It’s the quality we all strive for, even though we know it’s impossible to attain. Pushing for “perfect” can be a great quality because it motivates us to do better and put forth our very best whether it’s in business, family, school, church, etc.
But the quest for perfection can paralyze us into inaction, particularly if we are business owners launching something new.
Because we want this new thing we’ve created to be perfect and well-received by our ideal audience, we may delay releasing it or procrastinate on even starting.
Perfection in small business can motivate us to excel, but it can also hold us back from achieving our biggest goals.
Perfectionism in Molly Knuth Media
For example, in September 2019, I created a list of 56 goals that I wanted to accomplish in life. Goal #1 was “start a podcast.”
Shortly after making that list, I purchased my Blue Yeti mic and accessories so I could start on that goal, but do you know how long I waited before pushing “Record” on my first episode? 11 months.
I kept telling myself that I didn’t have the right recording software or editing software or enough to say that an audience would want to listen to, and I kept pushing it off and pushing it off finding other projects to complete instead.
By summer 2020, I knew I had to act. I set a deadline, took a self-guided course, and started making real progress toward my new podcast.
I had to push back my deadline a bit, and not everything about the first episodes of Small-Minded have been perfect, but you know what?
I did it.
I released my dream out into the world. And now that I’ve knocked out a few episodes, the task at hand doesn’t seem so mountainous. The tasks to complete an episode are getting quicker and easier, and it feels good.
Perfection can be a motivator, but it can also be the biggest hurdle in our business.
So how can we move past perfection and take some serious action toward our business goals?
MKM’s Process for Pushing Past Perfection
Here’s the three-step process I use to push past the need to be perfect in business and in life that you can incorporate into your own processes:
- Phase 1 – Launch: Any small action is better than inaction, so instead of waiting until your next project is 100% perfect and ready to go, let it be “pretty good” at 70% and release that thing out into the world. If you’re starting a business or a program from scratch, remember that you don’t have to have all your offers spelled out to begin. You can launch before it’s finished and build as you go. The most important thing is that you put it out for others to see. Then, and this is the hard part: resist the urge to start making changes. After you’ve launched, you have to let it ride. Don’t click “edit” on that social media post. Don’t “unpublish” your website until you’ve proofread for the 100th time. Just sit back and start Phase 2.
- Phase 2 – Analyze: Now that you’ve released your Thing into the world, you need to measure how it’s being received. Are people buying? Are you gaining followers? Are people talking to you about it as you wait in line at the grocery store? If yes, great! If no, ask yourself why. Critically think about ways your launch was successful or unsuccessful and all the internal and external factors that influenced that and generate a list of ways your launch could be better. Don’t get too caught up in the being critical component of Phase 2 thought. Make sure to celebrate too, because you did it! You took action and took another step closer to your dream.
- Phase 3 – Improve: Take your analysis from Phase 2 and break it into actionable steps that you can complete to make your offer/business/launch even better. Start ticking those steps off your list and then LAUNCH again!
The beauty of pushing past perfection and launching at 70% ready is that you have room to improve, and the next time you launch, you can do so from a place of experience and less pressure.
So today, take a small step of imperfect action because that small step can yield big results in the future.
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Painted Horse Saloon
Located in the rolling hills of Eastern Iowa, just minutes from the Dubuque Metro area, is an idyllic small town with the kindest, most hard-working people you’ll ever meet. Welcome to Bernard, Iowa, the home of the new Painted Horse Saloon. Offering up their famous Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich, fried pickle spears, green olive burgers, brisket mac ‘n cheese, and other delectable meals alongside cold drinks and all your favorite sports action, the Painted Horse Saloon is a great destination for your next day trip! Check out their full menu at www.paintedhorsesaloon.com or give them a follow on Facebook and Instagram to see more!
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