3 Reasons Why Perfection Sucks in Business
No matter what the gurus say, we are all aware that it isn’t a perfect world. And never more so than when you set up your dream business and things start to go wrong in the most unexpected way.
But don’t lose heart and think maybe it’s time to down tools and shut your business for good. Your business issues may be down to a management theory called perfection.
You’ve read the book, watched the video and been to the seminars where the latest business maverick will espouse the notion that you should strive for perfection in the world of business. They teach that our life lessons do not apply just because we have decided to become self-employed. In fact, this can be a very dangerous belief to adhere to or worse still, a habit you become accustomed to. That’s why I am sharing my top three reasons why perfection sucks and why you need to eradicate this behaviour in your business.
1. Unrealistic Viewpoints Lead to Unrealistic Goals
Let us begin by reviewing something that you already know. If your business was a romantic relationship, how long to do you feel it would last if you held on to unrealistic viewpoints, expectations or beliefs about its long term success? So when things go askew, you are not surprised. And just like your business, if your business vision is unfeasible then your goals are likely to be just as unattainable. Why? Because the milestones that you set will be unrealistic and worst still, unfeasible. Goals are the foundation of your business. When you don’t accomplish the results you desire, you will start to feel demotivated and disheartened. By holding on to the perfection style of management you will start to experience increased feelings of anxiety, stress and ultimately disappointment. And once this kicks in, you will start to make decisions and implement erroneous strategies in your business.
It’s a sad fact that most of us strive to create lives where we face no disappointment, rejection or failure. This is an idealistic and impractical strategy for business success. Leadership guru John Maxwell has a great philosophy about falling forward when we make mistakes. By reframing how we embrace failure, we can use this as stepping stones to greater success. It’s important to remember, mistakes are unavoidable, so you must plan for the inconsistences, challenges and road bumps that you will face in your business. By learning to respond to the good with the bad in a measured and objective manner, we better understand that the concept of perfection is all but fictional.
2. Impatience Reigns Supreme
Beware the dangers of impatience! Perfectionists always want things done yesterday.
Creating a sustainable and profitable business takes time and cannot be “microwaved” into perfect existence. Impatience means that you will impact on your judgement. You may make rash decisions that may work well in the short term but could prove disastrous in the long term.
Impatience means that you feel profits cannot be realised fast enough; you implement your sales campaign too quickly; employees (while diligent) never seem to make the mark and you will become overly critical of yourself and of those around you.
I am no advocator or supporter of procrastination when it comes to making business decisions; but in our over connected world where we focus on “me, me, me” it is easy to bring this attitude into our business.
Embrace the process and appreciate the fact that building your dream business takes time and patience. Keep focused on your goals and introduce strategies that keep you self-motivated because your morale will inevitably suffer in the long run. Impatience often makes you frustrated and unfulfilled and has a way of negatively affecting those around you. If you have staff or a business partner, they will feel less motivated and loyal towards you as they feel they will never live up to your expectations.
3. You are Never Happy
You did not enter into the business world with dreams of being stressed for the remainder of your career. When you were a child, you never said to yourself “I truly hope that I can own a business, for I enjoy the feeling of being stressed and anxious all of the time”.
Perfectionism is not the ingredient needed for the successful mindset of an entrepreneur.
A common trait of perfectionists is that they are overly obsessive. They place high expectations on themselves and are their own worst taskmaster. They tend to struggle to find true happiness because they overthink and do not believe that they are good enough. Their inconsistent decision making often slows down the business process and they are unable to follow through on the goals that they have set for the business and themselves.
As an entrepreneur it is good to strive for excellence as a competitive advantage but be careful that you do not fall victim to the “shiny object” syndrome. This is where you constantly discount decisions and directions because you believe there next idea is better.
Once you have evaluated your intelligence, resources and advice learn to be confident with your strategy because YOU are in direct control of the tactics that you take in your business. If you stick to the “all-or-nothing” perspective it will open you up to disappointment. Be open and flexible to handle the ups and downs which accompany running a business. Leave perfection and ego at the door and you will be a much happier (and more successful) individual.
These are three of the top reasons why perfectionists have no place in the business world. While being critical of yourself and your momentum is key to keep the proverbial fire burning, never forget that there are limits to this stance.