Thursday, November 8, 2012

High Standards

High standards. I have them. Every personality test I've ever taken, astrological chart I've ever consulted, and most people who know me has told me so.

I try to surround myself with people who are the same.  You know the theory that you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with? I hope that theory is true, because I really like those people.

The Thread team has incredibly high standards. Everything I work on is worked, and re-worked, and then revised again, and again, and again.  I can have a fairly high level of attention to details, but I will be honest, sometimes the revising stage drives me crazy.  I want to yell, "It's good enough!" and move on to the next project. But it's not good enough, and luckily for me, I work with people who will not settle until we have reached excellence.

It is exhilarating and exhausting all at the same time to work like that.  On the one hand, you can't be starting a business without caring about everything that much. On the other, nothing is more miserable than being a perfectionist, and its nearly impossible to maintain the bandwidth to care that much about everything you're working on.

"Does it bother you," Lee asked me the other day, "that what you present is technically a final product, but that then we all pour over every detail and offer a ton of feedback and ask for 50 revisions?"

"That is what will make us great!" Ian responded before I had a chance to.

But I agree with him, and said so. Because I've worked the other way, where my first draft was the final copy, and while you can exist like that, you don't grow.

Growth is not comfortable. It's hard work, it's scary because it exists largely in unfamiliar territory, it is tiring and sometimes hurts.

And so, while receiving a million suggestions and requests for changes, or being told, "it's almost there, keep working with it, you'll figure it out," when I think it's good enough, can make me nuts.  I also know that when all is said and done, what we've completed is high quality work we are proud of. I am being pushed to do more, and learn more, and create more.  I hope we never stop challenging each other like that.

And that, is what will make us great.

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