The theme for our next Breathing Space event on 22nd May is around Self Esteem and Inner Confidence.  A very common behaviour that can severely damage these key elements is the curse of Perfectionism.

To warm you up, I therefore thought it would be worth reproducing Chapter 3 of The Successful Business Owner's Guide to Reducing Stress, which briefly covers just this topic. 

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How can I possibly send out something that isn't right?

I hate to tell you this, but no matter how long you spend on something, there will always be some sort of error in there. There just will be.

In all the books I've published, despite me, friends and professional proof readers going through every page, many many times – countless errors made their way through. But so what? The key points were there.

Do yourself a favour and take on board the golden maxim. Good enough is good enough.

Apparently, Leonardo da Vinci left most of his works unfinished. Had he stayed to the end on everything that he did, we probably wouldn't have the Mona Lisa.

Perfection is the barrier to genius.

Won't I lose sales if I make mistakes?

Just to be clear, there is a spectrum here, and it depends on what we're talking about.

Massive blunders that ruin reputations need ironing out, obviously. But we're talking about the little errors here. The ones that take hours of trawling to find.

Make sure that you do a decent enough job. At least run a spell check over an email – certainly in the early days of a relationship with an important client. But don't dig out Roget's Book of Obscure Grammar every time you send a text.

Point of interest. Do you know how Microsoft iron out the bugs in any new software they've developed?

They launch it !!

Millions of users feed back any inherent problems pretty damn quick and then Microsoft can sort out the necessary patches. A delivery strategy actively based around errors. And Microsoft do ok for themselves.

At our level, if anyone even notices the small errors, it'll actually make you appear more human and enable them to connect with you more readily.

But quality is important to me. Why should I change things?

As many of you will have noticed, we're pretty much talking about the 80/20 rule here. In other words, a small amount of your time produces a large amount of results.

Which also means a lot of time can be spent for very little value.

Perfection is impossible, so just aim for very good. Trying too hard to get things perfectly leads to you trying to do too much, without enough time to do it in. Your projects will over run and over spend. You'll make continual losses and, eventually, go bust.

Your call !

Incidentally, if you try and lead a life of perfection in business, there's a good chance you'll try and employ that tactic everywhere. Such as relationships.

Try letting a few small errors slip into your life and surprise your other half. Then watch them start to relax a little bit as you stop obsessing over every little detail.

Believe me, it's worth it.


Come to one of our Breathing Space events and start to enjoy your little mistakes.  Get yourself booked on at: