Taking Action: Nobody’s Perfect

Hannah Montanna

As I was typing that blog post title, I couldn’t help but think about my daughter Ava…

She’s the typical 6 year old girl–energetic, vivacious, full of life…

…and a HUGE Hannah Montana fan.

Now, if you’ve got kids of your own (especially girls) then you know who Hannah Montana is.

She’s the biggest teen pop star in the world, with a top-rated Disney Channel TV show and sold out concerts nationwide–not to mention a marketing and merchandising blitz that’s simply staggering.

And my daughter is crazy about her. She struts around the house, holding an empty paper towel to her lips and singing Hannah’s hits at the top of her lungs.

Especially this one, which goes something like:

“Nobody’s perfect, I gotta work it, again and again ’til I get it riiiiight…”

It’s adorable (which most everything my daughter does is, but obviously I’m biased) and even a little eye- opening.

Because it ties directly into what we’ve been talking about lately.

You see, when it comes to taking action, many entrepreneurs get caught in the snare of trying to create perfection.

We never feel like our product or service is exactly where we want it to be. So we tweak and we tweak and we tweak some more.

But nothing ever REALLY gets done. The project is always in a perpetual state of creation. Which means it’s eventually doomed to be shelved.

You know what I’m talking about. Either we get bogged down in the details…or something else comes along that bumps it to the side…or we simply lose interest.

And your “big idea” becomes another casualty to the scourge of perfection.

I’ve been doing a lot of studying about why this happens, and I’ve come up with some interesting findings…

Seems many experts agree that being a perfectionist is usually tied to low self esteem and an inflated concern over what others think.

I know–that really struck me too. I always thought perfectionism was just another excuse to not get started. But it obviously goes much deeper than that.

Perfectionists generally seek approval in areas where they don’t approve of themselves. They’re trying to fill a void in their lives with the praise and accolades of others.

They sweat and toil endlessly to achieve the perfect product…the perfect marketing plan…the perfect business, only to find that even if they do finish to a cheering crowd, the empty space is still there.

So if you feel like you’re constantly trying to make things perfect–but never getting anywhere–ask yourself these questions:

Q: “Why does this have to be perfect?”

Q: “What are you hoping will happen if it is?”

Q: “Will you be satisfied upon completion…or will you still feel like something’s missing?”

Because here’s the cruel twist – even if you did achieve “perfection” and were praised till death, it still would not fill that void. You have to do it all by yourself.

Make sense?

I know–this one was a little tough to handle for some of you (myself included).

But if you can answer those questions honestly and make some critical changes, you’ll find yourself moving forward towards your goals with more fulfillment and less effort…instead of spinning your wheels constantly.

Because like Ava was singing just this weekend (a little off-key, but still precious to Daddy)…

“Nobody’s Perfeeeeeeect.”

To Higher Profits,

P.S. I hope this e-coaching series has been helpful so far.

And remember–if you’d like to share your own “taking action” tips and strategies, please do so below. I’m always interested in what’s working (and what’s not) with my blog readers.

84 thoughts on “Taking Action: Nobody’s Perfect”

  1. So what are you guys doing out here at Kern’s? Surfing or dreaming up the next big promotion?

    Anyway, I have found your whole Attention Age thing very useful in reconfiguring the presentation of one my clients here in San Diego, (its a 9-5 business, not info marketing, website address attached).

    We are getting new real walk-in customers as a result of my single handed marketingktg/web design approach that derives much from your work in its strategy.

    I’ve been meaning to write and post a “thanks” either here or on Facebook, so when I saw your Twitter just now I’m finally writing: Thank you for helping me understand the real context of using the web to market offline businesses.

    If you guys come down to Little Italy this weekend, let me know so you can buy me a drink, as you’re still much richer than I…..:)

    best regards,

  2. Great post Rich, a lot of meaning to it. It’s true, it’s something that most internet marketers fall victim too, theirs so much different options out there and that causes you to lose focus, if you take action on the one you already have, you’ll find that the results are better than if you didn’t.

    Terrance Charles

  3. I wrote an article about this awhile back called “100% Perfect or 80% Good.” http://www.marketingmindsetblog.com/?p=11

    I see this a lot in my clients, some of them suffer from perfection paralysis – always want things to be so perfect that they drive their assistants crazy or just forget what they were doing and move on to something else. And then get caught in the same viscious circle.

    My post stirred a little controversy and I had a former client chastize me right on my own blog! I kept it up, I don’t really care because I stick to my opinion

    Great post Rich! I agree wholeheartedly.

  4. I say: Strive for Excellence, NOT Perfection. It’s not only easier, but it’s a more “natural” and organic approach. We all have that one client, (or two) that can drive us nuts, and all we can say is: keep it up and you’ll be six feet under, and your business too.

    Anyway, on a lighter note. Where have you been? I’ve missed your blasts and posts. Saw something in Twitter you were in San Diego?
    Have you tried TweetLater yet?



  5. Rich,

    Thanks for the self-check. Am I striving for perfection, because I feel insecure about what I’m doing? A very powerful question to ask.

    Thanks for that!!

    Looking at it, I do see there is a very fine line between excellence and perfection. When I was younger, I went down the road where I threw something together without striving for excellence and that didn’t work out too well (obviously).

    So, I think striving for excellence is important, yet no getting caught in the perfection trap you speak of.

    Interesting upgrade.


    John Morris

  6. In my my practice I find the same situation you taking about.
    people who spin their wheels trying make sure it is perfect so nobody can critisize them. I know this one well and struggled with it for many years until I recognized my dad had been dead for 10 years why was I thinking he was looking over my shoulder? It all comes from Childhood imprinting by our parents. We continually react to the program until delete it and erase it. I work with people on this self defeating program all the time. In will even cause OCD (Obsessive/compulsive disorder.) I describe these people as imperfectionists because they are always pointing out the defects in people, yet not seeing it in themselves.
    Dr. Art Martin http://www.energymedicineinstitute.com

  7. The tendency to be perfect is most of the time caused by a deep ‘fear of failure’ and/or ‘fear of rejection.’

    For instance someone who is about to launch a new product and is tweaking endlessly to make it “better,” is doing it to delay the product launch. Since this happens mostly on a subconscious level, the marketer might not even know about it.

    And if these people are not able to detect their limiting beliefs
    and find techniques to replace them with positive, success producing beliefs and expectations, they’ll never have a chance to achieve their goals and dreams. Sad but true.

    Peter R. Sherman

  8. its a catch-22. We want to make a move but would dont want to offer an inferior product/service. We want to offer the very best to our clients – over deliver even. So its beneath us to offer anything shabby. yes, Realistically – nothing is perfect, we all know that.

  9. When I first started working on my website as a commercial project five years ago, I was aware of my tendency towards perfectionism and worried how it might impede me in developing my online business.

    After all, I thought, I might start a section and not finish it for months and months… and even then, when it was nearing completion, I might think of more ideas to improve it… and at what point was I going to draw the line and actually publish it online? And all the time it was being developed offline it wasn’t going to attract anyone’s attention, wasn’t going to provide available advertising space, wasn’t going to contribute to the bottom line etc. I’d be working unseen and for no reward.

    I decided to get over it right away by reconceptualising my mental image of the web – not as a Main Street populated by stores open for business, or as a shelf full of published magazines – but as my workshop at the bottom of my garden.

    Five years later I am still pottering away in my workshop. Lots of people stop by and many of them say: “Do you know this link is broken?” or “Do you know this page is not finished?”

    I smile and say “Yes, I’m working on it.”
    Meanwhile thousands of other, more-or-less completed pages and articles and resources are finished and attract visitors, who then bookmark them and discuss them.

    I don’t feel bad about the pages which are half finished or three quarters finished or only ten percent finished, because I don’t feel like I’m supposed to be publishing a magazine after fully ironing out all the mistakes.

    Instead, I feel like I’m in the middle of preparing a magazine for publication in my workshop and someone has stopped by my workshop while I’ve been at work.

    It’s a subtle change in perception, but it’s one which allows me to put every page and every section of my website online from the second I start working on it. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be excellent. It doesn’t even have to finished. In fact, it barely has to be started.

    I’ll probably never get over the perfectionism. But I’m happy to allow the perfection process to take place in public, rather than behind closed doors.

  10. Rich,

    This sounds more like a spiritual post, than a business one. Then again, those two realms can’t really be separated… so it makes sense.

    And it’s a timely reminder as I prepare to launch my first ebook… about a year in the making. Most of that learning how to launch, write copy, market, attract JVs, etc… but I did also spend way too many months refining and refining and refining.

    Funny thing is, since I stopped trying to make it ‘perfect’ I’ve actually had some great ‘perfect’ ideas that I’m putting into action quickly, and more importantly, almost effortlessly.

  11. Rich,

    This was a great commet for me. I have been working on a Musical Theatre Album for ……a while now. I left it for a while thinking ew! I am not sure I can live with the way it is turning out. I was sick when I recorded it and felt every little mistake! Every day I become a better singer, so how can I be satisfied with what I have done on any given day?
    When I recently listened to it again 6 months later, I did not notice half of the perceived imperfection that I did when I was recording it. So I decided to go ahead and keep working on it. Others will hear that beauty and the stories in the music. I can always do better but I realized that this album is a snapshot of where I was a a singer that day, that week. that month.
    My business is performing and usually you get one shot in an audition to get the job. I think I was thinking of my album that same way.
    Now my goal is to finish doing the album cover and artwork so I can release it, regardless if i think it’s perfect. Just because I did not achieve perfection does not meant that there is not a lot of value in it!

    Love your blog.
    Jennifer Simser

  12. Hey Rich, 🙂

    Very interesting post, I am definitely no perfectionist, so no worries there..
    The Take Action part is the one! without that nothing happens..
    whether perfect or not..

    I liked the quote Peter Sherman put in his post…

    “The tendency to be perfect is most of the time caused by a deep ‘fear of failure’ and/or ‘fear of rejection.’” SO True!

    Personally, gotta fail a few times to get where you want to go..
    Each is a step closer to success..

    And I have all sons, and still know who Hannah Montana is LOL..


    Dianne in NZ 🙂

  13. This post is a reminder to push ahead for me.

    As Peter said the problem exists at a subconscious level and so many people (me included) suffer from that fear of failure or rejection.

    We use the excuse of being bombarded with product launches when all we need to do is unsubscribe and focus.

    Ian McConnell

  14. Hey Rich
    As a ‘recovering perfectionist’ I can add two more ‘avoidance tactics’ to your list, and a solution! My favourite brand of perfectionism is to procrastinate by not finishing anything and to concurrently start so many new fun things (yep, gotta watch the ‘shiny new toy’ syndrome here) that a result becomes impossible.

    My best three questions to self for avoiding the ‘tweaker’s rut’ are:

    What is the pay-off for me in avoiding this task?

    What are the three biggest obstacles to starting/completing this task?

    What is the absolute worst thing that can happen to me if I start/complete this task?

    From the answers to these questions, I see how my less useful habits and beliefs are controlling my actions. Changing these subconscious habits, feelings and beliefs is a choice and I work on this every time I find an obstacle (thankfully I can see progress – they are becoming less common!!) My goal is to get tough on my bad habits, and kinder on myself…

    Lisa Murray

  15. I find the best way to fix ‘paralysis by analysis’ is by setting hard and fast (and scary) deadlines as you only get done what NEEDS to be done and get the thing launched. A client in a Mastermind Group I lead did this with a Client Appreciation Open House for his Audio/Video Design company. He pulled it off in 30 days from idea to event and even though he missed quite a few things, it got the ball rolling and allowed us to catch those things he missed and get them incorporated into the next one so it’s that much more effective.

    Even if he had taken an extra month, most of those things would have been missed and it would have just been a month longer in planning and time consumption.

    I did this for http://www.WealthFoundationSummit.com as I was putting together the speaker list and just picked a launch date that seemed to make sense, even though rather short, and then worked backwards to figure out what was mission critical to have in place. It put some pressure on me, but I like it since I’ve always come through my whole life and it’s a rush to get it done under the gun.

  16. You are absolutely correct. I’ve been trying things out to make myself better and I realize when I break things down to the point where I can take action I develop new abilities. Now is a wonderful time for me, I’ve finally found the opportunity which can keep me actively involved and create the growth and lifestyle I’ve been looking for.


  17. Hi Rich,

    You hit the nail right into the center.
    This is exactly what have kept me from finishing a lot of stuff I tried to start.
    But when reading some inspiring blogs like this one it really hits me in the back and I told to myself, “now it’s time to do something, if you will have it perfect you never will finish it and you use the perfectionism as an excuse or fear for doing what you like but instead of doing it you just keep it in your mind.”

    You never finish or put in action your vision or your dream.

    Perfectionism is another type of procrastination. It is just a better expression.
    Rich I really like this article it is inspiring and it is so true not only for me but for many people who have started with their own business. Some people actually suffer from that… because they never get started they have only the vision or their dream but they cannot change or put their dream in reality.
    I got over this problem with reading about other people and how they have managed to jump over their obstacles.

    I always remember a phrase from one of my mentors:
    He said something like “You don’t have to get it right, you just have to get it started and take action.” This concept helped me a lot.


  18. Hello Rich,

    I agree with you 100% Rich. Perfection is a mountain that will definitely slow you down. I had to learn this the hard way.

    Now, I am taking the Ready, Fire, and Aim approach to everything that I am doing when it comes to my internet business. And because of it, my income has increased significantly.

    So everyone, please listen to Rich!

    Apply the golden rule of taking action, and you will see extraordinary results.

    Melvin Perry

  19. Hi Rich,

    I’m afraid I disagree with the idea that the single source of perfectionism is low self-esteem, and the dependency on others for approval.

    It may be the reason for many people to become perfectionists, but it doesn’t apply for all perfectionists. This is a crucial point to acknowledge if we’re to figure out why people are becoming perfectionists without unjustly blaming their self-esteem.

    I wasn’t a perfectionist because I care what others think, but because I hadn’t correctly figured out how the world functions (now that I know a little more about the world, I’m still a recovering perfectionist :)).

    Most perfectionists believe that perfection *can* be attained and *should* be attained, because we shouldn’t tolerate imperfections (i.e. mistakes), while overlooking the fact that neither our knowledge nor our skills can ever be complete.

    There’s *always* something to learn.

    A perfectionist lives by an inverted equation in life. Rather than say: “I will produce what I am capable of producing now, and will produce better and better as I improve,” he says: “I must attain *all* the knowledge and skill I need in order to get it right.”

    But the fact is, you can’t attain *all* knowledge, because the more you learn, the more you *can* learn, and the cycle will never end.

    In addition to the questions you posted, I would ask for the following:

    Define “perfection,” and how can it be achieved on earth?

    Many people cannot define perfection in concrete terms, making it impossible to attain to start off with, and they will also realize that their understanding of perfection doesn’t have a place in their lives.

    You can’t “know” all the intricacies of a language before you learn the language!

    That’s just how the world works, but many of us aren’t willing to admit it..

    I personally blame Plato and his archetypes 😛

  20. Hi Rich (et al);

    Great post. I have long suffered from this challenge and have recently found some tools to get myself over them.

    Typically, I love the “idea-mode” because it is fun and creative and exciting and energizing… then the details get me bored stiff.

    So, I’ve started using “ideas” as a means to get through boredom!

    Many of the tech aspects of maintaining my sites are BORING… how can I make them more fun and exciting?

    Could I:
    – see how many times I can run around my desk chair while those new images upload? (stupid, but energizing and i always find myself laughing after, which can’t be a bad thing…)
    – go for a 20-minute jog (or other exercise) while the video renders? (kills 2 birds with one stone)
    – you get the idea.

    I’ve started living by the motto:

    Don’t get it right… get it started!

    And I find that I am much more focused and effective this way.

    I also specifically create “idea time” and also capture random ideas in an idea journal so that they don’t get lost in the ether (and neither do I).

    Going deep into experience can be just as rewarding (if not more so) than going wide but shallow… a lesson I constantly have to remind myself of, but which produces WAY better results both personally and professionally.

    – Paul

    P.S. (Sorry Paul, Can’t Use A Comment To Advertise A Product)

  21. “If you want to be a leader, you have to make decisions with 75 percent of the facts. If you wait for 95 percent, you are going to be a follower.”

    -Lawrence Weinbach, CEO of Unisys

  22. Good post Rich, and I think it’s hard not to suffer at times from what I call being a ‘perfectionist procrastinator’, particularly if you’re an analytic thinker. I think another reason for this is that people can overly worry about how their product, service, writing or whatever will be received by other people. I find it helps to take the “you like apples and I like oranges, let’s just agree to differ” approach to this! No two people will ever think, view or see something in exactly the same way – some are going to like it or agree, where others won’t, and that’s okay – once you except that, life gets a lot easier. It can also help to work out your number one objective for wanting to do whatever it is, and what makes it important to you – that can then spur you on when the perfectionist devil strikes!

  23. Thanks Rich for this timely reminder about perfectionism. I see this a lot in my clients and I’m not spotless myself in this area. However, I’m less prone to being a perfectionist these days simply because I’d never accomplish anything otherwise.

    There’s another important lesson in your post and it relates to the power of persuasion or the power of influence. Fortunately, this particular message from Hannah Montana that your daughter has caught onto is positive.

    Music and TV are very powerful influencers and often individuals – both children and adults – do not even recognise how they are being influenced by these media and not all the messages are positive.

    So it bears remembering that the ‘diet’ we feed ourselves will influence our thoughts, feelings consequently our actions and results.

  24. Absolutely right — once again the 80-20 principle at work.
    As every true entrepreneur will tell you, it’s important what your clients want and the only way you are going to find out is by asking them OR of course letting them play with whatever it is you are creating and that way get the feedback to make it useful to THEM!
    Too many of us forget that the objective is to please your clients, not yourself. So even if you got it 100% perfect, that’s perfect by your own standards, and not those who are supposed to use it!
    That’s btw exactly what we’re telling our listeners at our free business growth seminar series over at
    http://www.selfemployedmastery.com — I’m going to have to send them over here so they get the same message again … and again … and again…

    Thanks Rich


  25. Dear WELL-WISHER!!! I thank and trust in your opportunities to help with realization of the American dream which I pursue 1 year!!! But while America has not presented any dollar!!!! A my family extremely requires them!!!! Sincerely Anatoly Silkin..

  26. Ouch, yes this is a tough one.

    Perfectionism goes very deep. Our society is designed around it – what we have now and are now as people is not good enough, beliefs underpinned by faith models based on man as sinful, flawed and unworthy.

    The US/western economic system is about competition: striving, aspiring to and (occasionally) achieving perfection – home, family, cars, vacations, possessions, education, career, social circle. The means are provided by continuing economic growth and innovation – but with finite resources, increasing populations and spreading aspirations, it’s unsustainable.

    It’s also now underpinned by ‘the drive for quality’ – zero defects, right first time, lead to audit trails and accountability. The people in the system are under pressure to be perfect too and to design perfect systems.

    Every new model/innovation is designed to be closer to ‘perfection’ – faster, more complex, more functionality.

    Oh and we do tend to be addicted to struggle – ‘gotta work it again ‘till I get it riiiight’ – rather than making things easy.

    The result – we can never be good enough, or have enough to be perfect. – and low self esteem gets reinforced.

    This HAS got heavy…so taking action has to start with being OK with being good enough. Perhaps the questions are

    Q: Is this good enough for now?
    Q: How can you use feedback just as useful information?
    Q: How can you be satisfied for now?

    Hope this helps break through the got-to-be perfect barrier.

    Also worth remembering that timing is important JIT = OK, JTL = failure.


  27. Essential advice, Rich. Thanks for reminding us.

    For over 30 years I worked for a very large company as a developer. Yes, we did the quality and the zero defects stuff, but the overriding rule was that a product must be ‘good enough – on time‘.

    In the IT industry, where technical advances are still arriving faster and faster, every day you delay on the way to market is revenue you cannot recover.

    These days, the rule applies even to apparently non-tech stuff because the way we find and buy products is changing all the time.

  28. Hi Rich,

    in a way it’s all true,


    I am sure most of you people will enjoy a product or service that is created with a lot of care and attention to detail, no…?

    How about those classy cars, outstanding computers or beautiful pieces of art…?

    I believe the makers of Porsche or Apple (just examples) are looking to “perfect” their products every next time and

    let’s be frank…

    as a customers we like to have great products and equally so, great products make the world a better place…

    What if the project managers of the latest sports car just settle for mediocrity and think “Oh well, let’s bring that one out anyway…”?

    I know that’s not what you really wanted to address…

    but rather “procrastination” and “perfectionism” used as an excuse to not keep going, which can really be a big mental block for some (me too), while….. at the same time

    the striving for perfection might very well be the responsible factor for progress in the world.

    Just my two cents…

  29. Rich has hit the nail on the head. Let me share an observation with you since I have personally been involved with over 3,000 professionals in many industries build a strategic business plan. The very best people know when they put a plan together for the first time that one thing is absolutely true. It is about 50% right. Therefore 50% is wrong but you just don’t know what is right or wrong. The perfection is stopped in their tracks while the successful entrepreneur moves into action. The key is that your strategic implementation must have a self correcting process in place like the GPS in your car. As you begin to veer off target it tells you and allows for mid course corrections. Over time the “wrong stuff” gets identified and eliminated and the “right stuff” surfaces. I have Coached many professionals who have become multimillionaires by applying this process. It is the difference between massive success and frustration. Visit my website if you need more proof and would like to learn the process that always works.
    Planning Guru

  30. Right on dude, this article was a hit. May God continue to bless you and your wonderful girls Rich.

    -Marcelino “Nino” Latorre

  31. Oh-la-la…
    It really seems you’re talking about me here…so much I could think you’ve met me, LOL
    When I’ve stopped to be a procrastinator I’ve become a perfectionist, in the end nothing really had changed, things weren’t done just the same.
    The point is lack of self confidence.

    May god bless you man.

  32. This post was the shot in the arm I needed. I have a few things I want to do but haven’t done them, in part, because I want to implement the tasks perfectly. Thanks for the wake-up call!

  33. Well said Rich.

    I have been a victim myself for over two years. I started creating a software in 2006, then outsourced a part of it to make it perfect. Got tings done and something new hit my mind and I started adding that to the software, and then one fine day, I decided to focus on a different part of my business…result..that software is still on my computer.

    Your post has forced me to take an action and I am committed to release the beta version of that software by this Sunday.

    Thanks Rich,
    Deep Arora

  34. Just build it. Then move forward. There is a whole blog post alone in those 6 words so let me know if you want a guest blogger 😉 .

    Although I don’t think I am relating to the word ‘perfect’ – for me it’s more ‘getting it all done’.

    A tip – blogging helps release the need for perfection. There are no real expectations from bloggers and often blogging is just that – a work in progress – not the culmination of all efforts ready to be unveiled or ‘cut the ribbon’ ready.

  35. Hi Rich,

    Wow! I’ve never seen ‘perfectionism’ have that meaning before, and I have to say, “I don’t think I want to have it anymore!” ;0)

    You’re right it does hurt, but it makes sense. Looks like I’m on the road to recovery now though.

    Thanks for another great post. (My Girls are the same – Hannah Montana & High School Musical all the way).

    Take it easy Fellah!


  36. Hi, Rich,
    I agree nobody is PERFECT. It is true for me that only Jesus Christ was perfect with no sin. We have to do our best, but as Russians used to say “The best is the enemy of good”. There has to be a point to stop and smell the roses.

  37. Hi Rich,

    Thanks again for a great post.

    I have to work constantly on accepting that “good enough” is good enough. After years of perfectionism (it got me through medical school after all), I now recognise how it leads to analysis paralysis and procrastination – and it is so easy to be too perfectionist with the children too!

    I can be so much more creative when I allow Good Enough to prevail…..

    Thanks for the reminder!

    Dr Alison Grimston
    Holistic Doctor and Animal Healer

  38. Thanks for the post Rich, it helps to know that others go through the same things.

    For me, I’m always worried that I’m not delivering enough. I guess I feel that if someone is ‘paying’ for something they ought to get the best I can deliver and sometimes, depends on the project, I never quite feel that I’m delivering the best. I guess it comes with the notion that I should be over-delivering, and I guess that’s a good thing but it can kill a project too.

    At any rate, realizing we don’t have to be perfect might help us actually get projects out the door 🙂

  39. Thanks for another great blog post, Rich.

    You really moved me to tears with this song reference!

    Since I have a grown-up son who is already 25, naturally I never watched any of Hannah Montana shows ever before, and never heard of the song ever before. So I went to check it out on YouTube, watched it with great interest and saw that the song video has been watched 256,722 times, with 872 ratings and 739 comments…If that’s not a perfect example of ‘staggering blitz marketing’, as you said earlier – I don’t know what is!

    Also, when I work on my own copy, another great song often comes to mind. This one is from a legendary Pink Floyd album “The Dark Side Of The Moon”:

    ‘Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
    Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
    Hanging on in quiet desperation is the english way
    The time is gone, the song is over, thought I’d something more to say…’

    This is so true…thanks for your honesty, Rich. I know it takes pure guts to be brutally honest – not only with others, but most importantly, with yourself…

  40. Thank you Rich! Great post. This is so in theme with my life these past two days. I got some great inside info on a new Social Media site with a brand new technology. I was so excited that I created a web page to tell all my friends and contacts about it.
    The web page really wasn’t very good, and I wasn’t sure if I should post it, but I did. A wise friend gave me some great advice
    and boy did I tweak it. I was trying to make it appear like others I had seen. Once I stopped trying to get it perfect and just spoke from the heart and had fun with it, I was so pleased with the results.
    I’d love some feedback, everyone; plus you’ll love this opportunity.
    This site is taking Web 2.0 to the next level and should be called 3.0. Plus they are sharing their profits with the members. This has never happened before.

    Be sure you read my PS. at the bottom of the page. I just tweaked and wrote that part in, so if the new version hasn’t uploaded yet, be sure to go back and read it. There is an amazing Founding Member opportunity which closes on July 1st. Very time sensitive.

    Anyway, check out my page. I’ve been tweaking all day. Your feed back is most welcome. Blessings – Taylore

    Here’s the link: http://www.liveyourdesires.com/newday.html

  41. Good food for thought Rich.
    For me, I don’t know if it’s perfectionism or just lack of strategy and/or support that keeps me from completing projects. I think it’s all of the above.

    Progess not perfection is my motto!
    Jan Marie

  42. Hi Rich,

    “Hannah Montana” also known as “Miley Cyrus” is a big deal here by my daughter as well. Her song, “Nobody’s Perfect” is a good message to be sent to children who tune into the “Disney Channel” regularly.

    “Perfectionists” like tasks done in an orderly and meticulous fashion. There is hardly any room for error. I think it’s likely to be the opposite of someone who is way too lax about how they handle a task or a lack of caring about how it’s done. Some people would say it’s an unhealthy level of expectation; but that’s passing judment on another persons way of achieving and getting tasks complete.


  43. Hey Rich,

    I like the saying,”YOU DONT HAVE TO GET IT RIGHT [PERFECT],

    YOU JUST HAVE TO GET IT GOING” and learn as you go.

    ‘PERFECTION’is an illusion….STRIVING to be the BEST in

    ones chosen field is reality.

    Ron Brantley

  44. Create, then adjust (once you have some momentum going). This is one aspect of the natural creative process.

    I know this, and attempt to practice this within my own areas of expertise. But I find I am slowed down by connecting all the technical and infrastructural ‘bits’ for which I have to rely on others and don’t even know what I don’t know.

    As mentioned by some earlier posters, it’s not so much trying to be ‘perfect’ per se, but honoring our clients by offering the best- and also in a world of Web 2.0 transparency, it’s our own credibility on the line with whatever we put out. I appreciate Andrea’s comment above about considering things ‘a work in progess’.

    Still, as the old escalator analogy goes, if we stand still in a fast moving world, it will pass us by!

    Thanks for keeping the insights going-it’s fun to ‘watch’ how your mind works!

  45. Rich,
    It turns out my tendency not to act does not stem from perfectionism or low self-esteem. I spent 11 years in graduate school in theology and philosophy by way of making 2 attempts at a doctorate and a professorship. It came to naught, mostly because of a lack of money. But the point is, when you are in the humanities at the masters and doctoral levels you are learning theory only. Even ethics, which is a sub-discipline under both theology and philosophy is taught as theory. It has more practical aspects to it than theology and philosophy, but it is still taught as theory without step-by-step instruction. Thus I have an eleven-year habit of learning theory and not learning application and thus not applying the learning. This is a habit I know I must break myself of (you have eloquently spoken of the priority of action in business in other places), and I fully intend to do so, beginning with the Maven Matrix.
    Keep up the good work.

    Curt Siemers

    • interesting… many of us “forever learners” and “perpetual students” have difficulty putting theory into practice – bubble worlds exist everywhere, though, not just in the humanities…

  46. Rich,

    Once again this post solidifies you as an outstanding mentor and keen visionary!

    I used to like things to be “near perfect” and have at times injured the outcome I was trying to achieve in my projects or even in my personal life…

    Since then I’ve learned the truth of what you’ve written about.

    Having the mindset of “nobody’s perfect” achieves two things:

    1) It unburdens you of guilt for not “getting it right” and
    2) Gives you permission to forgive yourself and others

    The second clearly has allowed for greater personal growth in my life.

    This is another gem to share with my clients.

    Thank you for bringing this aspect of successful living to light!

    Anthony Whyms

    Moving4ward Marketing

  47. True, perfectionism is not necessary, but how good is ‘good enough’?

    Is an OK product okay?
    Is an OK website okay?
    Is OK copy okay?

    The real question is where do you put the effort in?

    Focus on the copy to get sales, get a quality product later?

    The challenge is to find the acceptable standard. It is not perfectionism but what is it and how do you determine it?

    • Careful of standards and boxed sticker labels— they can be highly limiting when it comes to creativity (often born of chaos which is hardly standard!) and frankly, why be acceptable?!!

  48. Hi Rich,

    Thanks for sharing this with us. I used to do this myself. It’s not as much as I wanted the project to be perfect but I had a hard time giving up some of my workload. Outsourcing some of my work was very hard because I didn’t think that the next guy will put as much hard work into the project as I would and that the project wouldn’t be done correctly.

    Peter K.

  49. Hi Rich,

    Yes, nobody’s perfect.

    It hit me bullseye. When I’m doing a project it really
    takes time because of me being a perfectionist.
    When the project is half-way or almost finished, and
    a new idea flash into my mind (which I believe is better)
    I’ve a nasty idea of changing everything, going back
    to ZERO.

    Probably, better is just doing something and tweaking
    all the way to completion.


    -Ding F. Arenal

    Pitogo, 4308 Quezon Prov., Philippines

  50. Superior Contribution, we now have being reading this weblog the past few a number of days but in today’s market my family and i spent the time to say thanks to the info you may be expression with us.

  51. Typical, and unfortunately so, of most artists, but we are also incredibly optimistic underneath it all, or despite our need for perfection, because we keep on painting, sculpting, taking pictures and making videos and installations to communicate with the world out there…


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