As a business owner, having perfectionist tendencies can push you to go the extra mile. Yet the desire to excel and the desire to be perfect are two separate outlooks that business owners and leaders often confuse.
While having high standards and goals is a profitable business strategy, and a great way to motivate employees, perfectionism can actually be detrimental to your success. Here are six ways this mindset can hurt your business.
You Never Take Risks
Year after year, you’re in charge of making the decisions that impact the growth and productivity of your business. Innovative ideas and risky decisions may arise and if you’re a perfectionist, your first instinct may be to shoot them down.
While it’s necessary to weigh the pros and cons of major decisions, creativity and evolution are critical to your business’ success—and that means accepting some element of risk. The willingness to adapt to changes across your industry is a must if you want to stay competitive. Run the numbers, get advice on the situation, and make an informed decision—don’t automatically say no.
You’re Not Well Liked
It’s no secret that perfectionists aren’t the easiest people to work with. If you strive for perfection each and every day, you’re likely also demanding perfection from your employees as well (or they perceive that you do). This could lead you to become controlling and critical, hyper-focused on your exact vision of what the project or final outcome should be.
No one wants to work for a dictator, and if your team doesn’t respect you as their leader and don’t enjoy working for you, you risk losing great employees.
Take a step back and consider how your perfectionist tendencies are projecting onto your employees. Make it clear that they have your trust and the freedom to do their jobs, and remember that their ideas and visions of success are likely just as good as yours.
You’re Afraid to Fail
Fear of inadequacy could be driving your perfectionism. In a poll of 1,000 American adults, fear of failure was the number one fear, and as a business owner, it’s easy to cover that up with perfectionism: If it’s perfect, then nothing can go wrong. If it’s perfect, I can be sure I’ve done the absolute best that I can.
While it’s good to let fear push you, rather than control you, you run the risk of letting that mindset take over. When that happens, nothing is good enough, skewing your idea of what a job well done actually looks like. In the end, nothing is good enough, and you’re still not managing the fears that are hurting you and your business.
You Hate Opposition
Although you may strive to be perfect, your ideas, work and management skills aren’t. No one’s are! If you take extreme offense to feedback or are closed off to different ideas, you’re hindering the growth of your business.
“In the modern workforce, true perfection is flexible—and is completed by working as a team to develop ground-breaking innovations. Even if your method is flawless, it can always be enhanced by the insight of others,” say small business experts at The Office Club.
The most successful leaders across all industries adapt to new developments and changing circumstances—sometimes on a daily basis—and being a perfectionist can stop you from achieving that.
You Can’t Meet Deadlines
Perfectionists often feel the need to thoroughly review every single thing with a fine-tooth comb. While supervising and consistently reviewing the work of your employees is vital, micromanaging others keeps people from meeting deadlines and being productive—and it may even drive them to look for another job.
Once you’ve approved a project, delegate it to the senior employee involved, and move on. Make a point to do this once a week so that one day it just comes naturally. You’ll slowly feel yourself start to unwind and loosen up, allowing the perfectionist tendencies to fade away—and your team and business to thrive.
Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than 10 years and has five years of experience in the marketing world. She is currently a professional blogger and has been featured on Ms. Career Girl, LifeHack, ThinDifference, Manta and StartupNation. Follow her on Twitter at @Jlsander07.