The Tug-of-War Between Perfection and Speed in Business


Aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners, we’ve all been there—trapped in the cycle of wanting to deliver the perfect product or service. But at what cost? I’ve personally navigated this fine line and learnt a crucial lesson about the tension between perfection and speed in business.

The Trap of Perfection: My Early Days in Web Design

When I first ventured into the business world, designing websites was my thing. I have a good eye for design, but translating those ideas to paper and then into code was a learning curve. As a newbie,  I had the burning desire to craft the perfect website for each client. However, this pursuit of perfection was a double-edged sword. On the one hand, my designs were beautiful; on the other, the time I invested led to financial losses.

The Price of Perfection

Taking my time to perfect each design seemed like a good idea in theory, but the reality hit hard when I looked at the financials. I was undercharging and spending too much time on a beautiful end product and client revisions—so much so that it felt like I was the one paying for these websites, not my clients.  It was a tough but valuable lesson. I came to realise perfection doesn’t exist in business, especially when it’s competing with speed.

When Speed is King: Marketing for Estate Agents

Fast forward to when I started marketing for an estate agent. They were an established business, primarily relying on word-of-mouth, but now wanting a well-defined marketing strategy. However, their operations lacked structure; they were flying by the seat of their pants.

A Lesson in Speed: The Missing Information

At the very start of the campaign, I managed to get buy-in from a potential client. I was ready to roll, but hit a snag—the necessary information was not at hand. Assuming that a beautifully designed marketing document would speed things along, I prepared one. To my delight, the Managing Director got excited and started adding his own ideas. Not to mention, he left the country on business, further diverting our immediate focus. It was time for a reality check. In the short term, speed, not pretty brochures, was the order of the day. I had to switch gears, focusing on what was immediately necessary to keep the project moving.


Whether it’s designing a website or crafting a marketing strategy, there’s a lesson I’ve learnt that’s universally applicable: Speed should often come before perfection. It’s not about delivering sub-par work; it’s about being efficient and effective without getting bogged down by the illusion of perfection.

So, the next time you find yourself caught in the perfection trap, remember: Time is money, and speed could be your most valuable asset in business.

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