Progress, Not Perfection

Progress, Not Perfection

In our rigorous pursuit of success, we entrepreneurs may sometimes get in our own way.  We want the vision, exactly as it was conceived, and exactly as it is displayed on that “Dream Board” on the wall above the desk.  When do we want it?  Now.  Actually, we wanted it yesterday, but that’s not possible, so we’ll settle for NOW.

I’m as much a perfectionist as the next gal, and I’ve learned first-hand how dangerous and counter-productive the guise of perfection can be. We’ve all been in a situation in which that desire for everything to be absolutely “perfect” led to unnecessary stress, disappointment, and even wasted resources. If you haven’t yet, it’s coming.  Or maybe it doesn’t have to…

When we began the new year, I decided that the goal for 2015 is not to blindly seek out perfection, in any form.  Don’t get me wrong.  Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m definitely a believer that the devil is in the details.  By no means am I willing to sacrifice quality, on any level.  What I am willing to do is admit to myself that successful completion of a quality project should be the desired outcome.  Not the perfect execution of a flawless project.  And in my humble opinion, there is a difference.

To make life easier, and to put my business on a path to smooth-line growth, I’ve created a shortlist to follow this year, and every year:

1.  Filter the details. Concentrate only on the details that will contribute positively, efficiently, and effectively to the outcome.  The rest are a luxury.  And which entrepreneur do you know who can afford luxuries?

2.  Celebrate even the baby steps.  How many baby steps are in a mile?  I have no idea.  All I know is that every day you’re able to take even one baby step is a cause to celebrate.

3.  Differentiate need from desire.  On a recent project plan, I created sections for “Gotta Have’s” and “Wanna Have’s”.  After really analyzing my lists, it was surprising which things I initially had in the wrong columns.  I believe most situations need a sprinkling of “wanna have’s” – that’s what adds that special touch.  Just don’t go overboard.

4.  Understand the big picture, then cut it in pieces.  Nice, neat pieces.  Bite-sized morsels that can be easily digested – and attained.  It’s easier to see you’re making it to the finish line with mile markers along the way.

5.  Stop beating yourself up.  It’s hard to run a successful business with a self-inflicted concussion.  It didn’t work the way you pictured it or the way it was supposed to?  It’s okay.  Learn, note, do better next time.  No flogging necessary.  Honestly, your future self with thank your lucky stars you made that misstep – because now you know.  And we all know what G.I. Joe has to say about that.

6.  Have fun.  It’s hard to smile while yanking your hair out. You love your business and your business loves you.  As with any relationship, stop seeking perfection and enjoy the ride.

Progress, not perfection, ladies and gentlemen.  THAT is the goal.  Only through progress do we creep towards the bounty of that dream board.  And that means celebrating every win, big or small.  That means concentrating on the details that really matter. That means keeping your eye on the prize, not constantly fretting about minutiae that doesn’t help you get your hands on the prize.

PBCi wishes everyone out there a wonderfully productive and prosperous year.  Welcome to our theme for 2015:

PROGESS NOT PERFECTION.

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