Once upon a time, there was a young lady who was quite fussy about everything around her. If things weren’t just right, she wasn’t happy and this attitude also pertained to how others lived their lives and what they owned.
Do you have perfectionist tendencies? Do they show up in the way you run your business?
Before you answer, think about the way you do things. Also, ask yourself if you have ever used the excuse that you put a lot of emphasis on achievement. You believe there is only one right way to do things and this applies to your business also, which makes it difficult for you to take advice. What others think of you is extremely important. In fact, their opinions are so important that you care about them more than your own. While trying to do your best is great, when it gets to the point of becoming a neurotic fixation, you are in trouble and your business is also.
How does perfectionism get in the way of your success? Setting unrealistic standards for your business, such as comparing it to one that is much larger, can hinder your outlook. A small business owner needs to set goals that are in line with the type of business they run, not goals that would be much more appropriate for a large corporation. By striving to be perfect in every small detail of your business, you will be afraid to take the usual small risks that the majority of small business owners thrive on. Your customers may find you inflexible because you must do things a certain way, without any leeway to work with your clients and perhaps give them special offers and deals.
At some point, you will realize that your insistence on everything being just right is actually slowing you down. Your version of perfect will take extra time out of your day that you could spend on more important tasks. Innovation will be next to impossible because in order to think of new ideas for your business, you will have to let go of your old “perfect” ideas and the thought of this terrifies you. Your insecurities over your own way of thinking led you to this point and in order to change, you will have to realize that there is such a thing as “good enough”. Perfectionism is actually a form of negativity, about yourself and the way you are running your business.
Trying to do your best is great but only if it comes with a positive outlook, not one that insists that what you are doing isn’t a good job. Focusing on what is wrong won’t help your business, it will just slow you down. Focus instead on what objectives you need to achieve and which major problems need to be overcome. Realize what motivates you. Is it the desire to do well or is it fear that what you are doing isn’t as good as everyone else? Part of running your business should be enjoyment in the actually process, that you have grown this business on your own and you are succeeding. You are trying to make improvements for yourself, not to outshine everyone else.
Oh, and just in case you didn’t recognize her; the young lady in the first paragraph? That is Goldilocks.
© Chris Draper, DemGen Inc. 2015
image courtesy of willbratt