Tips for Entrepreneurs: How Perfectionism Can Impact Productivity

Could perfectionism in your business be holding back your progress? Perfectionism is the desire to have everything exactly right before taking action, or seeing anything less than perfection as a ‘failure’.

It is a black-and-white, all-or-nothing attitude that can lead to doing nothing at all rather than doing something that isn’t superlative Grade A+.

Tips for avoiding perfectionism

While goals are important, writer and entrepreneur James Clear says to avoid perfectionism you need to focus more on repetitions than on goals. For instance, a writer or artist who produces a lot of work will know that not all of it can be a masterpiece. Some of it will be awesome, some average and some destined only for the bin. But they will have more chance of hitting the bullseye than if they only produced one piece of work for the entire year.

In a business context, this means that rather than planning the perfect business idea, you could start with getting one customer, experimenting with ideas, and refining as you go.

A few other tips include:

  • Finish what you start – perfectionists are inclined to give up half-way, before getting anywhere at all.
  • Delegate to others – perfectionists can also tend to be control freaks at times. But since you can’t be an expert at everything, pass some tasks onto other talented people.
  • Keep it positive – for example, make the passion you have for your business the motivating factor rather than a fear of failure.

Lastly, see failures along the way as stepping stones. After all no one gets to the top of Everest the first time – they often have many attempts and failures along the way, learning from their mistakes as they go.