This background should be the perfect shade of purple.
This paragraph needs to be aligned to both the left and right margins.
This video should be 1 second longer.
Sound familiar? This is perfectionism, and you probably are guilty of it. As an entrepreneur, setting high standards is okay. We expect high quality work from ourselves as well as the people we work with. But then, everything that becomes too much becomes bad in its own way. High standards can indeed hurt your business.
You see, the problem with having to check every bit of detail and micromanaging is that it slows things down. If you have a lot of time to spend on double checking your team’s work and monitoring everything several times a day, then you are not fully taking advantage of your investment on your team. I’ve had clients who make 6-7 figures a month and so they barely had time to review the social media updates or graphics I’ve created for their events. They focused on the more important things in their business, such as doing VIP days, speaking at large conferences, etc.
If you look at it closely, being a perfectionist will lead you to doing more work – therefore killing your efficiency. You will end up spending more time in something that you don’t need to spend that much time on and lack enough time to do other tasks. Your business will be suffering the same fate. Therefore, you must make sure that you are able to focus on managing your time, efforts, and resources better at all times.
If you notice that your business is starting to suffer because of your high demands, I want you to ask yourself these sample questions:
If this font will not be changed to Segoe, will my customers NOT purchase this course?
If this add-to-cart button will not be changed to a bright shiny yellow colour, will it hurt my sales?
If your answer is NO, then move on. Spending so much time on unnecessary details such as the colour of a button on your sales page or the font used for your headings is NOT a good use of your time. Trying to make everything perfect will lead you to a never ending road of feeling unfulfilled and dissatisfied. And trying to do it yourself instead defeats the purpose of hiring someone else to do it for you. Do you remember the very reason why you decided that you needed help? That’s because you are overwhelmed. You already have a lot on your plate. You hired someone for that very reason. So why would you add more to your to-do list?
So instead of feeling disappointed over and over again, here are two things that you need to do:
- Give clear instructions through email. Explain everything in writing, from the font that you want to be used, to the colours of the headings, how long your promotional video should be, your preferences for stock images, etc. Having clear instructions minimizes errors, and your team will be able to deliver exactly what you want.
- Give clear feedback. Aside from giving clear instructions, your feedback needs to be clear as well. If you don’t like the banner that your graphic designer created for you, don’t just say “I don’t like it. Change it.” This kind of feedback doesn’t tell the graphic designer what exactly is wrong with the design.
Letting go of your high standards can be difficult. I know, because I was once a perfectionist. I still do want things done with high quality but my standards are no longer ridiculously high. I realized that little mistakes aren’t that bad. They remind us that we don’t live in a perfect world. We are not robots that are programmed to do things with zero mistakes. If I waited until my website was perfect way back when I started my virtual assistant business, then I would have been stuck. I started with just a Facebook page and created my first website after a year and it looked like a piece of crap. My logo looked very amateurish, my opt-in form was super plain, the font I used looked like Times New Roman (which I hated), and my e-book covers looked like they were designed by a 12-year-old… I could go on and on. I focused on creating great content, and it didn’t stop me from getting clients who needed help with social media management. I may have improved a lot in the graphic design department, but looking back, if I had not settled for just having a good enough website and branding materials, then I probably wouldn’t have progressed that much.
I want to share with you one of the quotes from one of my wonderful clients. She said, “Done is better than perfect.” This quote entirely changed my mindset. That’s something I want you to think of every time you want to make an unnecessary change. Think about the impact that simple change will make in your sales and the growth of your business. If it’s a NO, then it’s not worth spending your time on.
Over to you
If you are currently working with a virtual assistant or a team, how do you communicate the specifics of each task or small project?