Dec 01

When Perfection is Too Much: Trials and Tribulations to Understand What Defines “Good Enough

In the last two years the transition from the highly organized world of corporate investment banking to the organized chaos of entrepreneurship has been an eye opening adventure.  The banking world in many ways revolves like a sporting match the rules are clear, the objective is set and the time limit is defined. There is a finish line and a way to seize victory and be a proclaimed “super-star.” In entrepreneurship, the inverse is nearly true: the rules are like flowing water changing at every turn, the need for adjustment and strong adaptability to unforeseen circumstances is everywhere, and there are many ways to win.


Time Goes by So Slowly But Time Can Do So Much


With a set of never ending self assigned tasks and responsibilities as an entrepreneur you do not have the ability to give each the proper time to perfectly execute and deliver on each task in your queue. The need for perfection can lead you to the road of misery and failure, as too much time is diverted doing a task that is not a critical value-add to you and your company. The hours in the day are not enough and so the critical business building philosophy of “good enough” needs to become part of every successful entrepreneurs credo.


The “Good Enough” Checklist: A little taste of Memento, Marx & Moxie


At times at work we all feel like we are rolling a boulder up a hill only to see it roll back down at the last second. This is the sentiment I encounter almost daily when I look at how much work I have done versus how much still remains to make our current day venture a shining success.


Memento Motivates Me:


While, the helpless feeling is daunting I have found the best way to deal with it is to write up every single task on a white board in front of me as it arises. Rather, than plow through the tasks it is imperative to rate their importance and see which ones are critical for the day, for the week, or for the month. By prioritizing the tasks one can successfully break down the work to many palatable and efficient pieces, with “good enough” clearly defined.


It may look like you have emerged out of the Memento movie with post it notes and chicken scratch everywhere on your board but putting a visual orientation and priority structure to your tasks will create a clear roadmap to allow you to navigate effectively through the chaos.


Marx Moves Me:


In essence when you are prioritizing the list if you have a group of co-founders use them to get their input on what they think of your list and its priority structure. Many times a fellow co-founder can point out angles and thoughts that you never discussed or envisioned.  Taking a socialist approach to making decisions may be more time consuming and impractical, but when possible it is a great asset to any entrepreneur. By talking out your decision making process you realize what is the “good enough” point daily for each task.


Moxie Makes Me:


The thing that will have you endure and define “good enough” at the end of each day will be the amount of moxie you have for your venture.  I remember our MIT professor Bill Aulet saying  “creating a company was like having children, if you knew all the risks and headaches in the process you may never willingly create one, but the rewards and gratification you get from having children or creating a company is unparalleled to anything else in life.” The desire, drive and energy to see your vision to fruition will be the ultimate factor to make you push through correctly assess “good enough,” and reach your envisione

1 comment

  1. Miles Palino

    Thanks for helping out, superb information.

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