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August 2005
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The Moment Michael Knew Perfection Was a Flaw

This story about "perfection" comes from Michael Stein, President of Members Only Software and a reader of Creative Business Strategy of the Week.

Here's  the moment when I learned perfectionism was a flaw. I was "hangin' out" in my friend Jim's office - I had an office in the same building, when a client of his came to pick up some work.

Jim was a  graphics desginer and served as art director and production shop for the US-based magazine of another countr'y's embassy here in Washington - a "Freedonia Today" sort of thing.

Jim told him he was sorry it would have to be late, but he wasn't satistfied with his result and several pages needed to be reworked.

The client was flipping through the mechanicals (this really dates the story - and me! This was in the late 70's) saying "No, It's great, It's beautiful, I want to take it to the printer's today." 

But Jim wouldn't let go of it. It got to be a physical tug of war, with the client threatening "If you don't let me take these out of the office today, we're finding another design shop"  Jim finally gave in.


Perfection is Really a Flaw

Perfection is a lofty ideal. Unfortunately, perfection is also a MAJOR reason over 80% of small business owners get stuck when launching new ideas. It has to be perfect or it just won’t work.

The dictionary says perfection is: 1 a. : an exemplification of supreme excellence b : an unsurpassable degree of accuracy or excellence

Can anything ever really be "perfect?"

Perfection is flavored by our perception of experiences and events in life. What is perfect for one person is shoddy to another.

Unsurpassable excellence is certainly a trap that can bind anyone. Any idea can always be improved upon and/or expanded, can’t it?

Perfection is an ideal that blocks rather than motivates.

For most people perfection is actually a reason to procrastinate. The reason for hesitation is that they are not clear on the direction the idea is going.

If you’re stuck in a perfection rut on any project and not able to move forward, follow this weeks action steps now.

This Weeks Action

1 Gain understanding. Analyze all of the projects that are open but not moving forward..

2. Get “unstuck.” Write down your plan for finishing each open project. If you can’t do that, it’s time to refocus.

3. Make it happen. Set time aside on a consistent basis to work on all of the projects you have created a plan for.

4. Actions speak louder than words. Embrace a ready, fire, aim mentality.

5. Think a bit differently. It will never be perfect but it will always be ready to change and expand.

6. Remember, it’s just your opinion. Perfection is only based on your worldview.

Next Week

Openly Share Your Ideas for Increased Life Satisfaction


HP Crashes then Soars

Hpnotebookweb I purchased a notebook computer last week. After extensive research and thoughtful shopping I landed on the HP 1311se as a good fit form my needs.

I carefully set it up on Sunday, installing MS Office Small Business software.

The next day I booted the computer up and lo and behold an error message of “Managed MAPI Catastrophic Failure” appeared.

CATASTROPHIC FAILURE and I haven’t even left the house with it.

Calling HP support I spoke with a man named Samphosh. Samphosh told me that the problem was software related, so I would have to pay $59 to fix it.

“$59, no, it’s a new machine Samphosh,” was my reply.

“Sorry, it’s not hardware related so we will charge you to fix it.”

“Move me to a supervisor who wants me to be happy that I chose HP instead of Dell please Samphosh.”

After 15 minutes with no answer, other that Smaphosh telling me I’m still on hold, I hung up, went online, found HP HQ in CA and called.

When the receptionist answered I asked her, “Can you please connect me to someone at your Corporate Headquarters who cares whether or not I’m happy with my new HP purchase decision?”

She knew exactly what to do and connected me with Case Manager Allison, in the Executive Office.

Allison was clear and articulate.

Happy point # 1 for me.

She assured me that my computer actually receives tech support for 1-year after purchase at no charge.

Happy point # 2.

She told me she will fix the problem. Now I’m getting much happier.

Call # 1, the problem seemed to be resolved. BUT, just in case she gave me her phone number. “Call me back if you have any further problem.”

I stepped away from my desk. When I returned there was the Catastrophic Failure staring at me once again. SO, I called Allison back.

We tried a few more things, and then discovered the problem was in Norton.

She fixed it and this morning my machine is running better than ever, thanks to Allison. The HP customer service person that REALLY cared.

Thank you Allison. You let me know that I made a good choice with HP.