As physicians, our training makes us all perfectionists to a degree. This can make running a business pretty hard. There’s only about a thousand small things requiring attention at any given point, and making everything meet exact specifications requires an unrealistic amount of time and effort. Learning to not let the perfect get in the way of the good has to be a driving philosophy to keep things moving forward, which is why the minimum viable product is the true MVP.
One of the great parts of building a business is that you get to make decisions about everything. On that same note, one of the more nerve-racking parts of building a business is that you have to make decisions about everything. I felt extra pressure when it came to logo and website because the logo would eventually be part of my brand and the website (www.eudoc.me) was how potential patients would engage with my practice the most. A friend talked me into creating my own designs, and this same friend shortly after introduced me to the concept of minimum viable product in order to get me to move on.
When I launched my website to the public, I was on version 2 of my logo which was plastered everywhere (thankfully I didn’t order any swag with it). Similarly, my initial website design and videos on the website have been given major facelifts. I spent hours and hours on both logo and website to get to my previous versions, and if not encouraged to move on, I probably would’ve continued fixating. For me, design ensnared me, but there are so many parts to get caught up on- supplies, furniture, infrastructure (EMR, billing, etc). I learned 2 lessons from following an MVP mindset. First, good enough is good enough. You can spend a ton of time fixating on something which ultimately doesn’t really matter (despite what you may think at the time). As tasks started piling up, I realized I was wasting time trying to perfect designs when I needed to do something else, like getting a business credit card for example. Second, sometimes taking time away from a task can bring new ideas and new life to it. There were a couple months between version 1 and 2 of my logo and another few months between version 2 and current. I don’t think I would’ve been able to do a redesign if I didn’t do other stuff in between to reset my brain.
Forward motion is key to building and running a business. Fixating on something may feel like motion, but it’s more like an eddy that just turns in on itself and goes no where. Minimum viable product goes hand in hand with good time management, which I wrote about last week. Getting a satisfactory on anything was always disappointing as a kid in school when I knew excellent existed, but now, satisfactory may be just that, enough. Enough to move on and move forward. And moving on doesn’t always mean leaving something behind, it may just mean letting your brain think about something else before circling back with a fresh set of eyes and making something even better.