August 4, 2023

One trait that's stopping you from launching your startup - PERFECTIONISM

Shaye Pumar 🇦🇺🇹🇭
One trait that's stopping you from launching your startup - PERFECTIONISM

If you're on the journey to start a business or a startup, you will experience numerous "impossible" choices you need to make. Be it the name of your startup, a mission statement, a logo, a website and a million other things you must decide on.

You might be lying awake until 3 am looking at every possible Pinterest inspiration, hoping it will give you the perfect - "AHA" moment.

That perfect "feel".
That perfect "look".
That perfect "word".
That perfect "colour".

My friend, you're not alone in this dilemma.
Some might get out of the cycle faster than others. It depends heavily on how quickly you can 'let go' trying to find the perfect solution.

But some never could - and they spend an exceptional amount of time picking the 'right answers'. 
These people have "perfectionism" traits.

After all, "perfectionism is a common personality trait that can affect all domains of life" (Stoeber, 2018, p. 27.) It is also complex and multidimensional. Positively and negatively affecting who we are and how we think, feel, and behave.

After 16 years in the branding/marketing field and helping over 250 startups around Australia, Asia and the US, I can honestly say that one out of 3 founders or business owners struggle to find "the perfect solution".

But... Isn't it a good thing to know your preference or stand your ground?

Yes. To an extent.
You should stay true to your passion and your mission but not all the nitty-gritty parts.

From a view of an experience designer and a marketer, my best advice to you - learn how to be fluid and adaptive.

I didn't think we'd see the big baggy pants again since Y2K, but here we are again in 2023. Or you might never consider your startup doing a certain way, but sometimes the world has changed, the economy, the behaviour and people change. Your job as a founder is to remain adaptive.

Who says you can never change the name of your startup again? Who says you can never grow your product? Who says you cannot change the colour of your brand forever?

After all, McDonald's, who never associated with green, now has a green logo in Europe (to appear more eco-friendly and healthy), and a product giant from Australia like Oodie used to sell Calming Blankets, not the 180 million-dollar fuzzy clothing we're known to love today.

McDonald's turn green - as the world moving towards sustainability and healthy lifestyle, every company needs to adapt.

Or look at what these brands' logos used to look like.
And they all did just fine.

Apple Logo Evolution - We all loved the rainbow once - remember those IPod era.
Pepsi Logo Evolution - Look at how the font changes.

You are not looking for forever. You're looking for right now.

What should you focus on instead?

There are two main areas you should focus on when it comes to launching a startup:

  1. Speed to market (right timing) and;
  2. Product messaging (point of sales)

Perfectionsm is the direct competitor to speed to market. The most common comment I received over the years is, "I don't want to rush this - I want to make it perfect first".

Unfortunately, this will most likely mean you are not striking the pot when it's hot.

If your startup has something to do with the season, you will have to wait for another cycle to launch again. Ultimately, you want to give it to the market when they are most needed. 

So definitely do not let your perfectionism hold you back.

My final tips for all startup founders out there looking to launch their own startups:

  • Make sure you're timing your launch plan right.
  • Don't underestimate project management skills - befriend your calendar.
  • Spend more time thinking about your audience's problems and how you can solve them than your feelings toward your brand's visuals.
  • Stay focused on getting the right message than the right look.
  • You'd do better launching it to market faster than waiting.
  • You do not need everyone's approval of your ideas. The most important opinion is yours.
  • People will care more about how you make them 'feel' and the 'experience - that includes first impressions, buying journey and aftercare than what your logo looks like.

Is launching a startup your next move?

If you've been thinking about your mission and need help figuring out where to start, start with HEX.

We have helped over 5000 people build their own startups and careers around the world. From ideation to launch in the 2-week HEX International Program in Singapore or Melbourne, or if travelling isn't on the card, join HEX Ed: Innovation Unit and start your startup journey today.

Building a startup can be a lonely journey, especially if you are not in an environment that understands what you're going through. HEX will support you by connecting you with the startup ecosystem and teaching you practical skills like creating a prototype in Figma, creating a website, building a logo, how to pitch and more!

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