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Perfectionism is Bad For You

There are good points and bad points about being a perfectionist. The willingness to work hard toward reaching the goal of perfection is an honorable trait. However, the inability to stop fussing over something until you’ve achieved perfection, or perfection as you perceive it, can be crippling. Let me tell you why, as someone who works online, perfectionism is bad for you.

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Even if you could blink your eyes and instantly set up the perfect website, it wouldn’t last long. Search engines change their algorithms, browsers change their programming, platforms upgrade their technology… in short, technology is constantly marching on and you’re always going to need to update your site to keep up.

People who browse the Internet are also constantly changing their search habits. This week they’ll use Google to do organic searches and next week they’ll start relying on information they get from their social contacts. Then a new social network will pop up and everyone will move over there.

And no matter how “perfect” your site is, you will never attract 100% of the searches in your target market, so you’re always going to have room for improvement.

Creating the perfect website is a great goal but it’s not realistic. When you’re just starting out “Perfection” means one thing, but the more you learn the more you’re going to want to add to your marketing plan, so “Perfection” becomes a moving target.

Still, though, there’s nothing wrong with aiming for perfection, unless your fear of imperfection is keeping you from doing anything at all.

Most people use perfectionism as an excuse, so they don’t have to face a deeper issue:

Are you afraid of success?

Believe it or not, some people are afraid of success. Success means they’re going to have more decisions to make and more responsibilities. If they succeed once they’re going to be expected to do it again. Some people can’t handle the pressure so they use excuses like “It’s not perfect yet” to self-sabotage their business.

Are you afraid of failure?

There are even more people out there who’re afraid to fail so they, too, use that “perfection” excuse. Rather than try something and fail they keep working at it, chasing that elusive “perfection” so they never really have to launch. But failure simply means you didn’t reach your goal. It doesn’t mean you can’t keep trying.

Again, there’s nothing wrong with striving for perfection, as long as you’re willing to settle for “the best I can do right now.

The great thing about working online is you can always go in and make changes, any time you want. If you’ve given it your all and that’s the best you can do with the skills and knowledge you currently possess, then get that website launched. Once it’s online, go learn something else, come back and add it to your site. But if you’re waiting until you know everything there is to know about working online so you can be “perfect” you’re going to have a very long wait.

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4 Comments (Add one)

  1. Sherry
    Sherry

    Great post and it’s very true. I started a YouTube channel 2 years ago and in the beginning I just put it all out there the best I could. Once people started paying attention, I became fixated on making ‘amazing’ and ‘cool’ videos. I ended up getting 80-90% of the way through editing and not posting anything.

    People liked the content before, the cool editing is a plus but that’s not why they watched them.

    1. Sté Kerwer

      It’s nice that you were able to take a step back and analyze what was happening, Sherry. Not everybody is able to do that…

  2. Flavio Martins

    The key is to try lots of times, fail (and learn from all of your attempts), then get back to it and keep working and pushing towards your goal.

    You’ve mentioned it many times on your blog Ste, your first blog attempt won’t be your most successful one, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try anyway. With each attempt you become a little bit better, learn something new, and eventually one of your attempts will hit and you’ll see the success you’ve hoped for all along.

    1. Sté Kerwer

      I couldn’t say that better, Flavio! Never let it go, keep working on it, and you will be ahead of everyone else.