Perfection; The Enemy of Progress

While in graduate school I had the honor of studying under Dr. David Seamands, the author of the best- selling book, “Healing for Damaged Emotions”.   It was Dr. Seamands belief that “Neurotic Perfectionism” was the biggest ailment affecting high performing individuals.  While taking his course I could breathe a sigh of relief knowing that nobody ever accused me of being a perfectionist. 

 

Recently I felt vindicated when I read a study performed by Martha Rivera Pesquera and Abdul Ali regarding the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make when starting their business.  My “ready, shoot, aim style has been challenged by the perfectionists around me, with their desire to make sure everything is perfect before you make it available for public consumption.  The two professors interviewed 120 company founders and discovered the overwhelming majority of them are now convinced that they waited too long to sell their product.  “More than half didn’t begin contacting customers until they had a fully developed offering.”

 

Let me encourage you to resist the enemy of “perfection” in your entrepreneurial passion.  Below are my primary reasons why it is necessary to move forward while improving.   

  1. Selling is the life blood of a business, not perfecting.
  2. Perfecting without selling limits valuable customer feedback.
  3. An imperfect offering in the market, accelerates the speed of process improvement.
  4. Bringing an offering to market forces you to improve all systems, not perfect just one.
  5. The market will reveal additional opportunities.