Excellence is Overrated. Focus on This Instead

Excellence is Overrated. Focus on This Instead

Are you a perfectionist? Do you strive for excellence in everything you do?

You might believe focusing on excellence is working for you, but it isn't.

Excellence is overrated.

Let's look at the reality of driving for excellence in everything you do. Let's see why it's overrated, and what you should focus on instead.

Excellence is overrated and what to focus on instead

Photo Credit: kevin dooley via Compfight cc

Over the past few years of doing online business I've created several products. I've written ebooks on topics such as personal branding and starting a podcast, and even created a course to walk people through the steps of creating an online business.

When sitting down to create each one of my products I had the goal of excellence. I should have been focused on something else.

Let me tell you why.

Whenever you commit your mind to nothing but excellence, you're setting yourself up for failure. Striving for excellence has probably already prevented you from achieving even greater things.

In my own life, my vision of excellence and my pursuit of perfection has kept me from doing some really cool things. And if doing those activities weren't completely prevented, they were at least delayed.

In 2008, when I began selling financial services, I wanted nothing but excellence.

To me, excellence meant having all the licenses, all the education, and everything I thought I needed in order to be successful. Excellence meant that “completely ready” even before I made the first sale.

If you're not careful, striving for excellence can kill your momentum before it even gets started. (TWEET THAT!)

So many entrepreneurs, leaders, and creative people want to change the world. We want to make a positive change, impact the world, and make the future better.

But we psych ourselves out.

We tell ourselves that if we can't be excellent, if we can't be perfect, we shouldn't even try. The idea of excellence paralyzes us to the point where we don't do anything at all.

You know it's true.

I think this mindset misstep develops when we're in grade school.

Did your parents want you to get a hundred on every assignment and in every class?

If you got a 92 on your report card that was okay, but 100 would have been way better.

We focus on what we missed instead of what we did well, and we still do that as adults. We think that if we can't get it perfect the first time we're a failure.

What if we settled and decided that a 92 was OK?

What if we realized the amount of time, effort and energy required to earn those extra eight points would be better spent on completing something else?

When you're creating products and services, shipping them is more important than perfecting them. (FYI, you can learn more about the Myth of the Perfect Product and how to defeat it in my online business training course!)

When it comes to your art, sharing it is more important than having every smudge polished. The same applies for making movies, teaching lesson plans, or practicing medicine.

A book that's 100% done and 90% perfect is always better than a product that's 90% done but 100% perfect. Your published product will always outsell a rough draft.

Sometimes success can be ugly. Sometimes it's dirty. It takes hard work and requires blood, sweat, and almost always, tears.

Don't worry about creating perfect products. Don't get so focused on excellence that you don't get started.

Excellence is overrated. Focus on getting the job done.

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Question: Has your unrelenting focus on excellence ever stopped you from getting something done?


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  • DanErickson says:

    I believe in the perfection of imperfection.  In other words, it’s often the little mistakes that make the difference, teach us, strengthen us, even make the work of art a masterpiece.

  • Ellory Wells says:

    Dan, well said! Nothing is perfect but we waste time trying to achieve it.
    Thank you for you comment =j

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