How To Stay Out Of The Perfectionism Trap In Business
I’m in Vancouver now, and what I’d like to talk about in this article is perfectionism. I’ve seen a lot of people get into entrepreneurship, and I’ve seen a lot of people succeed. Of course I’ve seen others fail as well. In fact when I first started as an entrepreneur, I failed my first two years in business. I wasn’t a complete failure, I had results and sales. However, I went into debt and I wasn’t very nice.
So the question is: what is perfectionism? How does that prevent some people from getting the initial success and the initial momentum that they need to build up their business and move away from the beaten path towards something a little bit more than that.
Planning a Project
For me, whenever I started a project it always had to be perfectly planned out. It had to be laid out on a piece of paper like they taught me in college. I thought that there needed to be hundreds of pages of planning before you could build a business for yourself. Apparently I was told and I was taught that that’s what it takes. It had to be really well written with no spelling mistakes and no grammar mistakes.
Today, one of the companies that I look up to is MindBuild. At one of their events they showed their original business plan. It was literally a napkin. I know it’s kind of cliches, but they had a napkin for a plan and they turned that into a $20 million dollar business. Did they wait for twenty years to make the napkin into reality? No, they are still following the general principles that they laid out then and they are very, very successful with what they do. They’re leaders in the industry right now.
What can you learn from my mistakes? What can you learn from my success and other people’s success? Well when I start a project now, the first thing that I do when I hit upon a good idea is I get started. If I think I’ve found a profitable idea then I take action, without planning it out too much. I get the ball moving and I throw it really hard.
The thing about this is that once your business is highly mobile you can move it around in different directions. If you keep your business like this, then you’re able to adjust to any situation. You don’t have to be a perfectionist any more. If you’re a perfectionist then you’ll just keep planning and writing things down. You’ll keep making all these elaborate plans but you won’t end up executing any of them. You won’t be getting the feedback from the real world that you need to make things actually work. On a piece of paper you can make anything work. In reality, you need real world feedback.
Breaking Through the Wall
So me and some of my clients sometimes face perfectionism. We want to have something a certain way, and this can be like a mental block. It’s almost like self sabotage. What happens is that you don’t actually end up progressing your business. You end up doing nothing at all. Perfectionism ends up being this wall that you hit and then use as an excuse to not take action. The problem here is that it is just an excuse. It’s an excuse that most entrepreneurs have used in their life, but it’s something that they were able to overcome.
Every single entrepreneur I know that has had a certain amount of success, say six figures plus a year in revenue, they’ve been able to overcome this perfectionist drive. It’s not really your fault or my fault that we have this drive. It’s from all those years of traditional education. It’s from being taught to follow a beaten path. Follow the process, get good grades, and stick to the beaten path. The problem is that none of that fits very well into entrepreneurship.
With entrepreneurship, you get hit and you get back up. That’s how you really hustle, that’s how you really build a business for the long term. You’re always going to get hit, and you need to get hit, otherwise you will never know if you’re doing the right thing or if you’re pushing it hard enough. If you never get hit, you’re definitely not pushing it hard enough. For example, if you never get refunds then you’re not pushing it hard enough. You’re not getting enough clients. If you’re not getting a small percentage of people who are complaining about this or that, then you don’t have enough clients and you’re not pushing hard enough.
You need to be at the edge if you want to experience rapid growth. Trust me, you want to experience rapid growth, you need rapid growth, and you need to be pushing the edge at all times. You should be changing things when you have to change things.
For example, in my own situation I decided at a certain point that my mastermind group would no longer be on Facebook. As it turns out, that didn’t work out very well. Now, I’m moving back towards Facebook because it works better for everyone, people are more engaged and it takes less effort to get on Facebook. Mistakes like these are very easy to make, and very easy to resolve. Yes, I could have avoided it, but I just didn’t know. I tested it in the real world and I found out.
So that’s just some examples from me. If you have your own examples you can send me a message or post them below. If you’d like more free information about marketing, entrepreneurship and sales, then please subscribe to my YouTube channel.