Aiming for perfection? Is there a better way?

Anything less than 100% is UNACCEPTABLE.

I’m a bit of a perfectionist.

I don’t want to just do things correctly, I want to do them PERFECTLY. I could honestly do better than everyone else on the PLANET, and if there was the POSSIBILITY that I could do better then that I would be disappointed. I should have been perfect.

My drive for perfection causes WAY TOO MUCH stress in my life.

If I make a mistake in my present position I RELENTLESSLY brow beat myself. EVERY mistake is inexcusable, even those mistakes that have been made because I relied on information provided to me.

Anything less than perfection is inexcusable.

In college, I would drive myself into a sort of depression for not making 100’s. Forget A’s, anything less than a perfect grade was a let down.

And on through my younger years.

When I was younger, I played the piano. Some people, such as my instructor, said I was really good. If I heard a song and then played through it once myself I knew it.

Each year my instructor would have this huge recital. Due to her being very good at what she did and well known in the local music circles there would usually be several hundred people in the audience at the recitals. And her rule was the better you were the closer to the end you played.

I typically played next to last or last.

My final recital for her was in front of 300 to 500 people, of which I knew exactly two, her and my Pops (mom had to work).

We couldn’t use sheet music in the recitals because it took away from the impression of the piano player and the piano being the center of attention. So I had to play two different songs. One around 5 pages long, one around 7 or 8 pages long.

I sat down, and due to the setup folks positioning the piano incorrectly I looked out over the end of the piano straight into the face of the audience.

I FREAKED. INSTANTLY forgot what songs I was supposed to play and sat there like a deer in head lights.

Not knowing what to do since I just forgot which songs to play I decided to play the song I liked the most first followed by the longest song I knew.

When I was done I received a standing ovation. The only one of the night.

Fortunately, God was with me. I played the right songs, in the right order.

But I missed TWO notes.

Two notes out of hundreds, after first thinking I played the wrong songs, then finding out I didn’t.

I had missed two notes.

It ruined my night.

Striving for perfection has caused me serious mental anguish.

Fortunately, my friend Justin Lukasavige has taught me an INVALUABLE lesson.

Don’t ruin good enough with perfect.

That one piece of wisdom has given me the courage to FINALLY start my business.

It didn’t happen the first time I heard it.But it’s something Justin has said repeatedly.

Don’t ruin good enough with perfect.

What I have come to realize is that I have used my desire for perfection as an excuse not to act. Because I had not planned out my perspective business PERFECTLY I would REFUSE to attempt to start it.

Because I could not GUARANTEE success – be perfect in success – I would not take action to get any of my business ideas started.

What I have since learned is that NO business is PERFECT when it starts. It is simply good enough. Perfect doesn’t exist in this world.

So I ask you, are you striving for perfection prior to actually starting your business? Are you under the impression that you won’t start until you have the perfect plan? Are you waiting until you have perfectly thought out every possible eventuality?

If you are, I PLEAD with you to STOP! Take a little bit and PIN POINT the example of perfection you’re trying to model.

There won’t be one.

And when you come to that realization I want you to understand this point:

The world doesn’t need your PERFECT business. What it needs is your business that is good enough to serve its purpose.



About Ivan Bickett

I want to help people see that there is a better way to conduct business and life. If I can help, let me know.
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2 Responses to Aiming for perfection? Is there a better way?

  1. Andy Traub says:

    Perfection is not a goal, it is an excuse to not do the work we should be doing. Good post Ivan.

    • Ivan Bickett says:

      I agree Andy! I have used my intent to reach perfection as the reason behind NOT doing ANYTHING for too long. Thanks to you and Justin Lukasavige I now know not to ruin good enough with perfect. Thanks for the lesson, it’s one I REALLY needed.


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