The problem isn’t that I need things to be perfect, but that I need things to be perfectly the way I think they ought to be. It’s my unicorn to chase. The outside world keeps messing up my idea of how things ought to be. But if I can just tweek this or change that…I’ll catch the unicorn the next time. Right?
In the pursuit of my brand of perfection over a 20-year corporate career, I gradually gave up bits of myself in trade for the achievement of my perfect plan. Only, as you may have guessed, the perfect plan didn’t materialize in a perfect happiness. I was overworked, overtired, over stressed, and constantly disappointed by that elusive magical creature. I could ignore the unhappy for myself but I couldn’t hide it from my seven year old. How could things have gotten this bad?
Just like any bad relationship you’ve ever been in, I had that moment when I knew I had to “break up” with this kind of life and begin new. You know that moment. It probably happened right before your last date and you tried to soldier through but ended up breaking up at the end of the night. Well, the life I was living might have been someone else’s perfect, but it wasn’t mine. I didn’t have another perfect plan to replace the first one but I knew that I had to make a change. That’s when I left what I knew and stepped out from perfection and toward possibility.
Three is a Magic Number
In the past three years, I’ve learned a lot about business, about myself, and what it means to be an entrepreneur. Biggest lesson? This is hard – in so many ways, I could probably do a series just on that one topic. Hands down, not as hard as raising kids but definitely rises above the half marathon I just ran. Maybe you’re one of the rare ones who finds it easier and if that’s the case, bully. Go get ‘em tiger.
Outside of that, one of the most important thing I’ve learned is that perfection is something an entrepreneur cannot afford. It takes too long and, um, it is unachievable. This doesn’t mean that I am done with it and give up chasing the unicorn, but it does mean that at some point the hunt has to stop in lieu of getting stuff DONE.
Perfection is something an entrepreneur cannot afford. It’s a unicorn we can see but don’t have time to chase.
An Imperfect Mind
This month I will celebrate my third year of being an honest to goodness business. Hurrah! Yay for me! At this point I’ve produced a ton of imperfection and I’m not afraid to keep doing it. Along the way I’ve learned a few things that I think apply to entrepreneurs and wanna-be’s just as much as they do to folks who get that paycheck from payroll.
I’ll be back soon with another nugget of knowledge. Stick around. You might recognize yourself in some of the lessons – you might just even see an occasional unicorn. Not really. They don’t exist. But you know what I mean.
Tara Lynn is a leadership development speaker, Fascinate Certified Advisor, coach, and writer. She brings polished, insightful ideas to companies and individuals, helping them clarify their unique value and rise to higher standards of success. The practical tips and tools she shares get her clients from point A to point C while solving for the mysterious point B.
(This post was originally published on LinkedIn)