Perfectionism Kills Profit
A client was reporting in on a new program they’d just offered for the first time and were about to offer again. In that interim period between the first time and the second, was this strong inclination to re-do, to change up the videos, to upgrade the worksheets, to add features. To give more. To do more.
I totally get that inclination. I know it in my bones. Especially with new ventures, forays into new ways to show up, to serve and to earn. Which is always so nerve-wracking, right? All the little voices of self-doubt increase in volume. There’s so much to learn, there’s also so much — shall we say — exposure, vulnerability, potential to fuck up publicly, to fail. And also to succeed.
And one of the responses to that nerve-wracking nature of the new, especially if you’ve got even the slightest perfectionist tendency, is to work and re-work the details, trying to make everything perfect before launch or before re-launch. It manifests in constant revision, re-doing worksheets, hand-outs, videos, posts, all in the interest of making the product better.
Which is good right? Don’t we all want to put out our very best work, show up as our highest self with the best tools & resources possible?
Mmmmm, sometimes not.
Many times, especially when you’re developing something new, perfectionism is the enemy of profit. Because all those new things you’re adding, they cost, let’s be honest. And you’ve probably already sunk a healthy chunk of change into this thing.
Giving in to that inclination to re-do too soon, right away, has the very real potential to prevent break-even, let alone profit.
If you’ve made a new thing and put it out there and had some success, then Pause. Leave it alone, let it stand as is for at least one more round if not two, long enough to test whether it really works as it is before adding to it. [Note: if there are blunders that need fixing, fix those, of course.] This Pause takes self-discipline, self-restraint, self-confidence.
Maybe this new thing you made is ENOUGH as it is.
Can we leave it alone long enough to truly test whether it truly works as is without adding more, doing more?
Can we let it earn equivalent to what we’ve already sunk into it financially, that investment of cash or credit we made, without spending MORE in dollars and time and anxiety?
Can we put perfectionism in the back-seat, away from the steering wheel, and not let it drive?
That “little” tweak you want to make, pause. That additional worksheet, hold. Leave it alone, let it breathe. Resist the temptation to throw more at it.
For any hope of profit, perfectionism needs to take a hike.