Why Perfectionism Is Your Enemy As An Entrepreneur.

Perfectionism can either push you to take serious actions and get huge rewards or it can stand in the way of success and even stop you from accomplishing basic tasks.  

There are so many people out there who have strived for perfectionism in all they do and they are accomplished and their life’s work is incredible.

For example, Steve Jobs whose addiction to technological advancement has changed the world of technology – computers, mobile phones, etc. through Apple. Think of Leonardo da Vinci, Margaret Thatcher, etc. These people endlessly strived for excellence and perfectionism and they changed the world through that. Maybe they wouldn’t have done that if they didn’t have that drive.

Think of the successful American business woman Martha Stewart, who attributes her success to her quest for perfect. She once said, “I am a maniacal perfectionist. And if I weren’t, I wouldn’t have this company. I have proven that being a perfectionist can be profitable and admirable.”

The desire to get things perfectly and flawlessly done can make people more efficient at what they do. However, this fascination for perfect can actually stand in the way of success.

Martin Antony, the author of “When Perfect Isn’t Good Enough,” says, although some facets of perfectionism can be useful in helping one reach their full potential, the perfectionist attitude similarly has some downfalls that can extremely hold back personal and professional growth.  

Perfectionism in entrepreneurship.

In business, perfection is the enemy of profitability. – Mark Cuban

In psychology, perfectionism is considered a disorder and in the world of business, prominent business experts strongly advise entrepreneurs against trying to be perfect.

With perfectionism, you place too much pressure on yourself and those around you, and most of the time, it’s not necessary. When you constantly put that much pressure on yourself, you eventually crush – personally and professionally in your business.

Experts in different fields have proven that excellence does not require perfection. Therefore, always trying to make everything in your business perfect does not necessarily guarantee success. In reality, if you continue swimming in perfectionism, there are so many issues you will have to deal with that will eventually hurt your business.

#1.You will always have high expectations that are nearly impossible to meet.

With a perfectionist attitude, you will have high expectations for yourself, your team, and even the products and services you want to offer.

You will always strive to create a product that is completely perfect and you will keep burdening your team with things they need to do to make your products or services perfect. This might be nearly impossible for you or your team to achieve and that is a recipe for disappointment and so many unachievable goals.

#2.You will avoid taking risks.

The desire to be perfect and to be the best in everything you do all the time can turn into fear of failure.

Derived from the book, “When Perfect Isn’t Good Enough,” by Martin Antony, many people set high goals and tend to quickly move on when they don’t achieve them. However, perfectionists tend to find it hard to let go and define themselves in terms of whether they achieve their impossibly high goals.

With the constant experience of not meeting these impossibly high goals, perfectionists can be stopped by the fear of failing and not meeting their goals. As a result, they will stick to what they know and avoid taking greater risks fearing to fail.

In business, entrepreneurs who want to succeed must be willing to take risks. And with a perfectionist attitude, you will really struggle as an entrepreneur.

#3.You will take too long to get things done.

With the desire to always do things perfectly, you will take too much time to get things done.

You will take too much time to plan and perfect a product to launch it. Ryan Robinson on The Balance advises on always launching a product even before you feel ready.  He says that this is the only way you will be able to gather valuable feedback to improve your product.

With perfectionism, you will never get things done on time. You will be wasting a lot of time checking and re-checking your tasks and you will be less productive. Yes, your work will be perfect with no mistakes but how many tasks will you accomplish?

This will prevent you from completing important tasks on time affecting your business growth.

#4.You will be exposing yourself to high levels of stress.

Since your measures for success are way too high, you will always be struggling to keep up with the pressure you are putting yourself under.

You will always be working to perfect everything and with this, you will barely have enough time to relax or refresh your mind.

You will eventually burn out putting yourself under such pressure. We all know too much stress over time can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.

Over time, you might develop unhealthy habits in the name of working on something to make it perfect. You will find yourself missing meals, lacking sleep, etc. and this affects your physical health.

#5.You will be inflexible.

Change is inevitable and constant and one’s success often depends on one’s ability to adapt to change.

Adapting to change is hard among people with a perfectionist attitude.

In the world of business, flexibility among entrepreneurs is crucial for success. Business experts express that top entrepreneurs quickly adapt to business changes and this makes them better innovators and creative thinkers.

Perfectionism paralyzes your innovativeness and creativity which are crucial for business growth.

#6.Perfectionism will affect your work relationship with employees and colleagues.

A perfectionist attitude is a recipe for disappointment for all the parties involved with your business.

You will be expecting perfection from your employees or other people in your team who are not necessarily your employees. The same pressure you are putting on yourself you are highly going to put on others.

This obviously brings tension in your business because these people will not meet your high standards. To make it worse, they might consider your high standards unnecessary.

You will be deemed rude, extremely strict, arrogant, a micro-manager among other names without even realizing it. Some will not stick working for you, they will quit because they cannot stand your perfectionist attitude.

Your perfectionism will create terror for the people working for you and your business cannot grow in such an environment.

#7.You will not be happy.

This is very clear. Nothing in life is perfect, there is no perfect business or a perfect product.

You will be disappointed in yourself for not achieving your goals and in other people for not meeting your expectations.  

How can you be happy when you are stressed most of the time anyway?

You will never find true happiness if you are endlessly trying to perfect everything around you.

To find true happiness and satisfaction, you need to be able to find a balance in life.

Final Thoughts

“Don’t wait for perfection. Life isn’t perfect. Do the best you can and ship. Real people ship, and then they test and then they ship again. Then you wake up one day and you have something insanely great.” – Guy Kawaski.

Don’t work towards perfect. Instead, work towards making your business better every way you know how without putting too much pressure on yourself.

Do your best in everything you set yourself to do and teach yourself to adapt to the learning curve through change, mistakes, and failure.

Know where to draw the line while chasing ‘perfection’. If you don’t, you may never taste success because you will never get things started or done.

Strive to be excellent instead of perfect because as they say, perfect is a myth.

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