Are you strangling your business in the name of quality?
While Mae West once declared, “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful,” it’s probably more accurate to say that “Too much of anything is toxic.”
It’s true. Whether we’re talking about a physical activity, a food, a character trait…anything can become a weakness if it’s taken to an extreme.
This danger is particularly insidious because it’s easy to tell yourself you’re just being prudent, or thorough, or meticulous…when in reality what you’re really doing is sabotaging your success. Here are three of the most dangerous toxins an entrepreneur has to deal with.
At the risk of sounding sexist, I’m going to contend that, as a group, women are more prone to this than men are.
How many times as a school child did you score 93 on a test and bemoaned those missing seven points instead of celebrating the 93 you earned?
And how many times as a business professional have you completed a presentation that was very well received, but turned away compliments with, “Yes, but…”?
If you insist on aiming for perfection, you’ll feel like a constant failure; perfection is not attainable. As an added bonus, you’ll also set yourself up to fall prey to the second toxin.
“But wait a darn minute,” you may be indignantly thinking. “ I can’t just barge ahead without a good plan in place!”
And you’re absolutely right.
The danger comes when you plan, and research, and plan, and consider, and plan, and evaluate, and plan, and split test, and plan…always seeking to create the “perfect” outcome.
You can do all the planning in the world, but if at some point you don’t stop planning and start implementing, you’re just wasting your time.
Risk-taking = discomfort = growth.
General George S. Patton hit the nail on the head when he declared, “A good plan…executed now is better than a perfect plan next week.” Not only does this approach nudge you away from perfectionism, it also will move you out of something which has become a toxic habit for many of us.
I knew I’d get around to this one sooner or later…
There are as many “reasons” to procrastinate as there are entrepreneurs. Maybe more. Unfortunately, those reasons are far more often just excuses we use to avoid doing something uncomfortable.
Your ego (not to mention all those mental messages you’ve been playing for years) has good intentions: to keep you safe. Unfortunately, safe = comfortable = stagnation (if not outright decay), while risk-taking = discomfort = growth. It’s your choice.
Which of these 3 P’s are most poisonous in your situation? What strategies have you developed for detox?
(BTW, thanks to David Sim for posting the strangling image on Flickr.)This entry was posted in effectiveness and tagged perfectionism, planning, procrastination. Bookmark the permalink.