Almost two years ago, I was about to launch a new business coaching site. I had around 2 dozen friends from assorted backgrounds look at the video I had made for it. I wanted to get people’s impressions. I wanted to know if I hit the hot button I was aiming for.
One of those friends was Denise. She works in education and has no desire to be an entrepreneur. Still, she’s a very sharp lady. After she watched the video, our conversation went like this:
Denise: “Sharon, I know you have all this business experience and I don’t, but I think you forgot to mention one thing.”
Me: “What’s that?”
Denise: “I’ve known a lot of people who have started businesses over the years. I’ve seen a few people make it, most people struggle and some fall flat on their derrières. I’ve noticed that what separates those who have succeeded the most from those that have failed comes down to perfectionism.”
Me: “What do you mean? The successful ones have been the perfectionists?”
Denise laughed and said: “No, the ones that have failed miserably keep waiting for everything to be perfect before they take action.”
Denise was absolutely right. In my own experience, the more I let go of perfection, the better results I have. This isn’t to say that I don’t go all out effort wise but that over time I’ve learned that 80-95% of most things being right is “great.” The extra benefits from taking it up a few notches typically doesn’t correlate to extra work required to get there.
Perfectionism is evil for entrepreneurs for another reason: it brings out the control-freak side of us. This makes it difficult for us to delegate because of thinking, “No one can do it as well as I can.” And so we insist on doing everything ourselves with the end result that we don’t actually end up accomplishing as much as we want.
What do you think? Is perfectionism the downfall of many entrepreneurs? Is it hindering your business growth?