“When you aim for perfection, you discover it’s a moving target.”
Is perfectionism making you a deeply flawed entrepreneur?
When you’re starting or growing a business, it’s always good practice to aim for polished, top-notch work. After all, the global marketplace continues to become more competitive and complicated. If you want to stand out, you need to continuously work on being better than the competition. When it comes to the important aspects of your business – from your products and offers, to your content and website and so on – it pays to invest in making sure they’re the best that you can come up with.
But sometimes, aiming for the best can be crippling. Your impeccable standards and quest for zero errors can actually be the main cause of your growth delay. The logo that doesn’t get finalized. The email that’s languishing in forever draft mode. The brilliant idea that stays just that – a concept inside your head. All these are signs that you may be suffering from the crippling case of perfectionism.
Here’s the thing: Being obsessed with perfection can get you nowhere. If you want to move forward, if you want to see growth, if you’re aiming for positive change, then you need to determine when it’s time to let your baby go out into the big bad world, once it passes a reasonable set of standards. Here are just some of the reasons why sometimes good enough is best for business:
Perfectionism can foster procrastination.
Being a perfectionist can often lead you to excessively fuss over each every single step and detail. That so-called quest for perfection soon becomes the cause of delay and your feeble excuse why you still can’t get around to, say, launching the product or publishing that blog post.
Perfectionism hinders your productivity.
It can lead to inefficiency and ineffectiveness. You can’t move on to other things because you’re still stuck on meticulously “perfecting” that single task. You end up spending so much time on so little things, with barely-there results.
Perfectionism leads to loss of time and money.
While you’re stuck with making sure each element is ideal before it gets released, you may be wasting time that should have been spent on making money. That inquiry that doesn’t get a timely reply, that presentation that still isn’t getting pitched, all translates to loss of profit or diminishing ROI.
Is it perfectionism… or simply fear?
Take a deep, honest look at yourself: Is your quest for “the best” simply a form of fear? Fear of ridicule, fear of being judged, fear of mistakes – every entrepreneur knows these fears; they’re the demons that keep them awake at three in the morning. If you really want to get things going, you’ve got to learn how to manage these fears, and understand that, in business, risks are part of the deal and can in fact lead to opportunities. Time to ditch perfectionism. Know when it’s good enough. Know that you’re good enough, and move that business forward today.
Maybe it is because I’m getting older and have accumulated a lot of experience over the years but overall, I tell my team to try to be consistently good rather than occasionally perfect. I apply it not only to our work at MGR, but also to my personal life, whether it be play time, sports, relationships, fitness, diet, etc. it’s part of my overall lifestyle philosophy.
Thank you for reading. Until next time, this is Manuel Gil del Real (MGR)