CHAPTER 2No More Excuses

I was watching a recent episode of Shark Tank when I heard something that struck a nerve. It was more than mere conviction. It was like catching a punch straight to the face. Occasionally, I will listen to someone addressing an audience, yet I feel that he or she is speaking directly to me. The sharks saw something in the man’s pitch, and they would have seen it in myself had I been there. They ultimately chose not to partner with the man for one reason: He was a perfectionist.

This contestant had spent almost five years in research and development and would have been a fast mover in this market. I wanted to buy the product myself while watching his pitch. The sharks must have seen the value but decided not to partner with him because he was bogged down by the idea that everything had to be in its optimal, perfect, and omniscient state before going to market. Driving revenue was less important to this man than the brilliant shine on his product.

As I said, it hit a nerve. I have been guilty of this for different reasons at nearly every point in my life. Hearing these successful venture capitalists describe perfectionism as a significant character flaw dramatically impacted my life. I started peeling back the onion of my insecurities and didn’t like what I saw. It dawned on me that I was using my perfectionist trait as an excuse. I always needed more time, more quality control, more input. But all I’d been getting was less: less output, less involvement, ...

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