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Perfect is the Enemy of Done

You ever hear a great idea for your life, and think, I’m going to do that… eventually. Later. When I have some time. After I get through these difficult jobs maybe.

We all procrastinate. Those people who always seem on the ball are just putting off procrastination for later. Yet, doing it later is a sure way to ensure it’s not completed.

That’s not to say you can’t have goals which aren’t accomplished in the moment. They only count as goals (instead of dreams) when you apply action, even if consistent action takes years. A piano virtuoso spent years practicing. Doing gets things done.

Even if they started from a level of talent, don’t let the virtuoso fool you. Daria Williamson said if you want to be good at something, you must be willing to be bad at it first. It’s a fair assessment of reality.

Yet perfectionism is shockingly common among recruiters. The idea of needing something to be perfect before you send it out stops too many entrepreneurs from sharing their ideas with the world. Perhaps an influential teacher or parent had unrealistically high expectations for them which led them to be unreasonably hard on themselves, while also potentially driving that entrepreneurial spirit.

It’s fair to say perfection is unachievable. Let’s lower expectations. Yours first.

Let’s say you just received a 2-page proposal to re-wire your house. The electricians misspelled a word on page 1. Hire or find a better provider? What if they accidentally showed up to your neighbor’s house first, then realized their mistake before giving you that quote… let it go, or let them go?

Until the results actually impact their job performance, I bet you were a lot more forgiving of random people we invented for the purpose of this article than you are to yourself. If you are a perfectionist with a little grace at least.

The Pratfall Effect is a psychological principle suggesting that highly competent individuals seem more relatable and appealing when they screw up, compared to when they appear flawless. Perfection is bland and inhuman. We posted about it previously, and you need to remember small failings increase your appeal. More appeal generally equates to more income.

Don’t fail on purpose, just remember an 80% good product on the shelves makes way more money than a 99% good product which hasn’t been taken to the market.

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Tricia Tamkin, headhunter, advisor, coach, and gladiator. Tricia has spoken at over 50 recruiting events, been quoted in multiple national publications, and her name is often dropped in groups as the solution to any recruiters’ challenges. She brings over 30 years of deep recruiting experience and offers counsel in a way which is perspective changing and entertaining.

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