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How Letting Go of Perfection Can Help You Build a Strong Company

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perfectionism

The word “perfect” has a nice ring to it. After all, isn’t that what we should all strive for? We should be straight A students, be perfect at our jobs, raise perfect kids and have perfect bodies. The idea of being a perfectionist initially sounds like a good personality trait to possess. These are people who refuse to accept any standard short of perfection. They must have perfect lives and successful businesses, right?

If you answered “yes,” you’d be wrong. Those people who claim to be perfectionists most often do not have a perfect life and definitely do not have successful businesses. Studies have shown that perfectionism causes depression and holds people back from achieving big things in their lives and businesses.

Ibrahim Al-Haidos, founder of Fursan, has had lots of experience with perfectionism in his life. He was raised by a family of perfectionists, and he had the tendency to live his life that way himself for a long time. Now that he has shed those unrealistic expectations of himself and others, he shares his experience with perfectionism and the 5 lessons he has learned from it to build a strong and successful company.

1. Don’t Strive for Perfection

Perfect doesn’t exist. No one and nothing can ever be perfect. And you cannot succeed 100% of the time. It is perfectly acceptable to not achieve the results you were after all of the time. Strive for excellence and do the best you can. If you miss the mark, learn from it and apply those lessons the next time around.

Ibrahim’s family was full of perfectionists. His mother even measured the distance between the plate and cutlery. Initially, Ibrahim believed he couldn’t accept anything less than perfect in his own life and business. But striving for perfection slowed him down in the beginning. “Perfection simply is not possible, but you can achieve excellence. I needed to understand that it is ok not to get it right on the first try.”

“Looking for perfection is the only way to motivate yourself.” – Ronnie O’Sullivan

2. Embrace Diversity

Each employee you hire has his own set of unique skills. Each person will bring her own strengths and weaknesses to the table. Just like you and everything else in this world, your employees are not perfect. Some will be excellent speakers while others struggle with public presentations. Some will excel at learning new technology while others struggle. Never assume that your employees are all equally skilled at everything, and never expect perfection from anyone.

“One of my MBA professors at HEC Paris gave me some brilliant advice. She told me to always treat my employees the way I would want them to treat our customers. What I’ve found is that if you invest heavily in your employees, they will help you build an amazing company.”

3. Always Just Be Yourself

If you own your own business or are a leader within one, remember that you got into that position because of your unique strengths and abilities. Instead of attempting to be someone you are not, be yourself.

Your coworkers and employees don’t expect you to be perfect so never try to be someone you aren’t. They genuinely want to hear your own words, thoughts and feelings. And it is okay to be vulnerable when you don’t have all the answers. People respect you.

4. Put People First

Perfectionists have a tendency to focus on “stuff” rather than the people in their lives. Instead, put your heart and efforts into connecting with the people in your life.  You are a human being, just like your lowest paid employee. You put on your pants the same way as everyone else, act like it. Don’t be afraid to show your human side to people. Be humble. Not only will you get more respect, your employees will work harder for you. People respect people, not machines.

“Being a part of human to human interaction is something I’ve enjoyed immensely.”

5. Trust your People

If you don’t trust the people you hired, you shouldn’t have hired them. And if you do trust your people, show it. Micromanaging your employees will only make them feel unwanted and unnecessary. You hired them to do a job, so let them do it their way.

Accept people as they are. Being flawed is a part of being a human being, and they will get it wrong from time to time. Again, let go of perfectionism and trust that your employees have your best interest at heart.

There is a big difference between perfect and excellent. You can always strive for excellence, but you should never chase perfection nor should you expect it from others. It is a race that cannot be won. Embrace failure. Trust yourself and your employees. Apply this to your life and business, and you will be successful.

How have you embraced, or let go, of perfection? Comment below!

Ben Walker is a CEO, entrepreneur, and visionary leader that enjoys helping others become successful in business. Ben’s company Transcription Outsourcing (www.transcriptionoutsourcing.net)  provides user-friendly and cost effective transcription services for the medical, legal, law enforcement, and financial industries for organizations all over the world. Ben is a sought-after thought leader and has made contributions to publications like Entrepreneur Magazine, The Associated Press, Inc. Magazine and Forbes. Follow Ben’s Tweets: @benjaminkwalker.

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Are you completely new to networking?

Then this article is a great place to start. Networking isn’t hard on paper…you go along to online and in-person meetings, make new connections and build relationships, and those relationships lead to more work so you can grow your business! The challenge is that in reality, it isn’t quite so straightforward, as our emotions get involved and make things much tougher.

It’s incredibly common for nerves to creep in and to feel overwhelmed and apprehensive when it comes to networking – even when it isn’t new to you. But how can you become more successful at it, feel less self-conscious, and make networking work for you and your business?

Here’s a few tips to help you embrace every business networking opportunity you get, so you can grow your business and achieve your goals.

Rock up with confidence

If you want to keep those nerves at bay and ooze confidence at networking get-togethers, you’ll need to downplay it rather than seeing it as a big occasion. Try not to put pressure on yourself and see it as a casual meet-up with a bunch of people with similar goals to you. To help you relax in the run-up to the event, be sure to set achievable goals and expectations before you go.

Keep your chin up and your goals in mind – positivity is key. One easy goal for your first networking meeting is very simply to speak to one other person and see where the conversation goes. Introduce yourself and your business, but take the time to listen to their story, too. It’ll only take a few minutes and will be over before you know it, so it’s nothing to fear. You may even enjoy it and want to speak to a few more people, too!

“You can close more business in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie

Where to go networking

If you’ve never been networking before, it might not be very easy to find a group – but only because there’s so much choice and you don’t know where to start your search! Groups come in different sizes and styles, so it’s important to find one that suits you and your business. Informal, formal, big, small… the choice is yours.

For your first meeting, start small to ease yourself in – a big group could prove too daunting, and stop you from feeling comfortable enough to get involved. After all, you want to make a strong first impression!

If you’re wondering which group to opt for in the long-term, give a few a go! Get a feel for them, speak to as many people as you can, and see which one suits! You’ll know when a group feels right for you, and you can see where those all-important relationships are most likely to be built. If a group doesn’t feel like the right for you, give a different one a go.

Get more leads and referrals

This will happen for you, as long as you put the effort into building those relationships. If you take the time to get to know people, and then check in with them and support them, they’ll see you as a trustworthy and reliable contact who they can call on. And when they feel that way, those leads and referrals you’re looking for will come a-knocking.

Once you’ve made relationships with people who you trust, and they’ve had a positive experience working with you, you can even ask for referrals! But don’t rush this, as you don’t want to inadvertently push people away or try and force the relationship along too quickly.

When you do get an opportunity to work with someone you’ve met at a networking group, go above and beyond to offer more value than they’re expecting, as then, they’ll be much more likely recommend you and introduce you to more of their contacts!

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By investing your time and effort in networking, you will gain more business through the relationships you make, and you will be able to grow your business.

We know that it’s not easy, going networking for the very first time. And that’s why we want to give you all the advice and tools that you need so you can walk in with confidence and make the most of the opportunity.

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