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Aim for Progress Not Perfection: The Secret To Succeeding as an Entrepreneur

Image courtesy of bernardbodo from EnvatoElements


What if, instead of being focused on building the perfect business from the start as an entrepreneur, you were to focus on making strategic progress?


What if it's okay to not be perfect and have a few fails along the way?


I know this might sound crazy at first because we're taught from a young age to be the best and that to be the best, perfection is everything.


But what if I told you that being imperfect, and making consistent progress over time is what will allow you to succeed? 


It can be easy to get overwhelmed when you're trying to start your own business. One of the most common roadblocks in starting a business that entrepreneurs face is perfectionism. 

This blog will support you in exploring one of the most important secrets to succeeding as an entrepreneur – the entrepreneurial mindset of aiming for progress, not perfection.


The secret to success is not perfection

The secret to success (whether you're talking about entrepreneurship or not) is not perfection. It's about focusing on progress, not getting bogged down by the details, and always moving forward. So don't be afraid to make mistakes – as long as you're learning from them, you're headed in the right direction!

In the world of entrepreneurship, it's important to remember that success is not a destination, it's a journey. Every step of the way, there will be challenges and obstacles, but with hard work, perseverance and realistic goals, you can overcome them.


Why you need to aim for progress and not perfection

Perfectionism is the tendency to have unrealistic expectations of yourself and others. As an entrepreneur, it's important to remember that you're in it for the long haul. Striving for perfection will only set you up for disappointment and can lead to burnout. Instead, focus on making consistent progress and learning from your mistakes. With this mindset, you'll be more likely to succeed in the long run.

If we're chasing perfection we can easily become discouraged when things don't go as planned – which is inevitable! Consistently seek progress without expecting perfection as your final goal. You'll find yourself far less frustrated with the path you've chosen as well as those who choose to travel alongside you.

You need to aim for progress and not perfection because you can't always get to where you want in one step. More importantly, success takes time and it's easy to lose sight of that when aiming for a perfect goal.

Success is seldom a straight line - the most successful entrepreneurs have at least one failed business before they found their true niche. It means letting go of things that are proving difficult or holding back your progression towards your goals. But with progress, there is nothing more fulfilling than completing a project or reaching that next milestone without giving up on your dream!


Woman analyzing chart of work progress and planning

Image courtesy of jacoblund from EnvatoElements


The secret to progress is to set realistic goals 

One thing you'll want to do to avoid the trap of perfectionism is to slow down and use the productivity habit of setting realistic expectations and goals for yourself. The entrepreneur's journey can be long and rocky, but it's even more difficult if you try to do everything perfectly.  The secret to progress is to set achievable goals, not perfect ones! 

Do you have a goal-setting process in place that you consistently use? It's important to set specific, measurable, and achievable goals, and to be focused on making progress on them. Break your goals down into smaller more achievable milestones that'll lead you to success over time and review them regularly to measure your progress.


Other Tips 

  • Seek out mentors who will be honest with their feedback or join a peer mastermind group for support.
  • Recognize when certain tasks aren't worth your time and energy, and delegate or outsource those tasks instead of wasting time trying to perfect it.
  • Celebrate small successes along the way to your bigger goals. When we set out to accomplish something or solve any problem, our brain will naturally focus on what went wrong and how to fix it rather than acknowledging what has been accomplished up until this point. This can be disheartening. Train your mind to recognize the progress you do make!
  • I've found that as soon as I want something to be perfect it becomes overwhelming. When this happens, rather than asking myself "how can this be made better?", I would ask myself "what's the next step that I can actually take?" Try it next time you're feeling overwhelmed!


Key takeaway

When you're starting a business, it's easy to get wrapped up in the idea of becoming successful overnight.  It can be easy to get caught up in the idea of success and perfection, but consistent progress is what you should focus on. 

If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to learn to aim for progress, not perfection. Disciplined and consistent hard work is the key to achieving your goals. So don't wait until everything is perfect – start making progress today!


Want to hear more on this topic?

Do you want to hear more about this topic with specific examples? Listen to this related podcast episode, Aim For Progress, Not Perfection, for more:


We discuss in this episode, on aiming for progress and not perfection:

  • What perfectionism means. (4:39)

  • How common perfectionism is in business. (6:35)

  • 3 tips to shift your mindset to overcome perfectionism. (13:27)



How do you avoid the trap of perfectionism? Please let us know in the comments. We would love to hear from you about what resonated most with you; feel free to share below!