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Dan Richards

We all know the Facebook story …

From a Harvard dorm room in 2004, in eight years Facebook changed how much of the world communicates. In the process, it has created substantial wealth for its founders and early investors.  Despite its trouble-plagued IPO, the company commands a market value of over $50 billion.

As CEO, Mark Zuckerberg did many things right. But one particular aspect of his approach was critical to Facebook’s success – and advisors can learn from it.

Better done than perfect

On the walls at Facebooks’ offices are painted the four words:

Better done than perfect

As I think about some of my conversations with advisors, I’m struck by how often those words would have broken the logjam of perfectionism that prevents them from getting things done in their practice. Some common examples:

  • The advisor who spends dozens of hours fine tuning his financial planning process to get it exactly right … to the point that it never actually gets in front of clients. 
  • The advisor who goes through draft after draft of her newsletter perfecting the words, and as a result is only able to summon up the energy to get one newsletter out a year 
  • The advisor who invests immense amounts of time researching the best way to approach accountants – reading articles, listening to presentations by consultants and talking to other advisors – but runs out of steam when it comes to making the plan happen. 

We’ve all been guilty of perfectionism – spending an inordinate amount of time trying to get things exactly 100% right when 90%, 80% or even 70% would be sufficient to get the job done.