Work at Home Productivity

The 70% Principle: Why You Never Get Projects Off The Ground

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Today’s post is reprinted with permission from Psychotactics by Sean D’Souza.  This particular article is one I keep coming back to, otherwise I’d be rewriting, re-recording and editing for ever.  Enjoy!

The 70% Principle

Have you got eleven seconds to learn a simple principle? A principle that will radically change the way you do things?

You do, don’t you?
Ok, tick, tick, tick….here’s the principle.

It’s…the 70% Principle

So what’s the 70% Principle?

If a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing 70% right.
You can always come back to do the 20% later.

Yes, read it again, and no, the math isn’t wrong.

If you’re going to build a website, a 70% effort is fine.
If you’re going to do a presentation a 70% effort is fine.
If you’re going to bake a cake, for that matter…do you need all the ingredients?

The perfect cake? With all the perfecto ingredients? Or the cake with ‘70%’ of the ingredients?

The ‘perfect’ wording on a website? Or the ‘70% perfect’ wording on the website?

And nope this isn’t a case for mediocrity

No one is telling you to do crappy stuff. No one’s saying that you need to keep your project unfinished. But in the quest for perfection, most of us never start.

The 70% principle is about getting your best effort out and into the hands of your clients. That you don’t need to start off with a 100%-kaboom-wow-start.

So let’s tell you about our ‘who pushed me?’ start in 2002

We started Psychotactics,in the year 2002, with a 16 page booklet. We called it the ‘Brain Audit.’ And indeedy-doo, it started with just 16 pages. Those 16 pages, we cheekily sold for $20 or thereabouts.

And you know what?

We weren’t trying to keep the pages down to 16 pages, but we certainly weren’t trying to pad up the contents of the book either.

The 16 pages of information were all we knew at the time. And yes, we could have made it 100% perfect, but decided to put our 70% effort out anyyay.

Did I say, put it out? I meant, I got ‘pushed’

You see, I wasn’t keen to sell the Brain Audit. I wanted to get the e-book just right. But I was forced into putting it on the market.

I was forced to putting it on a sales page, by another marketer who promised to promote the book to his audience.

And he never did promote the book

I reminded him. Gently. Then became a bit of a nag. But that promotion never, ever happened. What did happen was that the ‘Brain Audit’ began to sell.

And as it turned out, I was able to add the next 20%,
and the next 20%, and the next 20%.

And yes, the math still adds up

Because all along, that ‘so-called incomplete’ product was selling. And when you think about it, which product or service of yours is ever complete?

As your knowledge grows; as your customers ask more questions; as you apply the concepts in different ways, your product or service gets better all the time.

And today, the Brain Audit is a comprehensive document that not only helps you understand how the customer thinks, but is also the basis for being a member of 5000bc; for doing any of our courses like the copywriting course, product-creation course.

What started out as a ‘who pushed me?’ product, now helps us get thousands of customers. And helps us grow our business considerably from year to year.

Kinda like the iPod, you see

When the iPod came out at first, it was just 10GB (yeah, pathetic ten gigs).

Then it went up to 30GB. And hey, we got video too. Then whoopsy-doo, it was 60GB. And uppity up it keeps going, both in size, features and ease of use.

Where’s the market for the perfect iPod?

There’s no market for the perfect product or service. The product or service that your customers want, is the product or service you have now.

That 70%-perfect product/service, will do fine for your customer.

How can I be so sure?

Could this article have been at least 30% better?
Couldn’t I have found more examples? More case-studies? Put in more details, perhaps? Tweaked my words just so to make it richer, more vibrant?

Sure I could. But you’ve got the point, right?

If a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing 70% right. You can always fix the 20% later.

©2001-2010 Psychotactics Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
Article written by Sean D’Souza.
Wouldn’t you love to stumble upon a secret library of small business ideas. Find simple, yet electrifying ideas,on website strategy, marketing strategies, copywriting, public speaking, article marketing, sales conversion, psychological tactics and branding. Head down to today and judge for yourself.


Melinda Jameson

Melinda is the founder of and started this site to share her best work from home ideas to help other Work At Home Mums become more financially independent and able to spend time with their families.

4 thoughts on “The 70% Principle: Why You Never Get Projects Off The Ground

  • I *love* that post, it’s such a great way to look at and approach things. Thank you for sharing it with us Mel.

  • Melinda –

    Get out of my head! I was just dealing with this very issue – like an hour ago.

    Something I need to read every time I get too involved in the details.

    : )

  • Great article, Melinda. I see why you come back to it time and again. It’s something that we need reminding about.

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