Perfection is a lie

The essence of perfection is a powerful marketing concept. You are surrounded by perfection. All the Instagram pics you see are perfect, everything around you looks perfect, the ads, the models, the success stories. The marketing orchestra plays around this concept for a reason: you need a new tool to reach perfection, and a new one, and probably a new one next year. Companies can sell dreams, every day. The quest of perfection is a perfect never ending story.

Entrepreneurs might be less sensitive to marketing and materiel things but they still try to reach perfection in their early days. And they fail because, obviously, they underestimated the amount of work, energy, and resilience it takes to create an impactful product. They crash, learn, and try another less ambitious adventure which works. That’s the classic sequence of events. Very few talented people succeed in their first try. Maybe 1%. Trust me you’re far from being in this 1%.

From 0 to 1.

I feel confident writing about it because I never reached out for perfection. I always made the simplest thing I could today and push it online. All my “big projects” failed. All of them. The most successful were the smallest ones because I learnt a lot on going from 0 to 1. You will never achieve your dreams if you’re a obsessed by perfection. You will suffer and you will become a toxic person. You will push your team to be perfect and work fastest, better, doing crazy working hours because “Guys if you want to be good you need to push”. You will burn all the people around you. That’s how most startup born and die. It’s not about the market or the skills. It’s about the definition of “done”. They want the product to be perfect but they don’t have a definition of perfect. Because perfection doesn’t exist asshole. Why don’t you get this?

On the other side, if you’re a dreamer, a creative person, you will also crash into the wall of perfection. You will never publish you’re drawings because they are not 100% as you wanted them to be. You will never send your portfolio because the pieces inside are old, you will never show your talent. You will be stuck in your bubble. Do yourself a favor: stop your work and say “it’s good enough” then move to another project.

Action attracts action.

Something I love to do is starting a new project, push it online even if I could have done it better, see people reactions, be frustrated, and make it better. It’s a never ending loop too. Based on actions and learning not procrastination and dreams. The same goes with everything. Wanna write a blog post? Start with a small one. You will feel bad because you won’t probably say 10% of what you wanted. That will motivate you to write a second one. Same for websites or apps: deploy it asap, you will have a huge motivation to improve it since you have people using it. If you think you’re improving the product without any users, you’re just wasting your time.

Do small things first.

You can think this is a kind of “mediocre” philosophy. I think it’s the opposite. Doing small things again and again trains you to start bigger projects. It’s not about the size of what you’re doing. It’s about the habits you’re creating while doing them that matters.

If you want to achieve great projects and you’re too shy to show your work, you will die of regrets. What stories will you tell to your children? “I was talented but no one recognised my work.”. Splendid bullshit. You just did the wrong thing by not showing up and you’re telling yourself another lie.

Consider perfection as a hobby for your retirement. When you will be 60 years old with plenty of time and years of experience, you might start doing exceptional work without pressure and you will try to reach perfection in your domain. Until this moment, just improve a bit everyday. Patience is the most important value we are losing in this modern age.