Why Perfectionism Is Business Enemy #1

Through my years of helping entrepreneurs launch their business, the one thing that kills momentum faster than you can say “rockin’ my business” is the need to get things perfect.

It’s an easy trap to fall into. We hear so much advice about what we must do for our business. We listen closely and download elaborate plans, only to then get bombarded with a continuing message of all the perfect details we must follow up on.

Unfortunately, this headache of a quest most often leads to – total paralysis.

While having paragons of perfection to aspire to can be enlightening, it’s critical to find a path forward that accepts our time- and budget-based realities. Below I’ve identified some areas that tend to bring out our demons of idealism and then I’ve outlined ways to fight these demons with some practical, far-less-than-perfect tools.

The perfect logo.

So many of us believe that it’s mandatory to have the perfect logo in place before starting our business. Here’s the news flash: unless you’re planning to launch a product that sells in fifteen countries, you don’t need an expensive logo.

What I so often see is business owners who spend their hard-earned dollars on a $100-an-hour designer. The entrepreneur tells the designer that the logo must tell the whole story of what the business is about. It must reflect the passion of what they’re building. In their effort to please, the designer will create fancy swirls and intricate patterns and a cacophony of colors, which usually translates into an unintelligible mess.

My advice? Just start with a simple, type-treatment logo. In other words, no fancy mark. It will make your life so much easier – especially in today’s digital environment.

The perfect website.

Ah. Don’t get me started on this one. Since I run a business of creating websites that are beautiful – but affordable – this one is my favorite.

I’ve heard it all: I can only have a website built on WordPress, I must have Infusion Soft. I need a learning management system. I need a full e-commerce platform with a shopping cart. All of these are great things to consider – once you’re making over $150K a year and you actually really need the tools you’re signing up for.

If you’re at the beginning of your business adventure or if you plan to build your business mostly through referrals (which a large percentage of businesses still do), you need a website that’s inviting, tells what you do, and gives visitors a clear path to get in touch with you. And that’s it.

Remember. You can always add bells and whistles. But you must first clearly communicate what you offer and why it matters.

The perfect business plan.

We are trained from Day One that we must have all of the parts and pieces of our business figured out before we start hawking our services or products. We have to know precisely whom we’re selling to. We have to know exactly what to charge. We have to know exactly where we’ll be in five years.

I say BS.

It’s so much better to just dive in and experiment to see what works and what doesn’t. The mantra of “launch and iterate” has been the key driver behind billion-dollar start-ups like Facebook and Airbnb. If they did it, why not you?

The beauty of just trying something is that you’ll actually learn something. And that’s where the real magic begins. For example, if you try a certain package at a certain price point and it doesn’t sell, perhaps it’s too expensive. Or maybe you’re selling it to the wrong people. Just try different approaches, take good notes, and keep at it until you find the formula that works.

A few last thoughts.

If you’re excited about what you do, if you’ve made a difference in one person’s life, if you have that rumble-in-your-gut feeling that you’re on to something, then embrace your totally imperfect, I-still-haven’t-figured-this-out self – and get out there!! You’ll be amazed at the places you go and the things you accomplish.

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