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Is perfectionism hobbling your business growth?

When is good good enough for you? What holds up your projects? Do you hang onto pieces of work because they’re ‘not quite there yet’?

I heard a piece of advice recently, which was useful, if a little bit hard to swallow for a perfectionist like me: it’s ok to be ‘good enough’.

Moving your business forward requires agility, courage and the ability to launch your projects and ventures when the time is right – not when everything has been perfected.


The truth, painful as it is for perfectionists, is that you can’t be perfect. You can’t. Impossible. Sorry. In fact, if you’re doing something for the first time, which means you’re taking a leap into the unknown, your best efforts might not be that great at all. How could they be, when you don’t have any experience of what a success might even look like?

True innovation means you give your projects your best shot, and accept that until you release them into the wild (because that’s how it feels sometimes!) and see how they fare, you’re in the dark. And if the results are less than perfect, you don’t waste time beating yourself up. Just accept that you are where you’re at, you’re doing your best and you’re learning all the time – which means you’re now in a position to keep improving.

When you’re running a small business you can’t be an expert in everything, and you probably can’t afford to hire experts to do everything either, so you’re on a learning curve.

So get on with that learning, and let go of the idea that you have to be great at everything the first time round. You can’t afford to hold up your business progress by holding off on progress until you think your projects are ‘perfect’.

As Kaleidoscope continues on its growth spurt at the moment, I’ve been doing some fast learning about how to put together a financial model and recruitment processes and implement a marketing plan. I don’t find it easy to feel that any of them are ‘finished’ until they have been perfected. However, as it’s the first time I’ve really done any of these things, I’m not even sure what ‘perfect’ even is!