Is perfectionism killing your success?

38 replies
I want to make a quick post that might help a lot of you - this is something I have struggled with before.

Trying to make everything perfect.

I believe it is important that you put out a good product. I believe that you should take time in setting a nice looking website, and make sure that it looks professional.

BUT

Depending on how long you have been in the game, you would also know this is easier (or cheaper) said than done.

Where should you stop letting "perfectionism" have a grip on you?

  • Your product needs "One more thing" and you don't know what it is
  • Your websites logo is too big, too small, WHATEVER!
  • Your colour scheme is not good enough
  • You don't like the design - or keep seeing better and better ones and change your mind
  • Being hung up on MINOR flaws in functionality
The list could go on.

But it's important that you realise that it doesn't have to be perfect. Hell even Frank Kerns first product sucked!

Bottom line is this: Get your product and website up RIGHT NOW! Who cares if the arrow is a few millimetres off or your website looks wierd.

The sooner you start to earn even a little bit of money - The sooner you can start growing your business exponentially.

Dean
#killing #perfectionism #success
  • Profile picture of the author Kory Pearman
    Thanks: 4,294,967,295

    Really?
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  • Profile picture of the author jjeeezy
    Very true.

    I wasted way too much time trying to create a cool design. Keeping the design minimal, and repetitive is the best. "/
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  • Profile picture of the author gregorysr
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    • Profile picture of the author phmoisan
      Originally Posted by gregorysr View Post

      • Your product needs "One more thing" and you don't know what it is
      • Your websites logo is too big, too small, WHATEVER!
      • Your colour scheme is not good enough
      • You don't like the design - or keep seeing better and better ones and change your mind
      • Being hung up on MINOR flaws in functionality
      • Your keywords aren't quite good enough
      • One more test to see witch is best
      • you listen to the wife suggestens
      My wife is not a problem. She doesn't suggest anything. Well, unless you count "We will lose everything because of your foolishness. Aren't you satisfied with your job ?"
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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        This is one of my pet annoyances. Here are some of my thoughts on the subject, all condensed to fit within a 140-character limit...

        Perfect is as perfect does. Which is to say, it isn't. And it doesn't. Anything.

        Perfectionism: (n) 1 - self-righteous poison; 2 - suicide by sanctimony; 3 - procrastination in a 3-piece suit

        Perfectionism: An excuse that sounds good, but does none.

        Perfectionism: A way to feel morally superior for doing nothing.

        You're not perfect? Excellent. You're tied for first place, along with 6 billion other people.

        Perfectionist: An obsessive-compulsive misanthrope for whom a single typo renders an entire work invalid. See also: Loser.

        More people have failed while chasing perfection than any other prey. And there is no record of anyone surviving the hunt.
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        • Profile picture of the author aandersen
          Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

          This is one of my pet annoyances. Here are some of my thoughts on the subject, all condensed to fit within a 140-character limit...

          Perfect is as perfect does. Which is to say, it isn't. And it doesn't. Anything.

          Perfectionism: (n) 1 - self-righteous poison; 2 - suicide by sanctimony; 3 - procrastination in a 3-piece suit

          Perfectionism: An excuse that sounds good, but does none.

          Perfectionism: A way to feel morally superior for doing nothing.

          You're not perfect? Excellent. You're tied for first place, along with 6 billion other people.

          Perfectionist: An obsessive-compulsive misanthrope for whom a single typo renders an entire work invalid. See also: Loser.

          More people have failed while chasing perfection than any other prey. And there is no record of anyone surviving the hunt.
          nice...

          did you just come up with that off the top of your head or was that something you had already written?

          at any rate, that was really well said
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          • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
            did you just come up with that off the top of your head or was that something you had already written?

            at any rate, that was really well said
            Thanks. I wrote those as Tweets a while back. I got annoyed with a few people here, and decided to take it out on my keyboard.


            Paul
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        • Profile picture of the author mcmahanusa
          Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

          This is one of my pet annoyances. Here are some of my thoughts on the subject, all condensed to fit within a 140-character limit...

          Perfect is as perfect does. Which is to say, it isn't. And it doesn't. Anything.

          Perfectionism: (n) 1 - self-righteous poison; 2 - suicide by sanctimony; 3 - procrastination in a 3-piece suit

          Perfectionism: An excuse that sounds good, but does none.

          Perfectionism: A way to feel morally superior for doing nothing.

          You're not perfect? Excellent. You're tied for first place, along with 6 billion other people.

          Perfectionist: An obsessive-compulsive misanthrope for whom a single typo renders an entire work invalid. See also: Loser.

          More people have failed while chasing perfection than any other prey. And there is no record of anyone surviving the hunt.
          Nice quotes, Paul, how about:

          Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without. - Confucius
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        • Profile picture of the author Alfred Shelver
          It is difficult to read such a perfect description with perfect language, spelling, grammer and talent without thinking "easy for you to say"

          Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

          This is one of my pet annoyances. Here are some of my thoughts on the subject, all condensed to fit within a 140-character limit...

          Perfect is as perfect does. Which is to say, it isn't. And it doesn't. Anything.

          Perfectionism: (n) 1 - self-righteous poison; 2 - suicide by sanctimony; 3 - procrastination in a 3-piece suit

          Perfectionism: An excuse that sounds good, but does none.

          Perfectionism: A way to feel morally superior for doing nothing.

          You're not perfect? Excellent. You're tied for first place, along with 6 billion other people.

          Perfectionist: An obsessive-compulsive misanthrope for whom a single typo renders an entire work invalid. See also: Loser.

          More people have failed while chasing perfection than any other prey. And there is no record of anyone surviving the hunt.
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      • Profile picture of the author Dean Jackson
        Originally Posted by phmoisan View Post

        My wife is not a problem. She doesn't suggest anything. Well, unless you count "We will lose everything because of your foolishness. Aren't you satisfied with your job ?"
        This is tripping me out... Where did "gregorysr" come from?

        WTF!?

        I'm going to bed now.

        Thanks for the additional tips, I'm sure many will find them helpful in one way or another.

        - Dean
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        • Perfectionism can paralyze and prevent you from moving forward in your business. One way to get over it is to give yourself a time frame for the task. Whatever you have done when time is up is what you have to go with and use.

          For example, let's say you are writing an article to submit to EzineArticles. Set your timer for the amount of time you think it's going to take you to complete the article, and subtract 5-10 minutes. Why? Because we all tend to underestimate our own abilities.

          Open up your favorite word editor, and anything else you may need for research and start typing. Once your time is up for the task, format and submit the article to EzineArticles. I don't care if it's half-written and full of grammar and spelling errors, you are to submit it anyway. This will help you get over the fears of what others may think. After that move on to your next task.

          Now obviously, for the next article you write for EzineArticles, you will either:
          • Allow yourself more time to write,
          • Split up the time between research and writing, or
          • Learn to type faster
          After doing this for a while, you should greatly improve not only your speed, but accurate and satisfaction with everything you produce.

          Hope this helps,
          Virginia Clemmons
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  • Profile picture of the author Derwin
    Yes I am agree with you that that we should take time in setting a nice looking website, and make sure that it looks professional. But on the other side perfection is also important. Without perfection there remain many lacks in our product marketing.
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  • Profile picture of the author TChiu
    THe one thing that makes it hard is that withs o much information out there on IM, you start to get paranoid at everything you do and if its "right". Ive read so much stuff on the "right" position "right" font etc... it makes it hard to get anything done because your always asking if it can be done better.
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  • Profile picture of the author danyray
    The one thing all experienced IM people say is that the most important thing to do is get it out there and drive traffic to it, than fine tune it as you gain experience and see CTR you are getting.
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  • Profile picture of the author garnier233
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    • Profile picture of the author deertrail
      One of the toughest things for a perfectionist to do is to "deem it done." There's always something else that could be tweaked. But when you set yourself strict deadlines and stick to them, you're forced to triage your work, the end result being a good compromise between quality and productivity.

      The KEY is to create mechanisms that override the natural inclination towards endless tweak-loops and force you to "deem it done."

      By the way, Eben Pagan is a perfectionist who obviously gets lots done. I'd be fascinated to learn more about the mechanisms he uses. I'm sure that outsourcing / delegation is a huge part of it..
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  • Profile picture of the author talfighel
    Your product does not have to be perfect. Yes, it need to have the important elements but if you wait for it to be perfect, then you may wait a long time.

    Get the ball rolling. Find out what needs to be done before you launch and that's it.

    Tal
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  • Profile picture of the author CianMcCarthy
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    yep, perfectionism can hold you back if you're not careful enough
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    I'm wondering how many Warriors are reading this and interpreting to say that quality isn't an issue.
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    Sal
    When the Roads and Paths end, learn to guide yourself through the wilderness
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  • Profile picture of the author Neil Morgan
    Hey HeySal

    It's not always about quality - it's often about adding extra stuff that doesn't *really* need to be there.

    I think there's a little pang of guilt when you choose to leave something out because you can feel you're cheating your customer out of something. That feeds the never-get-it-launched problem.

    Remember guys, your customer can't read your mind. They don't know that you planned to add something but didn't have time or chose not to. You can always add it later or not - your customer will never know what you were thinking.

    Cheers,

    Neil
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  • Profile picture of the author Alfred Shelver
    I like this it really is worth remebering I am not a perfectionist but there is so much I want done before I launch my webistes It takes forever.
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  • Profile picture of the author NikkiS
    Thanks Dean, very timely post. I was going to be away from PC access for a few days last week, so spent/wasted oodles of time just fixing *one more little thing* before I left. I even managed to delete my logo completely by accident and then spent hours (too embarrassed to say how many) just trying to get it back up in it's original imperfect state!

    Message to self - step away from the laptop.....
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris1203
    Striving to be perfect is a big problem of mine. When I'm on my death bed, I will probably be revising an article that is in its 50th revision. I think at some point you have to just let it go. Get your work out there.
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  • Profile picture of the author BinaryQwest
    It seems for me there is an endless desire to redesign. I have to leave it most times for the sake of the time it takes vs the profit.
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    • Profile picture of the author Neil Morgan
      Originally Posted by BinaryQwest View Post

      It seems for me there is an endless desire to redesign. I have to leave it most times for the sake of the time it takes vs the profit.
      That's a trap I used to fall into. I would get bored with a design before I had even launched it. The solution to a lot of this is simply realising that your prospect or site visitor doesn't know what you know and hasn't seen what you've seen. To them, it's all new.

      Cheers,

      Neil
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    This comes up from time to time when I caoch people. What I tell tehm is that perfetcion is a myht. You ca'nt be perfet, so you need to give yourself permision to NOT be prefect.

    Then I will sugest that tehy go ahead and wirte something that sucks...on porpose. Go ahead and leave out some punctuatoin and mispell words too becuase it will help you get past that metnal block.

    Besides, you can always make tweaks after you release things out into the wild. Make enough tweaks and you may just end up with version 2.0, which you can sell for even more.

    All the bset,
    Micahel
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    • Profile picture of the author Joe Benjamin
      Originally Posted by Michael Oksa View Post

      This comes up from time to time when I caoch people. What I tell tehm is that perfetcion is a myht. You ca'nt be perfet, so you need to give yourself permision to NOT be prefect.

      Then I will sugest that tehy go ahead and wirte something that sucks...on porpose. Go ahead and leave out some punctuatoin and mispell words too becuase it will help you get past that metnal block.

      Besides, you can always make tweaks after you release things out into the wild. Make enough tweaks and you may just end up with version 2.0, which you can sell for even more.

      All the bset,
      Micahel
      Well said.

      I've given myself permission not to be perfect. I didn't release
      my first WSO for months until I felt it was perfect -- suddenly I
      made a decision that "it was good enough"...and ironically my
      first draft is the draft people love and make money from.

      Imagine how many people I could have helped had I released
      it with out those perfectionism hangups?

      Since then, I've gone on to set up systems that make me auo-
      pilot money online (countless $$$'s offline). These systems are
      NOT perfected, but was good enough to get going and tweak
      along the way.

      I think a big part of perfectionism is the unknown...not knowing
      what to expect. Will it succeed? will it fail? That's scary.

      Till this day I haven't gotten over perfectionism, the difference
      now is that I know how to control it so it doesn't stop me from
      doing what I want.
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  • Profile picture of the author JesseGuthrie
    Great advice. I am constantly telling myself the things you mentioned. I need to start taking more action then worrying about the little things! Great stuff here. This should be a must read for newbies starting out.
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  • Profile picture of the author NickP
    Been there, done that as well. Spend way too much time trying to make things perfect.

    We have a saying at my company: Shoot, Ready, Aim

    You'll hit way more close range targets with a shot gun than a rifle.
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  • Profile picture of the author MatthewT
    Yes, perfection can paralyze. I mean nothing will be perfect anyway. It just has to be good enough to put into action.
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  • Profile picture of the author thebitbotdotcom
    Originally Posted by Dean Jackson View Post

    I want to make a quick post that might help a lot of you - this is something I have struggled with before.

    Trying to make everything perfect.

    I believe it is important that you put out a good product. I believe that you should take time in setting a nice looking website, and make sure that it looks professional.

    BUT

    Depending on how long you have been in the game, you would also know this is easier (or cheaper) said than done.

    Where should you stop letting "perfectionism" have a grip on you?

    • Your product needs "One more thing" and you don't know what it is
    • Your websites logo is too big, too small, WHATEVER!
    • Your colour scheme is not good enough
    • You don't like the design - or keep seeing better and better ones and change your mind
    • Being hung up on MINOR flaws in functionality
    The list could go on.

    But it's important that you realise that it doesn't have to be perfect. Hell even Frank Kerns first product sucked!

    Bottom line is this: Get your product and website up RIGHT NOW! Who cares if the arrow is a few millimetres off or your website looks wierd.

    The sooner you start to earn even a little bit of money - The sooner you can start growing your business exponentially.

    Dean
    Wow! you just effected a paradigm shift in my mind with this post. Excellent advice. Being a perfectionist can slow you down big time!

    Thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author King Shiloh
    Banned
    There's no perfect time. There's no perfect opportunity. There's no perfect whatever.

    Perfection, as far as this planet earth is concerned, is a mirage.
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  • In my own experience, action and ongoing testing trumps perfect implementation. It's often better to release your products/sites and to tweak/improve them on the fly, rather than holding them back because they're not squeaky clean yet.
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  • Profile picture of the author natorob
    You don't have to get it perfect... You just have to get it going.

    When first starting, I had problems with the sales page; I could never get it "just right". And it would take forever before I was comfortable enough to get it out there.

    Then I discovered the magic of testing; and using some simple split tests I let the market tell me what they consider to be the perfect page....

    It will never be perfect; but I'd rather have it out there getting me feedback from testing rather than trying to find what I consider the perfect salespage to be (which is usually wrong anyways...)
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    • Profile picture of the author itsallhere
      Being a perfectionist in my book is shorthand for "I have a little problem with my self confidence" - I include myself here too by the way...
      Its not being able to say " I've gave this product/project/thing my best shot, now just release it & let it go!"
      Its fearing (often subconsciously) that your peers will take a stab at you if there is the tiniest flaw in what ever you are fiddling with,

      thats my take on it folks....
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  • Profile picture of the author PvPGuy
    threads like these are great reminders that you don't make money from great ideas. only action creates success. Thanks.

    -perry
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  • Profile picture of the author Stefan Vee
    I stepped aside from trying to produce perfect products and sites, but it haunts me sometimes. However ... being a perfectionist, it's hard to cheat your own mind, so I do waste a lot of time (when time permits).
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    • Profile picture of the author MarkR
      This is a great, no, wonderful, no, spectacular topic. It can really keep you, or, stall you, or, stop you from getting things done well. It's something that all Warriors, or, all people trying to accomplish something, anything should think about.

      I think I'll try to incorporate this in my daily routine .... as soon as I spell check this post, and then re-read it for readability. Ya, that's what I'll do.

      EDIT: Forgot to thank the original poster. Fixed a typo. Added punctuation.
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  • Profile picture of the author sharp
    There are things other than perfectionism that can be issues as well.

    Follow-thru being a big one. If you let anything get in the way of delivering or making good on promises made and client deadlines you'll set yourself up for failure. Wasted time is the least of the 'perfectionism pains' when you're working on others stuff instead of just your own.

    Heya Dean - I had an idea about this kinda thing and I'd like to bounce off you. Check your email.
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