Updated: Nov 11, 2019
Annnnd yet again... here we stand at the brink of a brand new year, ready to leap over into a new world of changes, a new planet of opportunities and ready to see all of our goals and aspirations come to fruition...Or not!
It is a known fact that Jan 1st, is the day when we promise ourselves to do better than last year, to improve our health, to make more money, change our career, give more, show more kindness or start a new business.
Ahhh, starting a new business are you? I chose to highlight this specific topic in today's blog. In my 7 years of running my own businesses I have noticed a very disheartening trend, It's called bad perfection! I know the two words beside each other sound a bit odd, but hear me out. I can count the number of times I have heard aspiring entrepreneurs say that they are just waiting for the right time to start their venture, or once they find this specific mentor, or get this specific certificate etc.... There is nothing wrong with preparation for success, but when your success is hindered or haulted by your preparation, you've missed the mark!
I remember lacking the confidence to open my local teashop, simply because I didn't have the means to design and build out a "franchisable concept" like the other big players in this space. They had the fancy pot lights, the colour coordination, the BIG illuminated logo/ sign, the right labels, the right furniture the right cash register blah blah blah blah, me and my wife on the other hand, didn't even have enough cash to cover the first and last months rent. "SoooOooOoo let me guess Daniel... You didn't open the store and you continued working your 9-5 job that you were sick of and felt like you were not fulfilling your purpose?" WRONG! With much positive advice from my family and loved ones, I was convinced to ignore perfection and JUST START! If successful, the right paint would come after, the big sign would come eventually, the cute cash register and labels and furniture... all in good time.
7 years later, the decision to ignore perfection and just start, proved to work wonderfully with thousands of loyal customers, a well know brand and many awards on the wall. But you know what the real shocker was? We actually came to realize that our customers didn't want perfect, they wanted to build something with us that they too could eventually be proud of! WHAT! yeah bro, (and bro-esses) it's crazy, but little did we know, our customers were tired of the polished corporate chains who were so perfect that their customers just became numbers instead of supporters. Our customers wanted to celebrate our growth from using 3 kettles to make their tea, to eventually getting a BUNN hot water dispenser. They wanted to laugh with us about our vinyl store banner with pidgeon's nesting under it, when we finally got a polished steel store sign that can be seen a block away. They wanted to be the first to tweet about our branded cups when we finally stopped using plain white cups. Yes, our customers were not interested in perfection. Instead, they wanted to see passion, persistence, purpose, real people building a real business. So that's what we gave them.
I'll leave off on this BAD PERFECTION topic with one more example which stems back to my high school days. I'll be honest, I was not classified as "THE BEST LOOKING GUY IN SCHOOL," not by a long shot!( Oh how things have changed! Just kidding... Kind of.) I did however take the award for the funniest guy in school! I also took the trophy for the most charismatic and entertaining... What's my point? The "PERFECT" (Better known as the jocks, the good looking guys, the stud muffins, the pretty faced guys...) They spent so much of their time on themselves, well, because they had to be perfect to get all the girls. Sadly (for them) the normal looking guys like me, who weren't perfect looking, or the top player on the team or smartest person in the class... we just made the girlfriends laugh. Laughing equalled a good time. A good time brought happiness. At the end of the day, the girls in school just wanted to be happy. Now if I may brag... I did end up dating a very good amount of the most sought after girls in school, (erhm* In the city I should say.) because they came to realize that perfection wasn't the most important thing. SOAP! There's the irrelevant babbling of my high school "like life" (as oppose to love life) I hope this in some way helps that itching entrepreneur who has been constantly putting off that GREAT BUSINESS idea waiting for the "perfect time, or perfect situation" to simply just do it. See what happens.