Corey Wilks, Psy.D.

Helping Creators Reach Their Potential

Close this search box.

The MVP Mindset: How to Overcome Perfectionism by Thinking Iteratively

If you’re an entrepreneur struggling with launching something, here’s a mindset shift that can help:

Learn to think iteratively.

Here’s what I mean…

I used to try to come up with the “perfect” plan before I built something.

I’d spend hours, days, even weeks coming up with elaborate plans, value ladders, and content ecosystems to market everything.

I’d even run my plans by a few friends who were great at finding problems wkith anything. I thought, “If I can come up with a plan that they can’t poke holes in, THAT’S what I’ll build!”

Spoiler Alert: That never happened. Because no plan is perfect.

But I was waiting for perfection before I launched, so I NEVER launched.

Then I read The Lean Startup (aff) by Eric Ries, and a simple concept in it legitimately changed my life and the trajectory of my journey as an entrepreneur…

The idea of building an MVP—minimum viable product. You may have heard of this concept, since it’s become ubiquitous in the startup space. But here’s how I adapt it to my own business and even the content I create…

I see everything as v1.

I can’t get to v2 without launching v1 and getting enough feedback to iterate it into v2.

So I launch v1 as soon as it’s viable so that I can get to v2 asap.

Too many entrepreneurs think they can skip straight to v10 if they theorycraft enough, but all that ends up happening is they think about launching, talk about launching, and plan how to launch—but they never actually launch anything.

Here’s the thing…

You can’t get to v10 of anything without a shit-ton of iteration. And you can’t iterate without a shit-ton of feedback. And you can’t get feedback without actually launching the shit you say you want to launch.

Is this a crude way of putting it? Yes. Is it accurate? Also yes.

A simple question I ask myself, and use with my executive coaching clients who are stuck in the perfectionism-theorycrafting cycle of not-launching:

Don’t ask, “Is this as good as it can be?”

Ask, “Is this as good as I can make it today?”

If you ask, “Is this as good as it can be?” The answer will always be, “No.” Because it can always be better.

But if you ask, “Is this as good as I can make it today?” you’re putting two constraints on it:

  • Is it as good as you can make it (not is it as good as it has the potential to be)
  • Is it as good as you can make it today (not tomorrow or 10 years from now)

This allows you to adopt an MVP Mindset and focus on progress over perfection.

Because here’s the reality…

Perfection is unattainable—nothing in life is perfect.

So perfectionism is expecting yourself to attain the unattainable.

Progress, on the other hand, is attainable.

But you can’t make progress (aka, iterate) without feedback, and you can’t get feedback unless you launch your thing.

So build your v1. Launch it. Get feedback. Iterate. Ad infinitum.

You’ll never reach perfection.

But with enough launching and iterating, the progress you’ll make over the next few years will be astounding.



If you want another strategy to help you take action, check out my other article, How to Stop Making Excuses and Start Making Changes.

Explore the Psychology of Success

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Get deep dives exploring the psychology of how to succeed in life and business each week.

As a bonus for subscribing, you'll get the Psychology of Success Masterclass, a free course designed to give you the foundations to succeed in life and business.