I am a recovering perfectionist. There, I said it. Being a perfectionist doesn’t mean I make fewer mistakes than others. No, it just means that when I do make a mistake I have the potential to drive myself, and everyone around me, nuts because I’ve messed up. Perfectionism can be especially bad for entrepreneurs because as we are all aware—entrepreneurship requires some risk taking and risk taking leads to occasional mistakes. So what’s a perfectionism plagued entrepreneur to do?
- Think Hollywood—no matter who happens to be your favorite actor or actress chances are that he or she has at least one box office or critical bomb on their resume. Does that one unfortunate nude scene or that song and dance number with a puppet really mean you don’t love them anymore? Of course not.
- Think Science—countless critical scientific discoveries have come out of accidents or mistakes. In fact it would be impossible for scientists to actually do experiments if they were afraid of less than perfect results.
- Think Childhood—remember when you tied a towel around your neck and planned to save the world? When you learned you couldn’t fly, you simply threw the towel in the laundry and found a new dream (perhaps one that required oversized cowboy boots). There’s a lot to be said for simply ditching plan A and happily bouncing on to plan B.
So, if you just flubbed an important speech, sent out an email with a typo, or forgot to fill your pocket with business cards before a networking event…rejoice. Sure, you’re totally embarrassed right now, but mistakes mean risk taking and risk taking leads to progress, and I don’t think you can die from a blush.