I always try to remind myself that we are not only a marketing & communication agency, but a team of passionate humans working together. I see it in the way I work, and then I start to wonder: why do we always chase perfection in everything we do?
We were all utopians once.
Reminisce on your childhood for a moment. Do you remember how you used to picture your parents?
We were all born thinking that everything could be perfect, but this idea couldn’t be further from the truth. Perhaps it was just that: a point of view. Because depending on the perspective, things really can seem perfect. But at what point in the pursuit of perfection do the ends justify the means? We can convince ourselves that the situation around us is perfect when in reality we know deep down it might not be exactly what we need.
What is perfection? What can truly be perfect? (When we know even our lovers aren’t!) Is perfection the situation where we can easily compromise? Is perfection the best solution available? Is perfection a dummy concept that we created to never be satisfied?
For example, in any relationship, whether it be familial, platonic, professional, etc., we know they’re not perfect but we manage. We accept their flaws and we keep in mind that they’re “perfect” the way they are, perfect for us. So when it comes to entrepreneurship and business why are we stubborn about our product and services?
We keep believing and saying that being an entrepreneur is a personal experience. You put everything you have on the table: your beliefs, ideas, perspectives, etc. And the worst question ever comes: “Am I good enough? Will I still be enough if this is not perfect?”
To all of the entrepreneurs who are having a difficult time finding clients, work, success, or just motivation in general: we get it. As a marketing agency, we rely on clients for business and business growth. Without them, there is no branding or communication for us to fix.
We all have a different definition of perfection.
If you consider yourself a perfectionist, you may be the kind of person who always feels pressured to deliver the best product ever. But you have to ask yourself:
- Are you the one putting the pressure on yourself?
- How can you truly live with this pressure?
- Is this perfectionism that makes you successful?
- Do you think it’s sustainable?
- What’s more, do you believe we all have the same idea of perfection?
There’s no way.
We all have different backgrounds and sources of reference, which is why our definitions of perfection may differ. Every person has a different upbringing than the next. So to assume that what looks adequate and interesting to you is applicable to everyone would be an incredible misunderstanding.
What many people seem to forget is that most of our appreciation of an object or a piece of art triggers our subconscious mind. You think you are in control of your taste of your perception, but you’re not. Every thought we have is influenced by what we’ve experienced throughout our lives. That doesn't necessarily constitute one person being more correct than another! It simply means that a disagreement with another person isn’t always personal.
Is it about perfectionism or high standards?
We saw it coming, yes being a perfectionist and having high standards is completely different. One comes from a place of fear, and the other from a place of growth and ambition. Having high standards when you create your website, your branding is completely fine, if not normal. As a marketing and communication agency, we have really high standards for everything we produce, but we accept the fact that we’re human. We make mistakes sometimes. We have 24 hours in a day just like everyone else, we know we’re not saving lives, but we are who are. It doesn’t stop us from growing, from working super hard, from learning as much as we can, and from dreaming to be number one!
Asking the real question: what are you scared of?
Creating a product, a company, anything, really, is quite scary. Most entrepreneurs are so passionate that they can be perceived as a bit unstable. They can convince the public that everything’s wonderful, that their product is the best when the reality is they doubt everything they’re doing. Questioning and second-guessing every single move you make can lead to a miserable life. You must have confidence in what you’re doing. Even if you mess up, mess up confidently. (We love the quote saying: “try, fail, try again, fail better”)
Listen, we’re human! It’s okay. Actually, it’s more than okay, it’s the best thing you can be. We hope you’re doubting, we hope you’re not 100% convinced that your product is the best because it’s the only way to keep improving.
Being an entrepreneur is the latest trend (or maybe we’re surrounded by too many startups) and it feels like it is on our generation to continue to innovate, create, and never stop. This could be the most positive impact the business industry has on future generations. Because the world is quickly digitizing every aspect of itself, businesses of any sort will need a team of professionals to enhance and perfect (we use that word lightly) their online presence. We believe that having an adequate online presence regarding social media, communication, branding, website design, and so on is crucial for a successful future.
“I’m an entrepreneur in high tech and we just raised X million dollars” feels like the new “I’m a movie star”. It seems like a new success story. And in hindsight, it’s an amazing way to improve our society, the way we consume, even the way we think. It inspires people to strive for things other than just achieving success. It promotes hard work and independence.
But still, when you have a million competitors, how can you not be scared?
Scared of being rejected, not being good enough, being just another number, not being successful, disappointing your parents, your friends, your spouse? Scared to fail? But worst of all, we believe, is disappointing yourself. You can make promises to everyone, but once you break one to yourself is when the world starts weighing heavy upon your shoulders.
It’s really quite human of you.
We are humans! (Yes we keep saying it but we have a feeling you need to hear it again.) We have natural limits, barriers, and physical & mental limitations. If you thought you could run 100 kilometers in one hour without sleeping or eating: you’re screwed.
But, is it actually a natural limitation holding us back, or limiting beliefs?
Everyone knows the saying ‘mind over body’ or ‘mind over matter’, but it feels as though it’s used more so when you’re trying to beat your personal best time of a plank in the gym. However, it applies to so many other aspects of life.
One day I attended the talk of a really successful Venture Capitalist and after an hour of listening to his success stories, a man in the audience asked “how do you deal with limiting beliefs when you’re an entrepreneur?” (Basically he was asking about how to keep going when you don’t think you’re good enough) The speaker answered: “change your job”, instead of answering “change your mindset.” Pretty ironic.
If you don’t have limiting beliefs, it means you’re delusional. If you honestly think you’re at your best, right now, in this position, with this knowledge, in this body shape, then you are fooling yourself. There is always, always room to grow and continue to become the best YOU. Remember that.
Do you remember Socrates' quote: ‘All I know is that I know nothing”?
You, we, us know nothing! Nothing! We know nothing about quantum physics, how the world truly behaves, we know nothing about the future, about our own capacities. We can just keep going. Floating on this giant rock in the middle of space.
Do you remember Einstein saying “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change”?
Entrepreneurs are like Energizer bunnies. They are known for just continuing until they burn themselves out. (We recently spoke a bit about what to do when this happens) The burnout can come from many things, but most commonly from the strive of perfection. You should be aiming to become the best version of yourself and create the best business you can; not achieving perfection. You can only be convinced that you’ll keep going, working, learning, listening, paying attention to others, that you’ll readjust, and that you’ll do your best, no matter what. Otherwise, you will just sit stagnant.
Again, by doing your best we’re not talking about achieving perfection. We’re talking about you, being present in the moment, with all your available capabilities, and with a huge smile on your face, because you’re only living in the present moment. :)