The thoughts, stories and advice of Bill Riddell.

Ready – Fire – Aim

April 16th, 2009 Posted in advice, goals, personal, writing

I have been one of those e people who often aims for perfection, but never gets even close.

There is nothing particularly wrong with that. However I have also been one of those people who also gives up when I believe perfection is out of reach or very hard to come by.

It is better to achieve something good and fall short of perfection, than to strive only for perfection and give up, achieving nothing.

Good can be polished to perfection, nothing will always be just that.

Shooting Blanks

I had been trying to lower my expectations for several years now, but they were still too high. Sadly I have given up on many projects and goals because I did not believe I could achieve the lofty expectations that I set.

But at last I think I have an answer where I can still aim for perfection but, more importantly, get things done.

Loaded Gun Seeks Target

The answer came from Chris Guillebeau over at The Art of Non-Conformity who introduced me to the Ready – Fire – Aim approach to getting things done.

Essentially it is about launching despite the fact things are not perfect. Once your product is out in the real world collecting experience then you can fine tune and perfect it.

I don’t think this model is always ideal but generally it is a superb way of doing things, testing and then making final tweaks to get the right result.

The First Shot

If it weren’t for this method I may have never finished my ebook. It’s not to say it is majorly flawed, I’m sure there are quite a few spelling mistakes and I may repeat myself in a few places, but all the information that I believe should be included is there. Once I get more feedback I will polish it up to near perfection. Ready – Fire – Aim.

Had I follwed my usual method I would have continued to obsess and worry over the book for many more months, possibly even years. Stressing over minor things and failing to put the book out there for people like you to benifit from now.

That is how the method works. You get your product ready (write it), get it out in the real world (give it away or sell it), then get feedback and improve it.

It’s incredibly simple yet effective way to get out of your own and take action.

Further Reading

Chris Guillebeau’s post¬†The Plan of Attack was my inital introduction. If you are a fellow writer, blogger, artist or are looking to expand your influence using social media you should definetley read Chris’ brand new manifesto, ‘279 Days to Overnight Success‘. It shows in just under 80 pages how, in ten months, he has built an incredibly succsesfull blog, landed a book deal and become a full time writer with a healthy income. Best of all, its free.

Another superb introduction is Brian Clark of Copyblogger‘s post ‘The Ready, Fire, Aim, Reload Strategy for Social Media Success‘. I like his addition of Reload to the mix, reminds me to keep working on the next project.

Finally if you’d like to read more, I present the book that inspired it all -¬†Ready, Fire, Aim: Zero to $100 Million in No Time Flat by Michael Masterson.

So no more excuses, go ahead pick some big targets and start shooting.

  1. 4 Responses to “Ready – Fire – Aim”

  2. By Nicky on Apr 17, 2009


    This has been something I struggle with as well. It’s easy to get caught up in working on and designing a project and never taking that leap to unleashing it.

    More recently I’ve been thinking in my head, “Is it time yet? Is it time yet? … Ok, pull the trigger.”

    So far, it’s when I pull the trigger that my projects are really able to grow.

  3. By Bill on Apr 17, 2009

    Thanks for sharing Nicky.

    One thing I neglected to really cover is the importance of letting others judge our work.

    Many of us are far harsher than any critic could ever be.

    Why should we even bother to create if we are not going to share our work so they can help, entertain and inspire others.

  4. By david on Nov 18, 2011

    Hi Bill
    I am my own harshest critic but have learnt over time not to beat myself up too much. There is a book I once read that advised you never to be cross with yourself for more tyhan 10 mins. After that, just let it go. My sea of failures has the odd island of success that makes the voyage wothwhile.

  5. By Melisa Peveto on Dec 19, 2011

    Sometimes, I try to be perfect. But then I realized I should not be like that. No one’s perfect, just put your best effort on a thing and enjoy.

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