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Reasons Why Progress over Perfection should be the Right Attitude for Entrepreneurs

Updated: Sep 20

There’s nothing wrong with being a perfectionist.

As an entrepreneur, you must ensure that the product you are selling or the service you are offering perfectly addresses your consumers’ pain points.

That’s how you stay ahead of the competition because your perfect services do not leave any scope for survival for any second-best in the market.

You idolize attaining the pinnacle of perfection and work hard to reach there.

What if your team doesn’t share your ideology? Or do they struggle to live up to your vision of perfection?

Your unbending mind makes it hard and challenging for the team to deliver something perfect and flawless. Your constant denial that nothing is perfect makes your company suffer.

This is because you lose out windows of opportunities to achieve something unattainable.

You need to stop right there!

Understand what ‘perfect’ means to you. A strong and sturdy horse or a beautiful unicorn? The latter is the perfect image of what a child’s dream horse looks like – perfect and flawless.

But, it’s still a horse with a horn and two pairs of wings. Then again, a unicorn is a fabled creature wherein a horse is a reality (with its imperfections).

In your quest for attaining perfection in everything, you are missing out on incredible things for most.

And, in doing so, you are preventing yourself and your company from progressing and moving forward. Because you are stuck with the idea of reaching perfection with everything that you are doing in your business –

  • Designing the perfect ad-copies

  • Developing the state-of-the-art website

  • Producing the ‘Eureka’ services for sale

  • Developing a bug-free software

  • Structuring the flawless business plan, or,

  • Penning the most engaging newsletter.

Unless you possess the superhuman power of turning things into gold with a single touch, you waste much time trying to reach the perfection level.

You are intimidating your team and discouraging them from doing the best of their abilities. And, you are losing your market to the competitors along the way.

This is because you cannot settle for something less than perfect.

Having such an uncompromising attitude can spell disaster for your business. So, you should leave perfection behind and strive to do something good in the eyes of your customers.

Entrepreneurship is not about getting things perfect. It is about getting things done and getting them out of the door.

That’s why software developers release a prototype in the market. The prototype captures essential information from the potential users. Then, the developers start perfecting their little art pieces, removing the bugs, and delivering something their customers want.

The most important thing we need to point out here is that the demand has already been created for the software by releasing the prototype. All the developers need to do is erase the errors and kill the bugs.

The developers made progress with their software; they also perfected the software for the customers, just the way buyers want.

Hence, attaining perfection should be the end goal, but that should not limit you from progressing.

We always say the sky’s the limit.

Does it imply you have to conquer the sky? No! That’s impossible.

It means that if you set your goals high, your achievements should be higher! You will never settle for something that’s just okay or average.

And, once you set your goals that high, you will never stop or fall short in your efforts. You will keep pushing your abilities to try and reach the sky (pun intended) while making progress at about the same time.

It is not just restricting your progress to create something improbable.

Because perfection is a myth, doing great is what we expect from you.

Like Voltaire, the French writer, said, “the best is the enemy of the good.” Or Confucius once said, “better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without,” do not let your idea of attainable perfection mar your chances of winning with your ‘good’ products.

As we mentioned, getting it done is better than waiting until it’s “perfect.”

Why? Here are a few reasons.

Reason #1: Improve In-Alignment to Your Customers’ Preferences

Les Brown once said, “you don’t have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great!”

Perfectionists are more inclined to make the same mistake – they keep trying to perfect the task at hand and completely ignore the value of time. Now, you cannot afford to miss out on a single minute in business to get your business idea implemented.

That’s because you are not the only one who came up with such a brilliant idea. Someone in some corner of the world is probably thinking like you. And, before you realize it, your competitors are out with their prototypes.

Bang! Someone else just stole the spotlight from you.

What could have been your baby became someone else’s? This is because you allowed your idea to be taken before you could do something about it.

Or, what if they didn’t? The idea is still yours, and you are struggling to make it perfect – in your eyes only! Are you sure your customers share your opinion? Do they think your product is excellent?

You may argue that your idea has addressed its most pressing problems.

True! But what if the features do not match your customers’ preferences? Or, when your perfect product is out in the market, your customers do not need the solution?

So many things can go wrong when you waste time perfecting your art piece.

And, like the example mentioned earlier, most developers release just the prototype or sample of their products in the market.

This is done to understand how their potential customers react to the products –

  • Do they like the products?

  • Do they approve of the features?

  • Do they agree with the aesthetics?

  • Do they find the product user-friendly?

  • Do they find the product helpful?

  • Do they have any suggestions for improvement?

And so on…

Answers to all these questions help developers make changes accordingly and come out with the final product, which is perfect in the customers’ eyes.

Again, as we mentioned before, the prototype has already created hype and demand in the market. The same customers would be eagerly waiting to try the final product.

As for the developers, it is easier to make minor adjustments and changes in the prototype than to change the whole algorithm of the complete product.

Now, you understand why it is okay to release your product when it is just about 70-80% perfect in the market and not wait to reach 100% perfection.

Reason #2: Perfection Leads to Stagnation – Do You Want That?

Well! The first point might have created doubt in your mind – is your business reaching a stagnation point already?

The whole idea of attaining perfection can be pretty intimidating.

It will create confusion, doubt, and fear for yourself and your team too! You will resort to vices like procrastination. You keep making errors, and you keep addressing them, which eventually leads to stagnation.

This is because you cannot reach the perfection level with your product. And, since you are unsatisfied with the final product, you fail to release it in the market.

You have to start by accepting two important things –

First, accept that perfection is intangible.

Second, accept that perfection is a journey, not the destination.

So, each day you work, you are taking one step closer to improving what you are doing.

You can start by setting small goals for yourself and achieving them until you reach your perceived level of perfection. The latter should be attained gradually through tangible and measurable actions.

And those actions should result in positive outcomes – they might not be perfect, but they are still better than nothing. If you fail, rise again, try harder and get those results. Just keep going.

Don’t wait for things to become perfect!

Reason #3: Do Not Complicate Things by being Fussy

Perfectionists are incredibly fussy people. They are always picky about perfecting every detail of the work they do.

They keep second-guessing their choices and start overthinking and overanalyzing every minute detail and, in short, overcomplicating the whole process.

Do you know what the outcome looks like?

Mr. Perfectionist will eventually lose track of what exactly his team was trying to achieve in the first place. His micromanaging nature will drive the team nuts and send many home straightaway.

Do not expect your team to deliver if you constantly hover around or breathe down their necks! You will leave them feeling extremely frustrated.

What you need to do instead is to cut them some slack.

Let your team find solutions to errors and address them to the best of their abilities. That’s why you hired them in the first place. They will forever depend on you if you do not allow them to take ownership and work using their skills.

Please don’t blame them later because you chopped off their wings and severed their thinking capabilities long ago.

There are innumerable reasons why trying to be perfect at everything is not always perfect.

Often, good is fine, and better is best. Settle for that and grow from there.

Who knows, perfection might still be waiting for you at the end of the journey.

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