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The Perfectionist Syndrome

(c) 2003 by Cheryl Williams Levey,

Do you have the Perfectionist Syndrome? This syndrome is caused by the idea that whatever needs to be done must be done all at once, completely and perfectly, before anyone else sees it.

For example, let's say you have a business website, and have additional information or offers that need to be added to it. Do you put it off for days or weeks because you know that it will take a lot of time and the look of it has to be just so? Do you, when you do get around to it, then spend hours and hours making everything absolutely perfect before uploading the files? And of course, you can't promote your website in search engines or through any other kind of marketing techniques until it is "done."

If this kind of thinking applies to you, you could have the Perfectionist Syndrome and it is probably hurting your business growth. Taking our example, it's simple to see that not promoting your website is costing you business. If no one knows your site is there, how can they go to it to see what you have to offer -- even if what you are offering isn't complete or exactly the way you want it?

Deep inside, us perfectionists KNOW that our behavior is getting in the way of success, but we have such a difficult time overcoming the need for perfection. After all, isn't perfection what we should all strive for?

Well, yes and no.

We should all strive for business success. That's why we're here in the first place, right? So our FIRST priority should be in completing business building activities -- like marketing and promotion. Then we can take some time to tweak our tools to perfection.

How, then, do we discipline ourselves to do this?

Try making a list of everything you want to do to make your business "perfect." Everything. For perfectionists, this list will probably be somewhat long. Prioritize the list. THEN, put marketing activities at the top.

Force yourself to market your business for a minimum of 30 minutes every day BEFORE you do anything else. It's only 30 minutes! Of course, you may decide that you need a minimum of one or two hours, but the point is to promote before worrying with other work.

Look at the rest of your list and objectively determine whether everything that is there is truly necessary, or if some tasks can be eliminated or minimized (or even outsourced).

For what's left (and again, our personalities are such that much of it will be still on the list!), schedule a block of time each day to work on it, or plan to spend the entire day every day to work on the list, but only AFTER the marketing tasks are done.

Consciously work to change your thinking to believe that marketing is the "perfect" thing to do FIRST.

Businesses need marketing, and online this is even more essential. An online business is global, which is wonderful, but the competition is fiercer because of it. Make sure your potential customers or partners can find you, or no one will ever know how perfect your website and products/services are!


Cheryl Williams Levey owns, a site
dedicated to showing you how to save time and money
while growing your home business. Do you have what
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