How To Run a Consulting Business: Excellence Versus Perfection

Today we are going to talk about excellence versus perfection. I have to warn you in advance. If you view yourself to be a perfectionist you may find today a little uncomfortable. However, if you bear with me you will find some insight you can use.

What I believe. I believe that excellence and perfection are typically used as synonyms, but are completely different. Many believe that the only way you can be perfect is by being excellent and the only way that you can be excellent is by being perfect. I totally disagree.

Why I believe it. Perfection is defined as freedom from fault or defect. Excellence is defined as the quality of excelling or being exceptionally good. In other words, excellence is about being really, really good, whereas perfection is about not having any flaws. Those two things are different. Let’s use some examples.

When your child brings home straight A’s, their report card reads 90, 92, 91, 98, and 99. Those results are excellent, but they’re not perfect. Aren’t you still proud of your child anyway?

If you’ve ever seen a waterfall in person, and seen the falling water crashing on the lake below… that is an excellent experience. There’s something about it that is misunderstood unless you’ve seen it yourself. Still as beautiful as a waterfall is, it is not perfect. The rocks are not all smooth, the lake’s shape is not perfectly round, and the water doesn’t fall in a flawless sheet. Yet the experience of being in the presence of a waterfall is excellent.

What about your grandmother’s apple pie? If she doesn’t make apple pie think about whatever favorite dessert your grandmother makes. We know homemade cooking is not perfect. The crust of the pie is not completely circle. Sometimes the pie is a little burned around the edges. Does that keep her pie from being excellent? No, it’s absolutely excellent. Not perfect, but excellent.

This idea we have as intelligent consultants is that we have to put out a perfect product, give perfect advice, create a perfect business and nothing is worth putting out until we believe it’s perfect. This is a very limiting attitude that stalls your excellence.

Relevance to you. At Coveted Consultant, we want to help you create an excellent business, not a perfect one. We expect flaws to exist when we first meet you and other flaws will show as your business grows. We expect the flaws and don’t panic about them. We also fight against your desire to “fake” perfect, so that your audience will receive you as excellent. We won’t allow you to paint a pretty picture for us that looks really good, only to have the truth filled with flaws. We want to work with you in the truth.

What would you describe as an “excellent” experience? Please post below.

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