How Perfectionism Holds Back Entrepreneurs

Startup Misconceptions: Everything Must Be Perfect Because It’s All or Nothing

In my effort to provide useful information to entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs, I share tons of interesting and helpful articles that I find around the web and think can help answer questions for my followers and help you all move your businesses forward. Often, people write asking me to elaborate on those articles or pieces of those articles so I am starting a series that will do just that. I may combine a few or leave a few out here and there, but I will cover the topics that people most often asked me to elaborate on.

I recently posted an article from RockthePost about common misconceptions people have about launching a new company. The next of those misconceptions that I want to tackle here is the idea that launching a business is all or nothing and, therefore, everything must be absolutely perfect before you can even begin promoting. 

A lot of entrepreneurs are perfectionists, and this can be good in a lot of ways because it will drive you towards high quality in your business. However, obsessing over getting every single detail exactly right before ever going to market is only going to hold you back as an entrepreneur. I’ve talked about this before, but it seems to be a recurring topic of discussion so I wanted to go ahead and address it again.

If you are new to entrepreneurship, you have to accept the fact that striving for perfection is actually just a means of procrastinating. You will never get to perfection so, if that is a pre-requisite for launching your business, you will never actually launch and never know if you could have succeeded. Now, clearly you shouldn’t just be throwing spaghetti up against the wall to see what sticks with no thought, research, or attempt at quality. I don’t argue that because perfection is not achievable you should stop caring about quality altogether, but I do argue that you should be cognizant of the necessary compromises you’ll need to make as an entrepreneur and realize that it’s often better to get something out into the world so that you can start to get feedback and build momentum than it is to wait until you’ve created a completely flawless product.

If the world’s biggest companies waited for perfection before releasing a new product, we’d never have any new software to play with or to make our lives easier. If a major corporation with thousands of team members can’t create something that is aesthetically pleasing, has every feature you’d ever want, and doesn’t have a single bug, why would you expect that you can? If you’re hung up on trying to make everything perfect before you start telling the world about what you have to offer, stop for a moment and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does this version solve the problem that I set out to solve?

  • Are the things that aren’t perfect fundamental to the product or are they extras or aesthetics?

  • If it weren’t my product, would I be as critical as I am of it now or would I use it and love it and just hope for a few tweeks in the next update?

  • Can I build a user base with the current version or not?

If you’re hesitating because of things that are not essential and won’t hold you back from beginning to build a user base, get over and get going. Remember, even the Founder of Linkedin, Reid Hoffman said: “If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.” (Click here to tweet this quote.)


Now I want to hear from you. Do you ever fall into the perfectionism trap? If so, how do you pull yourself out of it? Let me know in the comments section below and, if you haven’t already, don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter so you never miss out on any helpful info to help you launch and grow your business.

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