Last Updated on June 1, 2023 by Dave Schoenbeck
Many business owners struggle with overcoming perfection or at least overcoming the desire for perfection. This stands to reason. After all, a business owner pours so much of themself into their business. So why wouldn’t they want to produce a perfect product or service?
As it turns out, the answer is that perfectionism hurts your business more than it helps. Here’s why you need to break free of the perfectionist trap.
Why You Need to Stop Overthinking
You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Perfect is the enemy of good.” Unfortunately, to make things perfect, we devote time and effort to chasing an unrealistic standard when we only need to make something “good enough.”
Perfectionism can paralyze entrepreneurs. It leads to higher stress levels and burnout and results in wasted resources. In addition, perfectionists can be overly critical of themselves and their team, leading to reduced morale overall and a lack of desire to experiment with new ideas.
Perfectionists can also fall victim to the mentality of “if I can’t make it perfect, why even try?” This, of course, leads to many missed opportunities. And in fact, studies have shown that being a perfectionist does not make you a higher performer. So what gives?
How to Get Over Perfectionism
I understand the desire for perfection and have had to overcome my perfectionist tendencies. I once worked on a multi-billion dollar sales supply chain process redesign, and we learned quickly that we couldn’t wait for perfection to implement change successfully. The solution was to deliver “quick wins” in understandable and palatable chunks.
What is a quick win? The concept is sometimes referred to as a “minimally viable product.” The seller pushes out an early version of a product or service to test viability, customer response, pricing, and design, giving them a chance to work out the bugs and make a profit at the same time.
A perfectionist might cringe at releasing a product or service before these features are hammered out. But look at the results: the perfectionist route would have resulted in ongoing research and development to try and cement the finer details. The finished product might never even hit the market because meeting a perfectionist’s high standards is challenging.
On the other hand, the “quick wins” approach results in a finished product that’s good enough. It hits the market sooner and begins turning a profit, and the customer feedback will let you know everything you would have tried to find out in the research and development process.
This is not to say that you should purposely release a defective product or service to your customer base. Instead, you should rethink what it means for a product to be “ready.” For a true perfectionist, you might never feel ready. The key is recognizing when something is good enough and seeing what opportunities it can bring you.
Are you struggling with perfectionism in your business? Please fill out my contact form, and let’s meet to work out how to overcome being a perfectionist and what quick wins might look like for your business.