Never let perfection get in the way of progress.
Reid Hoffman (no relation), co-founder of LinkedIn, has a famous quote which resonates with entrepreneurs:
“If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”
It’s a simple but revealing maxim. And, truth be told, it’s one not reserved for entrepreneurs orbusiness owners, but applicable to every single one of us.
Many people tinker and re-tinker with their assignment, their product or their business – all in the name of “making it perfect”. In reality, though, that perfectionism is just procrastination in disguise.
The reason people procrastinate?
One word: Fear.
Fear of rejection. Fear of failure. Fear of the unknown.
You know the feeling. Everyone knows the feeling. You’ve sweated on a project, pored endlessly over a client proposal, spent hours meeting with a prospect, trying to close that deal, crafting the pitch to end all pitches, and then…
Sorry, not interested.
I don’t like it.
Just like that, the confident, feel-good outlook is replaced by overwhelming self-doubt.
This is not happening again, you think to yourself.
The next time, in order to avoid that crushing feeling, you plan, overplan and “perfect”. But all that time spent tweaking, perfecting, optimizing, and quadruple-checking? It’s really just a well-covered excuse to avoid facing potential rejection. It’s an endless cycle, without much being accomplished.
The question is, how do you move past that fear of failure?
Fortunately, here are a few Ptex Practical Pointers to give you that boost to start accomplishing more:
Take the Plunge – No one in the history of mankind has been, or ever will be perfect. If percentages are any indication, that 100% success rate will elude you as well. Go ahead. Take the plunge. Success requires and rewards action.
Share with Others – Share your “works in progress” with others. Let them see the work you are doing. This will help you resist the urge to make everything perfect before letting others see it.
Define the “No”– Instead of fearing failure, start redefining failure. “No” doesn’t have to mean “I failed, I can’t do this”. Instead, think of rejection as “I can do this, but not this way”. Success at any level is a process, and there aren’t any shortcuts. Making mistakes, getting rejected – they’re steps, not setbacks.
Fear, just like happiness, confidence, or any other emotion, is not tangible. It’s a choice. We can choose to be happy. We can choose to be confident. We can also choose to be fearful.
Don’t let perfection get in the way of progress. When we choose not to avoid, but to meet rejection head-on, the opportunities to succeed are endless.
Onward and Upward,
This is a fantastic well written piece that rings very true and is a big help to optimizers like me.
This article is so spot on. In reality no amount of time and work will create a result as good as your next one will be. The sooner we get there the better off we are.
Your article was an excellent read. I’m taking a business class, after pointing the Teacher to it she forwarded it to the whole group.
Just keep them coming,