Is perfection possible? My beliefs and life experience say “no.” But pursuing perfection can still be valuable. Here are some reflections on perfection.

There is no perfect property, but there are excellent opportunities.

No property is perfect. Each one has flaws. Savvy investors look for properties with the right things wrong with them, fixable problems. Spend money to boost income. The asset becomes more valuable after the problems are solved.

You will never invest if you insist on waiting for the perfect property. Savvy investors look for the best available property that helps them meet their investment goals.

You will never have perfect information, but you can have enough.

If you wait until you have perfect information, you will never invest. If you need one more round of research before you decide, you will never invest. Nimble and motivated buyers close.

People described Steve Jobs as a perfectionist. But he constantly reminded the people at Apple that designing great products was not enough. Neither was waiting to act until the product was perfect. One of his mantras was, “Great artists ship!” Great investors pounce.

You will never achieve perfection.

Ben Franklin was an amazing man. He was also a child of the Scottish Enlightenment. He had the wonderful delusion that perfection might be possible. In his autobiography, Franklin outlines his “bold and arduous project of arriving at moral perfection.”

He outlined 13 virtues he wanted to master. They were temperance, silence, order, resolution, frugality, industry, sincerity, justice, moderation, cleanliness, tranquility, chastity, and humility. Franklin kept a record of his sins against each of those virtues every day. Each week, he chose one virtue for special attention.

Guess what? Franklin never achieved moral perfection. A friend of mine was inspired by Franklin’s method to start keeping a similar checklist himself. He was 19 at the time, and now he’s in his late 70s. His checklist has changed over the years as his circumstances have changed. One thing hasn’t changed. In 60 years, he has never had a perfect week.

Perfection is not attainable; excellence is.

Even though we can’t master perfection, we can strive for excellence.

My friend will tell you that pursuing excellence produced decades of improvements. He scheduled time to contact prospects and tracked his efforts. More contacts produced more satisfied clients and higher income. His faith and family mattered, so he made Bible study and service habits. He is not perfect, yet his friends see results as he strives to become the man God called him to be. His family says they appreciate his efforts to show love.

Perfection is not attainable. But pursuing excellence is a worthy objective. Football coaching legend Vince Lombardi summed it up in a message to his team.

“We are going to relentlessly chase perfection, knowing full well that we will not catch it because nothing is perfect. But we are going to relentlessly chase it because, in the process, we will catch excellence.”
So, what about you? If you could improve one aspect of your life, what might that be? If you could make some tiny improvement each week, and you would be successful almost always, what might you do?


Terry Moore, CCIM, is the author of Building Legacy Wealth: How to Build Wealth and Live a Life Worth Imitating. Read his “Welcome to My Blog.

Click here and find out how Terry and his team can help you make the most important financial decision of your next decade.