For the last few days, there has been a lot of ruckus down the street from my office building. Given that I seldom head in that direction, I didn’t have a pulse on what was happening. This morning, however, curiosity got the better of me and I undertook the dangerous mission of identifying the source of the commotion.
Within mere minutes, I tracked down the culprit. Now, I’m certainly no LL Cool J and my investigative skills are minimal, but the giant bulldozer tearing down the huge factory less than two blocks away could not escape my eagle eye or bionic ear.
Taking a moment to acknowledge my stellar detective skills, I began thinking that, for the few times I passed by this structure, it appeared far from obsolete and was clearly still in use. And, yet, it was being destroyed, broken into manageable pieces and loaded into dump trucks to, hopefully, be recycled and perpetuate the glorious circle of life.
But, why would someone commit such industrial atrocities? My new CSI-like abilities kicked in and I found a sign with an architect’s rendering of the glory that awaits the legion of passerby’s — a brand new factory that looked… well, surprisingly similar to what was being removed.
Pausing to reflect on my findings, I began contemplating as to whether or not I, too, was guilty of such crimes. The answer? An astonishing “Yes.”
For years (since 1995 if we’re being specific), I have been building websites. And each year, like clockwork, I would get bored of the current design, seek out the best designers and create works of art that would undoubtedly stand the test of time. That is, until next year.
Sure enough, eight or nine months later, inspiration (or insanity?) would strike and the redesign would commence in full force ultimately producing the holy grail — a site that would stand in the face of adversity and be immortalized for decades to come… until it wasn’t.
This morning as I watched the destruction, I remembered one of my grandfather’s mantras: “We don’t build monuments.” In other words, everything has its time and place. When the right offer comes along, you sell. When it’s time to throw in the towel, toss it towards the center of the ring.
So, be kind to yourself. Nothing (your business, your products, your website, your friendships, your love life, etc.) will ever be perfect. This is not a statement of complacency — quite the contrary. It’s encouragement to heed the words of one of my coaching students Dr. James Foster:
“First, get it out.
Then, get it right.
Then get it right all the time.
Then teach it to others.”
A hand-written note from God stating that “now is your time… your creation is ready” won’t arrive in your mailbox anytime soon. And, due to government cutbacks, odds are good it has been permanently lost by the postal service.
So, get in the game… now. And, recognize that the legacy you leave will ultimately be determined not by the perfection of your monuments, but by the glorious imperfections of your creations.