Leonardo Da Vinci had a shipping problem. No, I am not talking about Fedex, I am talking about the ability to finish a project and get it out the door. Seth Godin coined the term to "Ship It", which means to let go of perfectionism and get it out to the world.
Leonardo didn't ship the vast majority of his paintings and almost none of his scientific work. He just held onto everything, kept putzing with it and died with it in his notebooks.
I am listening to Walter Isaacson's biography of Leonardo Da Vinci and I am just pissed!
Over and over the author points out that IF he had actually published his works, he would have been hundreds of years before his time in art, technology and science. He made breakthroughs in neuroanatomy, neurophysiology and fluid dynamics to just name a few.
But Leonardo didn't ship. The world didn't benefit from his break throughs. Scientists couldn't build on what he had discovered. Everything just languished in his notebooks.
So in hindsight we can talk about what a genius he was. And he was! But his perfectionism stole his brilliance from the world. Glimmers of his genius were revealed in his paintings, but the majority of his ground breaking work was lost to the world for centuries.
What would the world look like if he had shipped!? How would science, medicine and industry have benefitted from these discoveries centuries sooner?
I hate to say it, but does it really count if it never shipped? Someone give him a gold star, he is officially a genius! But he didn't change the world the way he could have. He just kept it to himself.
What got in the way of Leonardo shipping?
-First and foremost, his perfectionism! Nothing was ever done, never perfect.
-Next was his lack of focus. He dabbled with everything and finished little.
-Finally his lack of follow-through. He loved envisioning, but got bored with implementing.
Now, let's be clear, I am not really criticizing Leonardo Da Vinci. He did change the world with the 5% or so of the work he actually finished. But I can just imagine what the world would be like if we had benefitted from 100% of his brilliance.
I know that you and I aren't Leonardo Da Vinci, but I can't help but wonder what brilliance lies within us that we are failing to ship.
Are we letting perfectionism, dabbling and lack of follow-through hold our best work back from the world?
Over the years I have read many books about Leonardo. I thought the lessons I would learn from him were about observation, curiosity and risk taking. I never thought that his failure would provide the biggest lesson of all.
If you don't ship, it doesn't count!
Follow-through is hard! You have this business. You have a vision of it as an efficient, profitable, practice that changes our client's lives and makes you a great living! But getting there is the problem!
Are you like Leonardo with ambitious ideas that never come together into a cohesive process? Do you, like him, get distracted with the newest technology or planning concept without a strategy to deploy them in your practice? Have you been fixin' to roll out your Advice-based planning model, but the day-to-day of running your practice gets you bogged down?
My friend, if you don't ship, it doesn't count!
Fortunately, you don't have to do this alone! I created the IMPLEMENTATION Monthly Mastermind for this very reason. If you crave ongoing inspiration and support on your journey to build your profitable, purpose-driven practice, you should join the IMM Community.
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