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Is Perfection Slowing You Down?

Stuart Crawford

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Perfection is what everyone is striving to achieve! Well, perhaps the ones still wanting, but not achieving, success. Perfection is a killer in the business world. Perfection is one of the main reasons companies today have declining numbers, high turnover in staff and no growth overall. Perfection is not possible!

Look in the mirror and examine yourself, are you a perfectionist? If you answer, yes, to this question, then examine your sales numbers, your service record and, most importantly if you are a business owner, check out your pay cheque. Perfection is not obtainable. There is always some flaw in your business, your product, your service and any other part of your business. Everything can be improved on.

The successful companies are the ones always striving to improve things; it may be their own products or someone else’s product with some modifications to make it better. The organizations in today’s business world that get it are the ones that release products or services and then improve upon them while the revenues are coming into their business. You just need to look at some of the leading software development organizations. They release one version of a solution and then, after they receive feedback from clients and others, they come out with version two and so on. What would happen if they would have waited to get it perfect? Well, the answer should be obvious, nothing would happen. No product would ever be released.

Why should you not adopt the perfectionist mindset? Perfection will kill your business! It will also kill you! I look at myself, for example. I have a great team around me. I may do up 80% of the content for any article, however it is my team that pulls up the remaining 20%, and vice versa. Even with this great mix we are still far from being perfect. We still make mistakes. We still get confused when on stage presenting, or hosting a teleseminar. This is normal.

A great lesson can be learned from the recent episode of “The Apprentice”. Angela who is an US Olympic superstar was recently fired on the show. She was not perfect in her plan and made mistakes. But it wasn’t what happened on the show that drove home the point. It was what she said in the car at the end of the show. It wasn’t the gold medal that taught her anything, it was the silver and bronze medals where she learned the biggest lessons. The same can be put into perspective in the business world. When you strive for perfection you always come up short, you become disappointed with your outcome and you are hardest on yourself. Learn for it to be okay to aim for the fences, and do as all the best baseball players’ do- take all the base hits you can too.

Baseball is a great example at the lessons of perfection, no baseball player is ever free from errors and when they hit 30% they are having an awesome season. So why are business owners so hard of themselves? Is it the game of trying to be better than everyone else? Today’s business owners need to stop worrying about what others think or feel and worry about getting the job done and then continuing to steadily improve. This goes for product, service and personal development.

By the time you read this article it will have several revisions, changes and I bet anyone of you can find something wrong with it. That’s OK, we are learning and getting better with each article we finish, publish, put into a book, sell the book and collect the cheques. Get a team around you, together you will strive for success and learn from the mistakes as you develop.

Stuart Crawford is a business leader in the Calgary, Alberta small business computer consulting marketplace, Stuart’s company You Factor Inc works with Small Business computer consultants and business owners take care of their clients and ensure they have the tools to grow their business. He can be reached at or via his website Stuart also manages the Canadian Small Business Show at


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