“Imperfection is relatable.”
Perfection is most often immortalized, as being the ideal state in which a thing should exist.
However, any seasoned and successful fitness entrepreneur would have to disagree on that point, because the pursuit of perfection tends to produce results that are far from ideal. In fact, it’s most often the expectation of perfection, which leads towards a business’s ultimate failure -and there are several strong reasons why this will happen rather predictably.
Of course, the opposite of perfection is imperfection, and if perfection leads to failure then could it be that imperfection can lead to success?
In a sense, I would have to say that this is true to a certain extent; but ultimately, success in your fitness business has less to do with a focus on perfection/imperfection, and more to do with how intently you focus on your vision. Here’s what I mean…
The Pratfall Effect: Marketing Made Human
Have you ever met a person, who is a bit too obsessed with attaining ‘perfection’? Often times, such a person has standards that are impossibly high. They tend to make a habit of applying this standard to others or to themselves; and practically every time, the application of that standard does more harm than good. It’s just not easy to enjoy the company of a person that expects you to be perfect, right? Hey, nobody’s perfect and that really is ok.
At the same time, it’s the people that tend to admit their faults, take risks, and aren’t afraid of imperfection, who have a habit of winning the most friends (and clients for that matter). And this actually has a name…
It’s called, The Pratfall Effect. According to Kevan Lee of Bufferapp,
“These mistakes attract charm as a result of the Pratfall Effect: Those who never make mistakes are perceived as less likeable than those who commit the occasional faux pas.”
Imperfection actually makes you more human, and thereby helps others perceive you to be more relatable. So you could say, just being an imperfect human is a stellar subconscious psychological marketing tactic.
Passion vs. Perfection
Quicksprout.com’s Neil Patel discusses the hiccups that KISSmetrics experienced when trying to obtain the standard of perfection with one of their developing products. Here’s the anecdote that he wrote about:
“At KISSmetrics, we created two other versions of our product that are no longer live. We spent over $500,000 trying to perfect the first version of our product instead of just getting it out there. Since then, we have scrapped that product. If we used the “minimal viable product” approach, instead of trying to create a perfect product, we probably would have saved that money.”
Overall, it was the pursuit of perfection, which ended up costing them this money in the long run -however, in Patel’s experience, it was never a perfect product or service that people ultimately wanted in the first place. They want a human on the other end of the transaction, which is why he also said, “I always tell them that people don’t want a perfect product…what they want is a passionate person behind the project.”
Passionate people are attractively effective because they’re NOT focused on perfection. Instead, they’re focused on doing what they love, which not only results in an increased Pratfall Effect likeability factor, but also in increased efficiency.
Perfectionists Miss the Point
If you’ve ever worked with a perfectionist, then there’s a good chance that you can resonate with this issue: especially when the chips are down, perfectionists tend to do a fantastic job.
Except, the problem is that a most of their time and energy tends to be completely misdirected on doing a fantastic job on the wrong thing, because it’s wasted purely on output and not on progress. Lisa Evans of Entrepreneur writes:
“A sales report may be absolutely perfect, contain zero typos and have the best-looking flow charts, but if it’s not completed on time or if making it perfect gets in the way of you completing other important competing tasks, this can prevent your business from advancing.”
The root of the problem isn’t that they’re inefficient from an overview perspective. It’s that they’re too efficient on tasks that need less efficiency, neglecting other important tasks in the process. Their focus is not on advancing the business, it’s on their own need to attain ‘perfection’ -which only makes them feel satisfied (and yet the business ultimately suffers in the end). So in a way, you might say that perfectionism is a symptom of chronic near-sightedness.
One Actionable Change
We should all strive to produce something great or provide a service that meets and surpasses expectations and standards for our clients; however, when we obsess about perfection for perfection’s sake …that’s when we’ve lost our focus on that which truly matters.
The point is, you shouldn’t focus on being perfect (or even imperfect).
Instead, you should focus on giving the best you’ve got towards advancing your fitness business, and don’t sweat the small stuff that doesn’t ultimately matter. Nobody’s perfect, which is why imperfect, passionate people tend to succeed in a world of humans that are all cut from the same diverse cloth of beautiful imperfection.