6 reasons perfectionism in your business is a big issue and 6 things you can do about it

As an ambitious entrepreneur, you’ve poured your heart and soul into building a successful business. You’re driven by a desire to make a lasting impact on the world and create a life filled with freedom, joy, and choice. However, despite your best efforts, you may find yourself trapped in the vicious cycle of perfectionism. In this blog post, we’ll explore how perfectionism can hinder your business’s growth and impact, and provide practical strategies to help you break free from its grip.

Let’s dive in!

What this post covers:

  • Perfectionism is a form of self-sabotage that can waste time, money, and self-esteem.
  • Perfectionism shifts focus from the overall goal to minor details, leading to a negative mindset.
  • Striving for perfection delays positive reinforcement and prevents learning from feedback.
  • Perfectionism contributes to a culture of being busy without being productive.
  • Focusing on perfection shifts the impact from serving others to serving oneself.
  • Perfectionism handicaps the ability to scale and systemize a business.
  • Setting clear goals and definitions of “done” helps combat perfectionism.
  • Time estimates and pattern recognition can identify perfectionistic tendencies.
  • Being honest with yourself and your team about perfectionism is crucial for growth.
  • Anchoring back to your “why” and the impact you want to make can override perfectionistic urges.

Listen now:

The Dark Side of Perfectionism

Perfectionism is often disguised as a positive trait, but in reality, it can be a form of self-sabotage. When you become obsessed with achieving perfection, you waste valuable time, money, and energy on minor details that don’t contribute to your overall goals. This shift in focus can lead to a negative mindset, causing you to procrastinate, self-criticise, and fear failure.

“Perfection is a time waster. It paralyses you through procrastination, self criticism and fear of failure. Think about all that perfection has robbed you of. Time. Money. Self esteem.”

The Perfection Paradox

One of the most significant problems with perfectionism is that it delays positive reinforcement and prevents you from learning from feedback. By constantly striving for perfection, you miss out on opportunities to celebrate your progress and make necessary adjustments based on insights from your audience. This paradox can leave you feeling stuck and unfulfilled, despite your best efforts.

“What perfection really gives you is this anxiety and stress overwhelmed from setting goals that are overwhelming feelings of being stuck, feelings of unworthiness and not being good enough. Even more self criticism. And excessive focus on the completed product rather than the process.”

The Busy Trap

Perfectionism can also contribute to a culture of being busy without being productive. When you’re caught up in the endless pursuit of perfection, you may find yourself spending countless hours on tasks that don’t move the needle forward. This can lead to burnout and a sense of overwhelm, making it difficult to focus on the big-picture goals that truly matter.

Serving Others vs. Serving Yourself

As an empire builder, your primary goal is to serve your audience and make a positive impact on their lives. However, when perfectionism takes over, you may find yourself shifting your focus from serving others to serving yourself. This self-centred approach can hinder your ability to connect with your audience and provide them with the solutions they need.

“More often than not, when we release the imperfect thing out into the world and we release it to the right people, the people it matters to, they don’t care what it looks like and you get this. Response of awe and gratefulness.”

Scaling with Imperfection

One of the most significant challenges of perfectionism is that it handicaps your ability to scale and systemize your business. When you’re constantly striving for perfection, it becomes difficult to delegate tasks and trust your team to deliver results. By embracing imperfection and focusing on progress over perfection, you can create a more sustainable and scalable business model.

“Ultimately it handicaps your ability to scale. It handicaps and it minimises the results that you can get. You can’t systemise based on perfectionism. And systemising is a big component of scalability.”

Strategies for Overcoming Perfectionism:

  1. Set clear goals and definitions of “done”: By establishing specific, measurable goals and defining what “done” looks like, you can combat perfectionism and stay focused on what truly matters.
  2. Use time estimates and pattern recognition: Tracking how long tasks take and identifying patterns of perfectionistic behaviour can help you become more aware of when perfectionism is holding you back.
  3. Be honest with yourself and your team: Openly discussing perfectionism with your team and acknowledging its impact on your business can foster a culture of growth and continuous improvement.

    “Be honest with yourself and with your team. Are you being perfectionistic? Are your team members being perfectionistic? Is this something that we should talk about? Is this something that I need to recognise and work on with myself?”

  4. Anchor back to your “why”: When perfectionism threatens to derail your progress, remember why you started your business in the first place. Focusing on the impact you want to make can help you override perfectionistic urges and stay true to your mission.

    “When people come to you and they need help, they don’t need it in a shiny boat. They don’t need all the bells and whistles, even though it’s nice to give it to them. If it’s preventing us from helping them, they’re not going to be happy that we waited till we had those bells and whistles.”

The Bottom Line:

Breaking free from the perfectionism trap is essential for unleashing your business’s true potential. By recognizing the signs of perfectionism and implementing the strategies discussed in this blog post, you can cultivate a more productive, impactful, and fulfilling business. Remember, your audience doesn’t need perfection; they need your unique solutions and the transformative impact only you can provide. If you want to dive deeper into this topic and learn more practical tips for navigating perfectionism in your business, be sure to listen to the full podcast episode. Embrace the journey, celebrate your progress, and keep striving for the success and freedom you deserve.

Over to you

We’d love to hear from you: What strategies have you found effective in overcoming perfectionism in your business? Share your experiences and insights in the comments below!