I have a friend who is very good at what she does. In my opinion, she can do some amazing things. However, she also has a major problem, one that I feel will hold back her business.

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She's a perfectionist. In other words, she looks at everything and thinks it can be better. This does a few things that harm her and her business.

One, it slows down her production, and thus she can't serve as many clients to make more money.

Two, it makes her want to change everything, no matter what it is, and sometimes that leads to mistakes because, unfortunately, perfectionists aren't perfect.

Three, it leads to her constantly questioning the client as to what it is they want, when what they really want is for her to ask them once, then tell them what they need, with a few touches here and there. After all, people pay for expert advice and great work, and they don't want to have to work as hard at it themselves, otherwise they'd do it.

I have worked with her on this issue, but to no avail. Perfectionists also sometimes want to make your advice perfect, and thus they can be hard to get through to at times.

I brought up the Bill Gates business model, which is to put out a product that's very good, then work on making it better while you're making money off your "inferior" product. I say inferior because it could be better, but the truth is that most of the time Microsoft products are actually pretty good (Me and Vista notwithstanding), even if flawed in some fashion. Just imagine how the computing world would be if Gates decided he couldn't release any of his products because they weren't perfect.

This doesn't mean you shouldn't try to do the best you can. There's no point in doing anything if you're not going to give it your best.

What it does mean is that if things aren't perfect, you almost always have the opportunity to fix it, or make corrections. What it means is that you shouldn't get bogged down in minutiae and look for problems that might not be there.

It means being able to put together a schedule of things to get to and being able to actually finish those things on time. It means making your life easier, making your mind feel freer, and getting more things done, thus progressing further than you could by holding yourself back needlessly.

Does perfection hold you back? If so, what are you going to do about it?