If you want to build a perfect business, you’re in the wrong place. I don’t “do” perfect around here. Oh, don’t get me wrong – I try my best. I confer. I push. I debate. I evaluate. I brainstorm. I even psychoanalyze. And then I offer it up to the heavens and take action – imperfectly. That’s because I know how dangerous perfectionism is and I’m on a mission to annihilate it among as many mom entrepreneurs as possible! It’s not only killing our business success, but it’s also invading our homes.
You know you’re a perfectionist if:
- Your coffee table is covered with paint swatches and stacks of home decor magazines that have been growing for six months, yet the walls are still the same color because you just can’t decide on the right color.
- It’s Black Friday and you’re up at 3 am to stand in line outside Toys R Us to save $10 on the absolutely perfect, must-have Christmas gift for your 2-year old.
- The logo your graphic designer created isn’t exactly what you’re looking for and you’re on the 15th round of revisions.
- All your professional peers seem to be moving quickly – opening store fronts, publishing books and getting on Good Morning America – while you’re still mulling over the best domain name for your company website.
OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration but you get the idea. We perfectionists (and I consider myself a recovering perfectionist) are destroying our businesses and relationships with this ridiculous quest for completely unattainable perfectionism. Why do we do this to ourselves? Isn’t it obvious that our demand for perfection only leads to procrastination?
The thing about perfectionism, is that we tend to use it as an excuse. We delay action and put off making decisions because we think we need everything to be just perfect. We want a guarantee that our ideas will flourish and assurance that we are making the right choices. This distorted view of success is a recipe for failure.
The truth is that perfection will never be found. We know that. From the fall of Adam and Eve, perfection has alluded us in every aspect of our lives. So, anything we attempt, must be done imperfectly. And, there’s a certain beauty in that truth. When we let ourselves off of the perfectionism hook — when we accept that what we’re doing can be “just right” without being perfect — we’ll make progress.
So what does “imperfection” look like? Lysa TerKeurst says it best in her new book, Unglued:
“Imperfect changes are slow steps of progress wrapped in grace…imperfect progress.” ~ Lysa TerKeurst, Unglued
That’s exactly what we need: slow steps forward and lots of grace. Yes, it takes faith and courage to take imperfect action! But any action is better than inaction. And any decision is better than indecision. You’ll never accomplish the goals you set by standing still. You’ll achieve them by taking action.
What have you been putting off in your business due to a quest for perfection? Is there something that needs to be decided, published, or completed now? What imperfect action will you take today? Just one little step of progress wrapped in grace. Share your story with us here!
By the way, Commandment #3 of the 10 Commandments of a Mompreneur is “Do it imperfectly!” You can download a poster with all ten of our inspirational commandments at www.ICMNetwork.com.