Settling for Perfect
If you got through my last blog post then you learned that “perfect is the enemy of life saving.”
As a Virgo, it’s difficult for me to think of “perfect” as the enemy of anything. Sadly, I am a perfectionist. I am such a perfectionist that when I contemplate attempting anything that might not end up with a perfect result, I’d rather not try it at all. It’s part fear of failure, part fear of commitment, part unwillingness to settle. I’m emotionally evolved enough now to see that this way of thinking creates inertia, and inertia is the enemy of perfect. How can you get anywhere near perfection if you refuse to even move?
Therefore, perfect is not only the enemy of “life saving”, it’s the enemy of action, of change, or growth and of learning, because all of those important things require failure.
News flash: Starting a business is a HUGE endeavor, and not for the impatient. You have to incorporate, consider tax issues, your budget, inventory, accounting, employees, competition, marketing and a million other things that compete for your time, attention, money and limited expertise.
Lately, the thing that’s been keeping me awake at night is the location of the store. I’ve spent many hours driving around, craning my neck to read leasing information, searching Craig’s List, scouring the internet, talking to real estate agents, looking for – you guessed it – the perfect location for the store.
It has to be big, bright, clean, inviting and in a high-traffic area with lots of free parking and other similar retailers. It can’t require too much build-out, or have a long lease commitment, or be too expensive. Oh the wish list…pet-friendly and plumbed for a washing machine hook-up and with a sunny window to display the fashion, a big staging area to sort through donations, lots of storage and close to home! That would be… perfect!
But does perfect exist? Don’t ask the woman who didn’t get married until she was thirty-five. What do I know? “Nancy’s had a LOT of boyfriends!” my Aunt Fran said upon meeting my fiancé, now husband.
Husbands aren’t perfect, nor should they be. If I’d not relaxed some of my wish list and deal-breakers when I met Albert, I wouldn’t be experiencing the joy of folding his underpants eleven years later!
The trick is knowing not what is perfect but what is perfect enough. It’s understanding what your mission really is all about and not getting derailed from your mission by things that, in the end, don’t really matter. Sure, elegant track lighting and hardwood floors would be awesome. But will my customers, women who’ve come to WearWoof for the mission (as well as the fashion!) really care? Doubt it. And if I choose wrong? If the lighting isn’t just so, or if it’s a little too much floor space or not enough? If I have to drive a half hour or I’m not sandwiched ideally between a Panera and a Petsmart? Will it be the end of the world???!!! (I’m screaming that last part.) Nope. It sure won’t. We’ll shake hands and say, “It’s not you, it’s me,” or heck, maybe I’ll fall in love with that quirky lay-out or the avocado linoleum or the tattoo parlor next door.
Maybe it’s too soon to mention this, but I did meet a space this week that has a lot of possibility. It’s not my dream space, but to quote my favorite reality TV show, The Bachelor, “There’s a real connection there.” It’s sunny and bright and spacious; it’s close to home and the owners are dog-lovers. Too good to be true?
Our second date is tomorrow – I’m bringing Albert along so you know it’s getting serious! – and perhaps he’ll point out the flaws in my thinking, bring me back down to earth, and I’ll have to continue my search.
But maybe not! Maybe in my next post I will be able to tell you with certainty that I’ve found the future home of the WearWoof Shop!