Entrepreneurs can be perfectionists. That can help, because it pushes us forward.
But it usually backfires. Because it makes us ignore important information.
Important information like praise and compliments from our clients or colleagues.
Perfectionism makes us ignore praise for the stuff we find easy. We dismiss it and move past it. We think, “Sure, it’s nice you find that impressive, but that’s not even the hard stuff.”
And instead, we desperately crave praise for the stuff we find difficult. The parts where we agonize over the details, or push ourselves past anyone’s expectations. We rarely get praise for this stuff, though, because it’s harder for others to notice it.
But here’s the big idea:
The praise we crave (but rarely get) tells us our internal values. It tells us what we care most about, and where we put our most earnest effort.
Praise we dismiss—from clients, friends, peers, or colleagues—tells us about our external value.
That’s the stuff we’re so good at, we don’t even notice. So we push it aside.
But other people notice.
So let’s do this instead: Take the stuff you wish you got more praise for (the hard stuff you care most about) and intentionally combine it with the stuff you get praise for all the time (the easy stuff you fly through without thinking).
How can you do more of what other people notice and appreciate most, and actively infuse it with what you care about most?
How can you take your values and use them to become even more valuable?
It starts by recognizing the praise we’re getting, and recognizing the praise we’re craving.
And then combining them into something new.