Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Not a perfectionist, just competitive

When I was young, my mom always told me not to be too hard on myself. She was worried that I was too much of a perfectionist; I would get upset if I wasn't the best at everything. I realized earlier this week that I'm really not a perfectionist. I don't care if I'm perfect, as long as what I do is better than everyone else. Sometimes that means I do have to be perfect, which is probably where my mom got confused--I would get upset in high school if I got a B on a paper. But I wasn't competing with myself, I really just wanted other people to think I was the best (which wasn't going to happen with a B).

Trying to be perfect now would be an effort in futility. What is perfect in sales, in training people, in developing relationships? Its impossible to define. So I compete with other people I respect, who I think are really talented. And I strive to do such great work for my clients that they don't want to work with anyone else. And I try to surround myself with people who are better than me (and then I try to stay out of their way).

Starting this company has triggered a whole new range of competitiveness in me. I'm setting big goals for myself. I'm working hard not to make any huge mistakes. But to be honest, I have already upped my stretch goal for the year. Go big or go home.

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