Perfectionism could be a natural enemy for entrepreneurs. It’s understandable why an entrepreneur would want to strive for perfection, their livelihood and success are wrapped up into their business, but in the long term, it’s, in fact, going to do more harm than good on your overall health and the health of the company you’re growing.
Many of the most extraordinary entrepreneurs of all time were perfectionists. They are literally those people that with their innovative products and solutions, change our lives for the better. There are many well-known examples, where because of perfectionism, product releases have been canceled as they didn’t reach the desired level of sophistication, thus leading to more costs for the company.
Perfectionism causes entrepreneurs to look at their products and services under a microscope, ignoring the big picture and instead choosing to focus on minor details. Even when a product or service is excellent, if the standards are so high, still the chances are that you’ll always find something that could be perfected.
Running your business with trying to make everything perfect can undermine the work that your employees do and can cause serious lack of coherence within a team. The whole team morale can be negatively affected if the team is not able to satisfy and get satisfaction with their work. Unrealistic standards that were not able to be reached have caused many disruptions of good teams in the past.
Not being able to recognize the limits of being practical vs. perfect, will more than likely result in product and service releases being delayed and time and resources being wasted on components that aren’t going to yield any additional returns.
But how do we combat this inner need for perfectionism? First and foremost we should identify that most of the times, perfectionism is caused by the fear of failure. This fear will inevitably cause you to focus on the small things that even successful product or service launches won’t be enjoyable because there will always be something that needs improvement. Therefore, there are three simple but helpful steps that can assist a perfectionist in being more practical and efficient.
The first step is called “responsibility of planning”. Being a responsible planner primarily has to do with a thorough assessment of the value that every action adds to a new project and prioritizing the objectives to be accomplished. After examining the pros and cons, essential time should not be wasted on overanalyzing all aspects involved. Build well in advance a smart control process that will identify which parameters may need adjustments and then move straight to execute your strategy.
The second step is to find a balance between common sense and your creative vision. It is a new set of mentality for most perfectionists, and it takes some time to be developed. Making extensive use of your logic while at the same time trying on being creative, can help you gain a calm insight into essential details of the product or service you develop each time.
The third step is called “quick adaptability”. Knowing when and how to adapt is an art. Seeing opportunity where others see failure will help you shape an efficient and effective entrepreneurial environment and make the best use of all of your resources. In some cases, adaptability could be thought as a good alternative to perfectionism. An adaptable person or organization will use the need to feel in control of uncertainty by eliminating all unnecessary processes and optimize those that lead to the desired outcome. This is not the case with the mentality of perfectionism, which to deal with uncertainty it may lose valuable time particularly due to procrastination.
Being a total perfectionist does not add value either to life or in business. Nothing in life will ever be perfect. By all means, strive for the best and always try to be the best version of yourself, but moderately compromising and taking knowledgeable risks is the best course of action for any entrepreneur.