Perfect is Great – Done is Better


Last week I was coaching a friend who is launching a speaking business. She is great on stage, has a killer message and is ready to start to market herself in a big way.

One essential marketing piece for speakers is a video. In November she had a speech recorded that went well, but there are a few little mistakes that bug her about the video. The question that followed was, “Do I put out a good video now and upgrade when I have better footage or do I wait?”

My response is a favorite saying – Perfect is Great: Done is Better

I believe one of the keys to success is to focus on progress not perfection and to constantly be in action.

For my speaker friend – start to market yourself now and you will have more opportunities to get better footage. You will progress quickly and so will your business because you are in action.

I think we all need this reminder at times.

I work with a lot of high achievers and I have noticed this trend toward perfectionism lately that is hurting performance.


Kathy Gottberg pointed out that perfectionism research identifies three types of perfectionism. These traits can overlap considerably and are often practiced all at the same time. They are:

The self-blaming perfectionist. This person often sets unattainable, rigid and unrealistic expectations for themselves. Even when they accomplish a great deal, it comes with a high cost. And they always see their flaws much larger than their strengths.

The taskmaster perfectionist. This person allows their rigid and unrealistic expectations to extend to everyone around them—families and loved ones as well as peers and co-workers.

The conforming perfectionist. This person believes those around them, including society, expect them to be perfect. This expectation comes mainly from the need to please.

Authenticity and Action are the antidotes to perfectionism. Something that we all need to be engaged in more often. Brene Brown in her book Daring Greatly. Brown says, “Perfectionism is a defensive move. It’s the belief that if we do things perfectly and look perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgment, and shame. Perfectionism is a twenty-ton shield that we lug around, thinking it will protect us, when in fact it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from being seen.”

I know that perfectionism runs deep for many people. There are hereditary factors and root causes – but for many high achievers who are letting perfectionism hold them back from adding value – Remember Perfect is Great  – Done is Better

















One Response

  1. Wow man, this is excellent and really hits home. I’ve been working on getting over this myself for the past decade. It runs deep. But this is so right. I could’ve had a lot more done and made more headway had I accepted this very principle a long time ago. Now my concern is I’m swinging too far the other direction and getting done some pretty sloppy junk! Kidding, but thank you for the reminder. Great post Ty.

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