Friday February 21, 2014
We are all a product of our upbringing, of our culture, of our society, what we see on TV, and what we read. All of our surroundings have an impact, conscious or unconscious, on us. Our surroundings can often give us the impression that we should be perfect.
For example, if you look at any of the women’s fashion magazines covers, such as Vogue, Glamour or Elle while waiting to check out in the grocery store line, you’ll see pictures of perfect looking women who are perfectly dressed with perfect make-up, perfect hair and a perfect body. There’s the impression that we should be perfect too. Or if you look at men’s fashion magazines such as GQ, you’ll see male fashion models with perfectly toned bodies dressed in casual or business attire perfection. Looking at the photos have ever felt like you can’t live up to the perfection on the page?
The truth is there is no perfection in this world. Perfect just doesn’t exist. A lot of the images we see are manufactured images. They’re photoshopped and airbrushed. The model eats only grapes for lunch or works out in the gym 5 hours a day. That’s not the kind of life that most of us live. It’s unrealistic.
Perfection isn’t just on magazine covers. It’s definitely in professional sports. The Super Bowl is a good example. Someone wins, someone loses. The team that loses the Super Bowl goes down in disgrace. Yet 24 hours before the game, the team could do no wrong in the eyes of the fans. So here’s the two top teams in the country: One team wins, one team doesn’t win. The team that didn’t win still has the great accomplishment of being in the Super Bowl but they don’t get the praise, they don’t get the Lombardi Trophy and they don’t get the press or the excitement that the winning team does even though they beat out 30 other teams to get to the Super Bowl.
Does perfection have a place in business? In your business day? In how you work?
As business people we often expect perfection from our co-workers, vendors – even our customers. But mistakes happen. We need to help each other work through the mistakes. Help each other understand so the mistake doesn’t happen again.
And then there is YOU. How much pressure do you put on yourself every day to be perfect? There’s one simple way to be perfect in business – just don’t do anything! If you don’t do anything you’ll be perfectly perfect and not make any mistakes. But if you are going to be in business and if you are going to be successful then you need to be actively involved every day. You need to have solid business values along with a plan of action each day that you can accomplish without fear of making a mistake; of not being perfect.
In business, for success, you always need to be thinking about the next step. And the next step after that. The risk is that the next step may be a mistake. You won’t be perfect. But are you willing to take a chance?
If you aren’t willing to take a chance in business, you will never get to where you want to be from wherever you are now.
So how do you balance taking a chance with perfection? By paying attention to the details. Every day ask yourself: What kind of opportunity or possibility can I find today?
Or, let’s translate that into another question: What kind of chance can I take today that’s going to help me move forward in my business day and with its goals and objectives?
But let’s back up here for a moment and make sure you’re not taking so big of a chance that you’re rolling the dice on everything. Instead, test it out. See where it goes. Then improve upon it. But every single day take a chance; look for the opportunity and what’s possible.
In business, you can’t just play it safe all the time. You have to be out there every single day seeing what’s around the corner; exploring. Imagine if people in the United States during the late 1700s, early 1800s, didn’t take a chance, didn’t explore? Can you imagine what it was like leaving, for example, Pennsylvania in a Conestoga Wagon and taking at least 3 months to get to California; and walking most of that way? How many went through terrible terrain, weather and all kinds of other unimaginable difficulties?
The one thing the pioneers all had in common was that they were willing to take a chance. One step at a time. As they took a chance the country grew and prospered. If they had wanted to be perfect they would have stayed in their towns and villages. If they didn’t take chances nothing ever would have happened. We wouldn’t be living in the country we live in today. Nor would the country be as strong as it is since the pioneers trekked westward.
It’s up to you to make it happen. Go ahead. Take a chance today. Be open to opportunity and what’s really possible at your business and with your work day. You don’t have to be perfect. Take small steps. Then a bigger step and a bigger step. As you take chances, think them through so any mistakes made are manageable.