Thursday, May 1, 2008

Randomness vs. Perfectionism

When you start a business, you want everything to be perfect. Perfect offices. Perfect people. Perfect processes. Perfect services.

As it turns out, having that perfectionist attitude only leads to one thing: procrastination. When you're trying to perfect everything, your mind stalls you from doing anything of substance. It's as if you're waiting for your "perfect time" to do your "perfect thing." This = bad.

Perfectionism is impossible to attain... and a waste of time to try. Instead, it's a guiding star for any CEO/entrepreneur to try to attain, but again, remember "ready, fire, aim" from two days ago. See faults and flaws as good things. They help you start things quicker knowing you'll be okay if/when you hit bumps along the road. Those bumps help you steer toward the right direction; they are your best guideposts.

Some of the most productive business minds rely on a periodic self-administered dose of randomness to stay stimulated. Stimulation is not only necessary when developing new ideas, but is also critical when refining solutions to a particular problem. Every brain benefits from new angles that often escape your traditional point of view.

Consider a few strategies for building randomness into everyday work and life:
1. Take advantage of mistakes. When you do make an error, allow yourself to briefly continue down the same path. If only for an alternative perspective (which is sometimes difficult to get), use every mistake as a lens to see things differently.

2. Travel without a map. When we venture beyond our comfort zone, we often over-compensate with extensive planning, maps, and itineraries. Instead, consider traveling somewhere without plans. Many prolific entrepreneurs cite that getting lost as the best way to find new solutions.

3. Explore projects in unfamiliar creative fields. I love the Behance Network. It purposely features a cross-section of work from different fields. The featured gallery always includes an eclectic set of striking projects from different industries and organizations. And if you’re brave, you can take a daily stroll through the most recent gallery that contains unfiltered brand new projects published by creatives around the world. Other sites that offer great random stimulation include NOTCOT and the great websites featured daily on designer site QBN.

So, what does the picture above have to do with this post? Looking at every day objects in a different way. Finding the creative and possible new angle in the ordinary. Realizing the nicks in the rocks, the flaws in the cork, the kookiness of the monkey (I want to pinch his butt). Embracing imperfection is a vital ingredient to your success.
(Some excerpts taken from Scott Belsky, Behance Team)

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