When good enough is good enough

Good enough













Many creators are their own harshest critics.

They don’t get ideas out until they’re absolutely perfect.

Hence, they sometimes wait forever or are sometimes taken over by a competitor who is simply faster to market.

If you feel that you are this kind of “perfectionist” (and I myself have been for many years, but am getting better), here are three tips that have worked for me:


1. When you create something, do NOT edit/criticize yourself

This is a habit from school and it’s the habit creators have to free themselves from. Give yourself permission to do this with the knowledge that when you’re almost done, you may critic yourself as much as you like.

When you create something you want to get into a state a friend of mine calls “freeasy” (free + easy). That’s the ideal state to be in to create!


2. Get a super-critic on your team

This is something I learned while writing my first book Presentation Latte. Everyone who got the book early loved it. Except for one friend. He had a long list of critical comments to share with me. Funny thing was that we were just to meet for a casual lunch. Boy, I can’t forget that lunch.

Ever since that meeting, I call people like him super-critics.

And yes, I believe you should have one or maybe two super-critics on your team. They will often give you a different perspective and some great tips.

Only, keep in mind not to let their criticism stop you!


3. Good enough is good enough

If most people who you tested your creation on, like it…

And you changed some things based on the feedback of your super-critic…

Get your creation out!

You’ve done enough. Most people like it. Now it’s time for the market.

Microsoft didn’t bring out a perfect Windows from the start (many argue it’s still not perfect).

So enough testing already.  When you feel it’s good enough, it’s good enough.


© Copyright 2013 Ben A. Ratje All Rights Reserved

photo credit: mikecogh via photopin cc

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Quote - Nelson Mandella

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3 Little-Known Presentations Secrets of Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs Presentation












1. Steve Jobs presented (almost) all his famous presentations in front of his employees and fans.

There is no easier way to win over an audience. An audience that already likes, trust and respects you will cheer you on. And this kind of audience will also more easily persuade newcomers. Key point: Connect with your audience before your presentation. Get them to like and trust you.


2. Steve Jobs was a master of combining OFS.

Several years ago, I uncovered The OFS Method™. OFS stands for Opinions, Facts, Stories. Unlike others in his industry who mainly focus on facts, Steve Jobs was a true master of combining and connecting opinions, facts and stories. Key point: Balance OFS!


3. Steve Jobs conveyed trust by being sincere.

How many times did he indirectly attack competitors? (except for Flash, he was very direct in that case) He was always sincere. He talked straight. For one simple reason: He wanted Apple users to get the biggest benefits. He truly cared. That kind of behavior builds trust and created his fans (and some haters too). Key Point: Be sincere. Build trust with your audience.

Have a look at some of Steve Jobs funniest presentation moments:

© Copyright 2013 Ben A. Ratje All Rights Reserved

photo credit: acaben via photopin cc

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7 Innovation Myths

7. You cannot be innovative (biggest myth of all).

Truth: We were all born with the ability to be innovative. A Harvard research from the book The Innovator’s DNA discovered that innovation is 30% nature, yet 70% nurture.

6. Innovation happens through a wild and crazy and messy process. I’m structured and organized, so I cannot be innovative.

Truth: Innovation needs both: creativity (emotion/messiness) and a system (logic/structure). So it does make sense to start out messy, but innovations sure finish clean. You need both skills. And most people need to develop one of the two.

5. You need to be great at drawing to be innovative.

Truth: You need some drawing skill so you can create your ideas on paper. That’s true. But usually the drawing skill of a 3-year old will do. As long as you can draw a little bit and explain the rest with your words, you’re on the right track.

4. Only smart people can be innovative.

Truth: Not to put anyone down, but there are some very stupid, yet very rich and very creative/innovative entrepreneurs out there. So, no! Super-human intelligence not required.

3. It takes a lot of money to be innovative.

Truth: It takes a little money to be innovative. In a few rare cases, no money.

2. Focus groups are great for innovation.

Truth: Most focus groups are terrible for innovation. The main reason being is that most focus group leaders still ask the WRONG questions. If you ask the RIGHT questions, focus groups can be great.

1. Innovation is only for high-tech

Truth: Innovation happens anywhere. From fashion innovations to hospitality innovations to farming innovations to houseware innovations. Across (almost) all industries and at all levels.

Which innovation myth do you have to break through?


© Copyright 2013 Ben A. Ratje All Rights Reserved

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5 Basic Tools Every Creator Needs

Creativity Tools






What basic tools do you need to create anything? (new product/service, new presentation, new business, new system, etc.)

Here are my personal top 5:

1. Color Pens & Yellow-Sheet Notepad

Doesn’t work without. Either for writing or drawing, it’s needed. Alternatively Samsung Note 2 or the Apple iPad will also do. But I still prefer writing/drawing on paper. Especially for brainstorming.

2. Color post-its

Absolute necessity! Brainstorming should lead to quantity of ideas. But shortly after choosing the best ideas and more importantly structuring and organizing parts of the idea, execution must follow. And there is simply no better (and fun) way to move ideas around like post-its.


3. Brainstorm Buddy

A Brainstorming Buddy is someone who you can call up or meet anytime when you need to get some perspective or new ideas. You HAVE TO have at least one brainstorming buddy! I have multiple for different types of ideas and business and I recommend you do the same.


4. Brain Block Getaway

If you are a creator, you’ve been there: BRAIN BLOCK! When nothing is going. Nothing is working. At all. For author’s it’s called writer’s block. But I think we should for the sake of creators generalize it as BRAIN BLOCK.

How to overcome it? To options usually: Attack or retreat. Attack means you lock yourself into a room and don’t leave until the job is done. (sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t). Second option is to get away. To a space totally unrelated with the date. It basically means getting out. To check out some stores, work on something else, play your favorite sports, grab an unrelated magazine or book or get a caramel macchiato at your favorite coffee shop.


5. Music

I’m a big believer that music is absolutely essential to creation. I know there are some people who say you can focus better in the quiet, but I yet have to find creators who don’t use music during at least some part of their creation. A friend of mine who is a successful fashion designer is unable to design new clothes at all without her music. Sometimes it’s uplifting and (in her case especially) sometimes it’s super-sad music, but either way it works.

© Copyright 2012 Ben A. Ratje All Rights Reserved

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Cool Innovation: LiquiGlide

Ever had trouble getting ketchup out of the bottle?

Or mustard? Or any type of sauce?

Well, if you’re like me you’ve probably also had enough of these annoying times.

Finally there is a solution, check out LiquiGlide:

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What product or business will you create this year?


Are you done with your new year’s resolutions yet?

Well, if you are or you’re not, doesn’t matter.

I have one resolution to add for you.

Ask yourself:

What product or business would I start creating this year if I could not fail?

What is a product or business I would love to create?

For me, I have a target for my life that every 2 years I have to publish a new book and every year I have to create at least one new product.

You become an innovator by creating and innovating the actual thing or business, NOT by sitting around planning.

I see too many people planning businesses, planning products, planning services which ONE DAY they want to bring to market.


For most people that one day NEVER COMES!

Unless you make it happen now.

Planning has it’s place, but for most people they’ve planned enough and it’s time to take some action.

So, I’d like you to take a moment to think about and answer the following questions:

If you work in a job, what is a small product or business you could create on the side this year?

If you are a seasoned entrepreneur, what is your next step?

If you want to become an author, which book will you write and finish this year?

Whatever your answers to the above might be, start NOW!

© Copyright 2012 Ben A. Ratje All Rights Reserved

photo credit: gfpeck via photopin cc

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Presentation: Seth Godin – This is broken

Great, fun presentation from master marketer and bestselling author, Seth Godin. Enjoy!


Thoughts of the Month: Albert Einstein


I personally love his philosophy and his quotes have always encouraged me a lot.

I hope they will do the same for you. Here are my top 5 quotes:

5. “We cannot solve our problems with the same kind of thinking that created them.”

4. “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”

3. “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

2. “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”

1. “Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.”

The quotes above should matter to anyone in business, but especially to creators and entrepreneurs they are even more important.

How can you awaken the Einstein in you?

More Albert Einstein Quotes: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/a/albert_einstein.html

© Copyright 2012 Ben A. Ratje All Rights Reserved

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