It seems odd that wanting perfection in your business or role can be extremely detrimental. I’ve watched it prevent a sale, stop product development, and ultimately kill company morale (all my doing!).
Perfectionism is deeply rooted in my personality (whether learned or innate; probably both), so if you struggle with it like I do, you’ve got a friend in the industry!
But don’t put up with it.
There are several resources that address the topic particularly in how it relates to your business. The approach in Getting Real by 37Signals is fantastic. Instead of just stating principles and ideas, it actually provides practical steps to creating great products, but done incrementally through *good* releases.
The JCA website is a perfect example of me getting over myself (yep, let’s call it what it is!). The site wasn’t exactly how I wanted it… yet. There were incomplete sections, copy I wanted to adjust, supporting art that could be better, and features I wanted to highlight.
Thank goodness Guerra Strategy encouraged me to proceed as is.
Fact is, the rest will come. And it will come faster when you know it’s live. If you stop before that, you’ll waste years settling on an outdated product/website/blog for fear it’s not “just right”.
Like most personality faults, perfectionism doesn’t simply go away. You have to choose with each decision that you will be good with good. As a matter of fact, “perfect” can be translated “complete.” (Somehow the meaning has evolved to “flawless”, which is a lot like saying ASAP means “RIGHT NOW!”.)
So in order for something to be “complete” versus flawless, you need to define steps. That way when you reach the first milestone, you can press GO. Is it the best it could possibly be ever? No. But it’s the best it needs to be right now.
Perfectionism and Marketing
Are you afraid your marketing plan or ad buy isn’t flawless? Well, you’re right that it’s not perfect, but your wrong to be afraid. That debilitating fear is what can stifle your creativity and imagination, and worse, it can prevent you from taking calculated risk. As you know, creativity and risk-taking are both necessary traits for someone in your role.
So start today by defining the next step, taking the plunge, and resting in your decision. It’s good.