantra for perfectionists.

“Progress is perfection.”

See? Even our mantras evolve.

Your brand and your business will never stop growing or changing. How can anything that never sits still reach a point of perfection? Give it a minute, and it will be instantly imperfect again. How’s that for a waste of energy?

Perfection in branding is the continuous act of making business decisions that align with your promise to your customers, your values, and your reason for being.

4 Steps to “Perfecting” Your Brand

  1. Identify the area of your business that needs the most work when it comes to strongly reinforcing your brand promise – is it your website? Your social media presence? Your customer service?
  2. What are some of the “loose” rocks that you can easily update to a better branded version? Maybe they are your headings, banners, post topics, or a new feedback process.
  3. Choose 1 or 2 of these items to rework in the next week. Move them in the right direction. Get them as on-brand and fantastic as you can.
  4. Repeat.

Now tell me in the comments below – what loose rocks or quick wins will you be working on in the near future?