While the phrases “practice makes perfect” and “nobody’s perfect” may seem at odds with each other, they are in actuality complementing one another. I recently came across an Entrepreneur article concerning the necessity of practice in entrepreneurship and I must say, I agree; I agree wholeheartedly. Practice leads us down the impossible path of perfection, perpetually improving us with every step but never allowing us to actually reach our destination, a destination devoid of errors and mistakes entirely, a destination incapable of being improved, a destination of perfection. Although nobody’s perfect, practice does indeed take us on a journey to perfection.
This said, literally any aspect of business can be practiced and improved upon. Yet, there are several attributes worthy of more prominent emphasis. One such characteristic is patience. When starting a business, be aware that the money you paid yourself does not go into marketing or research and development. It does not go into expansion or renovation. It merely fills your coffers, coffers that will be full so long as you are patient with the business providing those coffers in the first place. In the early stages, recognize that money spent now on your business can go a long way in building that business, which will in turn build your bank account. Money spent now on your bank account will not go nearly as far in building that bank account later in the future. Prioritize your revenue and practice patience.
Practice self-awareness. Understand where your strengths lie and your weaknesses fall. This way you can plan for the worst while hoping for the best. Routinely assess yourself with objective numbers so that you can understand if you’ve been improving or slacking in your performance. Without an understanding of where you fall relative to the market, you are bound to fall to the bottom of that same market. We must have standards for comparison in order to compete against, in order to improve ourselves. Otherwise we become content, innate, and devoid of innovation. In order to be better than we were, we must first understand where we were to begin with.
Practice marketing. Practice book keeping. Practice your sales pitch. Just practice. It is hard work that will elevate your company to the next level and beyond. A natural affiliation or talented inclination can only propel you so far. It is practice and ambition that will stoke your passion into a fire of success. One of my favorite idioms is, “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”
Work hard. Practice. While you may not achieve perfection, that is no reason not to chase it.