The Problem with Perfection

Starting off the New Year with a commitment to perfection may sound like a good idea.  In my experience, it can also be a formula for disaster. The problem with perfection is that it can lead to “analysis paralysis”:  Analysis paralysis is described as an individual or group process where overanalyzing or overthinking a situation can cause forward motion or decision-making to become “paralyzed”, meaning that no solution or course of action is decided upon.

If you have never suffered from analysis paralysis consider yourself lucky!  But with all the creative entrepreneurs I’ve worked with over the The Problem with Perfectionyears, I saw it too frequently.

‘Analysis Paralysis’ Example

One artist friend, who created cards and notepads, struggled with this.  Many of her designs were beautiful, but she constantly questioned the quality of the paper she was using, the resolution of the images and printer ink.  All these issues were important, but they were causing her undue stress.  Although her line was wonderful and sold well, she was suffering from analysis paralysis!

Remembering when I listened to webinars on how to create and develop a website, the presenter suggesting that getting something up on the website was more important than making sure everything was perfect!  In this internet age, it is very easy to go back and perfect an incomplete website. Honestly, a website is a bit like housework:  It is never really finished!  Waiting until you have everything perfect, may result in you never launching it!!

The same is true for product creation, or designing your sale materials, or developing your business.  Often, it is best to start SOMETHING and let it evolve as you become inspired. describes it this way:

…  On one hand, one thing we see folks do is to try to get EVERYTHING PERFECT before they jump in to connecting with stores. While it’s important to put together professional materials and represent yourself well, many makers err on the side of waiting too long. You learn SO MUCH by jumping in, getting feedback, and changing as you go. So we always say: “start with good enough, then make it better.

Of course, when launching your product line to retailers, some areas are critical and need to be perfected before you launch.  Some of these areas are as follows:

  1. Wholesale/retail pricing
  2. Billing system
  3. Minimum order and case lot requirements
  4. Terms
  5. Shipping procedures
  6. Turn around time

But the rest of the creative process does not need to be perfect!  Something of the greatest lessons come out of the ‘mistakes’ you may make.

So rather than creating problems by wanting perfection, let your imagination go wild and see what you come up with!


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