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5 Ways to Fail at Perfectionism

We both claim the label “perfectionist” honestly. So today, we want to talk about five ways to overcome perfectionism.

Listen to this post! Click a player to hear George & Mary-Lynn on The BIGG Success Show Podcast. (Duration 3:37)

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Understand why you can’t afford it

Entrepreneurs can’t afford to be perfectionists. Perfectionism will keep you from launching your product, starting your business, beginning a marketing campaign, and everything else you need to do to grow your business.

You don’t have to get it perfect. You just have to get it done.

We see this with the lean startup movement. Start sooner, rather than later. Get a product launched; don’t worry if it’s not perfect. Just make it good.

Because you will learn more once you start. Then you won’t waste time perfecting things that aren’t important to your customers.

Make it visual

Perfectionism is a tough habit to break. It’s something we perfectionists admire in ourselves and in others.

But it can get in the way of progress. So make a list of ways perfectionism has hurt you or could hurt you in your present endeavor. Post this list in a conspicuous place, like above your computer screen. When you feel yourself putting in extreme effort for minimal returns, look at the list to remind yourself it’s time to move on.

Think “good enough for who it’s for”

[George] “My dad was the poster boy for perfectionists. I could tell you story after story. But every once in a while, he would say, ‘It’s good enough for who it’s for.'”

[Mary-Lynn] I love that quote; it makes me laugh. But it makes an important point – Do your best. Give it your all. But default to getting it done for the people who need it done.

Set a deadline and keep it

Having a deadline focuses your attention on getting it done the best you can, given the time frame you have established. If possible, get your project done and then go back and improve it. But make sure you stick to your deadline.

Enlist support

Have someone who is not a perfectionist look at your work. If they suggest improvements, go ahead and make them. But if they tell you that it’s good enough, then consider it done and move on!

Use these five techniques to fail at perfectionism! It’s a failure that leads to BIGG success!

Are you a perfectionist?

This show wouldn’t be good enough if we failed…

Until next time…

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:

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Quirks that Cost us Time

time.jpgBigg success is life on your own terms. The five elements of bigg success are money, time, growth, work and play. Today we want to focus on time.

Quirks. Call them peculiarities, idiosyncracies, habits, oddities, eccentricities …

Okay, we’ll end our tour of the Thesaurus!



We all have quirks which, to some extent, make us who we are. But some of them get in the way of our bigg success. There’s way too many to cover in a short post, so we’ll discuss a few quirks that perfectionists sometimes exhibit.


georgeAh … perfectionism. I have to admit to falling into this one, but I get it honestly – my Dad was a perfectionist. To this day, I have to fight the urge to get it perfect. It’s too high of a standard for most of the things we do. We’re only human; we need to accept it.


The Compulsive Cleaning Quirk


marylynnSomething that goes along with perfectionism is being obsessive about something. For example – the Compulsive Cleaning Quirk. No one could accuse me of this. Maybe the Compulsive Picking Up for the Cleaning Person quirk!


We’re told from the time we’re kids that cleanliness is next to godliness. So Compulsive Cleaners clean … and clean … and clean. And they pick up … and pick up … and pick up. Obviously, clean and tidy are good things but there are limits. This quirk sweeps away your valuable time.

The Infomaniac Quirk


georgeThis is a quirk I constantly fight. It’s the need to have all the information before you get started. News flash – it’s impossible! There’s just too much information available. There are too many options these days. This quirk deletes your productive time.


The Minutiae Quirk


marylynnPeople who fall into this trap get caught up in all the little details and lose sight of the bigg picture. It’s important not to get mired down in the bits and pieces and lose track of the cohesive whole. This quirk turns your activities into trivial pursuits.


Perfectionism can hurt our productivity. So when you feel your quirkiness coming out, here are some little things that make a bigg difference:

Strive for excellence, not perfection.


marylynnPerfectionists aren’t going to settle for anything less than stellar. You will still put out a high quality product or service, but remind yourself that you don’t have to get it perfect.



georgeEven though my Dad was a perfectionist, he had this saying, “It’s good enough for who it’s for.” Of course, he usually said this when he was working on a project for himself! Remind yourself that sometimes good enough is good enough.


Know when to say “when”

Give yourself a deadline – be it thirty minutes or thirty days – to accomplish something. This will help you focus on moving ahead without getting caught up in trying to make something perfect.

Make a decision

Take comfort in the amount of information you have. Remind yourself that you can adapt as new information hits your radar.

Remind yourself that “the devil is in the details” but the destination is the direction. Don’t just begin with the end in mind as Stephen Covey taught us; keep the end in mind. Everything should move you closer to your destination.

A law and a question

The law of diminishing returns underlies this whole discussion. You reach a point where it’s just not worth your time to do anymore.

So how do you know when you’ve reached that point? Ask yourself about materiality.

If you press on, what material difference will you make to the finished product?

If it’s material, press on. If not, move on. It’s a key to bigg success.

Have you battled perfectionism? What have you done to get past it? Share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 877.988.BIGG(2444) or e-mailing us at

We think it’s just perfect that you read our post today. Thank you so much!


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Frank Sinatra did it “his way.” Please join us next time when we’ll talk about why Frank wouldn’t make it today. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!


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(Image in today's post by woodsy)