Perfectionists have high standards for themselves and for others. In an office environment, as employees, they take their responsibilities seriously and never complete any task or project without double-checking even the minutest detail to ensure that it is perfect. They can be irritating to others, too, because they expect the same perfection from their co-workers.
When a perfectionist who has been amazing on the job decides that they want to strike out as an entrepreneur, there are personality traits that can really work against success. Knowing about these in advance may help a perfectionist avoid some of these pitfalls.
Here are five of those pitfalls:
1. I Have to Do It Myself
Perfectionists believe only they can complete a task or project exactly right. Due to this, they operate in two ways:
- If they have a team with specific tasks, they will micro-manage every step of the way. Having done this myself, I can confirm that this is exhausting.
- They don’t employ or outsource anything, because they must control every aspect of their businesses and spend whatever time is necessary to complete every task themselves. They must feel in control or things will go wrong.
The problem of course is that, as business tasks and processes expand, the perfectionist finds himself grappling with an ever-expanding list of tasks to perform. At some point, he “hits a wall,” because there are just not enough hours in the day to get everything done. Ultimately, this means that there will be tasks not completed exactly right, and this is a “killer” for the perfectionist.
The solution is not an easy one. It will require admission that no one can be “perfect” in every facet of a business. For me, it was the accounting function. If a perfectionist can pick just one facet of the business that must be tasked to someone else, this is a major first step. After that major first step, it will gradually become easier to task out other facets. It’s gradual, and it is a process.
2. Inability to Accept Feedback
Because a perfectionist truly believes only they can “do it right,” when positive or negative feedback comes along their defenses are immediately activated.
Perfectionists have difficulty admitting any weakness. While most entrepreneurs seek advice and counsel from others as they develop their business plans and steps toward a launch, perfectionists tend not to seek advice, believing again that only they can make the process work. They must strive to develop the perfect product or service, no matter how long that may take.
One famous perfectionist was Steve Jobs of Apple. He wanted control of every aspect of product development and insisted that every employee come to him for approval of every detail of a new product innovation. He was unrelenting and known for bursts of anger, often firing employees at will, and that led to his removal from the company at one point. However, he did have a transformation of sorts after he was brought back in to revive Apple, and his perfectionism did modify, especially after he became ill.
“I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.” – Elon Musk
3. Perfectionists Delay Launches
When a perfectionist decides to strike out on his own, he develops a product or a service for which he believes there is a customer base. He develops a business plan and establishes timelines, just as most would-be entrepreneurs do.
The difference between perfectionist and non-perfectionist entrepreneurs is this: the non-perfectionist is willing to develop an MVP, launch it, test the waters, and modify and improve that product or service as they receive feedback and data from marketing and sales efforts.
The perfectionist, on the other hand, cannot launch a less-than-perfect product or service. They fear rejection and failure. There will always be something that can be improved in some way. The result is that a launch is indefinitely delayed and so are marketing plans and the development of a customer base.
4. Perfectionists Suffer from Lack of Balance
Because of their obsession with both doing it all themselves and being perfect in everything, perfectionist entrepreneurs will find themselves increasing their work hours and spending every waking hour on business-related activities. Ultimately, they will sacrifice social activities, time with family, vacations, and even small previous pleasures, like a lunch or dinner out or shopping. They avoid phone calls from friends, forego meals and sleep, and often suffer from insomnia and chronic fatigue.
In short, work becomes the perfectionist’s entire life. These long, unrelenting hours, often combined with stress because of the never-ending list of tasks, lead to burnout. And when burnout is reached, it’s impossible to function effectively. The signs of this include inability to focus and forgetfulness – something that a perfectionist cannot tolerate.
“It’s all about quality of life and finding a happy balance between work and friends and family.” – Philip Green
5. Perfectionists Will Lose Their Creativity
One of the key ingredients of successful entrepreneurship is creative thought and problem-solving. This is how new products and services are developed or existing ones improved along with how new and unique marketing strategies are developed.
When perfectionists are so focused on those tasks at hand and dealing with the fear that things will not be perfect, they lose their ability to think “outside of the box.”
Even though Steve Jobs was a perfectionist, he was able to back off at times and to “dream” of what could be. This drove Apple to new heights under his returned leadership and his change in mental approach.
It’s not that perfectionists cannot be successful entrepreneurs, it’s that they have to work to accept that “done” can actually be as good or better than “perfect.” “Done” means that the company is launched; it means that products are out there and that marketing strategies are beginning to bring in customers. Often, the beginnings of this kind of success will modify a perfectionist’s behavior going forward. And the additional bonus is that the entrepreneur may actually find time for social and family time again.
Has the need to be perfect ever stopped you from accomplishing something you truly wanted? If this is true, let us know in the comments below how you overcame your perfectionism and kept moving ahead.
Image courtesy of Twenty20.com
13 Entrepreneurs Share Their Favorite Job Interview Question
Professional success doesn’t come easy. If you want the best jobs, you have to answer the toughest interview questions. And can find them in the following guide from online CV builder resume.io. It includes 13 of the most challenging interview questions from highly successful business founders. More importantly, it shows you how to answer them. (more…)
Entrepreneurial Success Means More Than Making Money
Growing up in a small Canadian Mennonite farming community, I was surrounded by many uncles, aunts, cousins, and other close-knit family. We focused on faith, family, and work, and our daily lives were filled with service to others. If a storm or fire damaged a barn, the neighbors would come together for a barn raising. No one needed to ask for help. This was just how things were. We knew we could accomplish more when we joined forces and worked together. (more…)
The #1 Way Coaches Are Pushing Clients Away
Congratulations! You posted your latest offer on social media (along with some other top-notch content). You’ve been working on this idea for weeks, and now the moment has arrived. You sit back and wait for the messages to pour in—only, nothing happens. No pings. No comments. Barely even a like if it weren’t for your best friend and that creepy guy who stalks your profile. (more…)
The 5 Step Framework Every Business Owner Should Be Following
Every new business owner wants to gain business, yet most do not have the right perception on how to gain business the right way. Oftentimes, our ego prevents us from fostering the proper relationships that will allow us to build a strong foundation that we can grow on. You need to drop your ego and provide value first. (more…)
Remember This: Your Boss Isn’t God
3 Mistakes People Are Making When Setting Goals
Feeling Depressed? Here Are a Few Things You Can Do
Here’s Why You’re Not Living the Life of Your Dreams
How to Redirect Your Negative Self-Talk
55 Inspirational Quotes That Will Change Your Life
(Images) 52 Motivational Picture Quotes For An Epic Year Of Success
30 Famous Quotes That Will Inspire Success In You
40 Rare Motivational and Inspirational Picture Quotes
72 Positive Thinking Quotes For More Inner Strength & Growth
3 Prince EA Videos To Change Humanities Path To Greatness
(Video) What Is Success? An Entrepreneurial Story To Inspire You
(Inspirational Video) What If Today You Knew You Were Going To Take Your Last Breath?
How To Make Enough Money From A Blog To Quit Your Job – Kate McKibbin
How Finding Your Passion And Becoming An Entrepreneur Can Lead To Happiness – Chiquita Searle
Success Advice6 days ago
The Hidden Secret All Successful People Have but Don’t Talk About
Success Advice2 weeks ago
A Must-Read Guide for Avoiding Burnout
Life2 weeks ago
4 Lies You Keep Telling Yourself When You’re Afraid to Do Something
Success Advice3 weeks ago
Self Love Is Vital for Any Type of Success
Success Advice1 week ago
3 Hidden Culprits of Burnout and How to Catch Them ASAP
Life3 weeks ago
Tips, Tools, and Techniques to Create Your Curiosity
Life3 weeks ago
5 Life Tips You Didn’t Know You Needed to Hear
Success Advice3 weeks ago
How Leaders Embrace Resilience During Tough Times