Thinking Holistically

Overcoming Perfectionism in Your Business

This week, we’re continuing to look at the ways that entrepreneurs frequently sabotage their businesses, specifically letting perfectionism take over. Perfectionism might seem like a good trait, but it can be detrimental to your business development. At the earliest stages, the tendency to spend too much time making the perfect product or service, business plan, brand, website and such can prevent you from getting the business off the ground. And as you grow your business, your desire for perfection places unrealistic expectations on yourself and those who are working with you. This week, we’re sharing some tips on how to overcome perfectionism.

Accept that Building a Business is a Process

A first step in overcoming perfectionism is accepting that building a business is a process, and a non-linear one at that. It requires iterations of building, testing, measuring, learning, and adjusting to ensure that your business is serving its market, achieving financial sustainability, creating positive community impact, and providing a means for you to build wealth for you and your family. Frequently, check in with what you’ve learned and adjust your expectations.

Focus on What You Want, Not What You Don’t Want

Perfectionism leads us to focus on what we don’t want, such as not wanting to fail. Fear of failure can be a motivator, but it can also lead to a lot of stress, overwhelm, and potential burn-out. Rather than focusing on the fear, go back to your why. Why are you passionate about building this business? What do you want to achieve with this business? When you are connected with a deeper sense of purpose, you are more likely to be engaged and resilient in developing your business.

Identify “Must Haves” vs. “Nice to Haves”

As entrepreneurs, we have a long list of things we want to do with our business. This can show up in the list of features we want to offer through our products or services. Or, it can be all the bells and whistles we want on our website. Not everything we would like to have is necessary for us to build and release right now. Ask yourself what are the “must have” features versus the “nice to have” ones. Start by building the “must haves” and leave the “nice to haves” for when you have more market traction and resources.

Finish What You Start

I often hear, “I have a website, but it’s not live yet because it’s not perfect.” Perfectionism often causes us to start projects, but not finish them because of unrealistic perceptions about what “finished” means. But, finishing what we start allows you to get something out there that people can use and react to. This gives us valuable feedback that we can use to either validate or adjust our market opportunity, product or service, and business model.

Celebrate Your Progress

Perfectionism leads us to narrowly focus on our destination. We can get so caught up on trying to get to that destination that we don’t enjoy the ride. Instead, take the time to reflect on how far you have come in your business. Appreciating the journey and celebrating your progress can help build confidence in your business and help you overcome the fears associated with perfectionism.