“Wait Training”: My Perfect Business
Junita Flowers is a writer, speaker, entrepreneur, mom and the owner of Favorable Treats. With more than 20 years of experience working with nonprofit organizations, she spent her career advocating for families and leading social change initiatives. Junita has learned the value of “waiting” during her years as an entrepreneur and business owner and shares her experiences with us each second Tuesday of the month.
This week is Twin Cities Startup Week and we are in full swing with all things entrepreneurship. If you have made the decision to launch your startup, I’m pretty sure you have a well drafted business plan which details everything about your product or service, the daily operations, managing business finances and startup capital, and you are ready to begin.
When I started my business, it was very important for me to know everything there was to know about building a sustainable and thriving business. I enlisted the assistance of a business coach to help draft my business plan. I spent countless hours researching success and failure stories. I obtained memberships in various networking associations with a goal of creating new business relationships. I felt good about my marketing efforts and connection to my target customer base. I was armed with a plethora of case studies and research. I was convinced I would avoid the typical business pitfalls of entrepreneurs before me and that I would successfully make it past the critical first three years.
One of the major things I did not uncover in all of my planning and research was the reality that the main ingredient fueling my entrepreneurial drive might be the same ingredient creating my potential failure. Tucked neatly inside my drive to succeed, my push toward excellence and a good work ethic was the ever-so-positive-sounding, yet very destructive concept of – perfectionism.
We live in a world that idolizes perfectionism and it is presented as the standard of performance for success as an entrepreneur. Perfectionism sounds like a good business practice. It sounds like the description of a high achiever, and I fell into the trap of waiting for perfection in many areas within my business.
But here’s what I learned…perfectionism is a fancy word for fear. Striving for perfection felt like a safe, yet lofty business goal. Perfection sounded as though I was operating at my best. Many times, I prolonged a potential business decision or sabotaged an opportunity by failing to move forward because perfection guided me toward stagnation and/or forfeiture.
Striving for excellence in business and waiting for perfection can seem very similar, but I had to quickly decipher the difference between the two. For me, striving for excellence comes from a place of gratitude and contentment. I am grateful for the highs and lows peppered throughout my business journey. Perfection can often come from a place of lack and insecurity. Perfection creates the mindset of not having enough, never having enough and it sucks the life out.
Perfectionism can be overcome, but just like anything else worth achieving: you have to recognize it and then have a plan to overcome it. So as you prepare to launch your first business or scale your current business, ask yourself are you moving forward in excellence or perfectionism.
You can read more about Junita Flowers on her website at favorabletreats.com. You can also follow her on Facebook and Instagram. In addition we are pleased to have Junita join us at the James J. Hill Center on October 26th from 9AM to 10AM as she moderates our TAKING THE LEAD panel discussion focusing on the complex and rewarding ecosystem of women entrepreneurs. This month’s topic will be on the “Growth Strategies and Plateau Pains ” This program is free and open to the public.