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Embracing Imperfections: The Path to Entrepreneurial Bravery


In a society that often praises perfection, entrepreneurs must learn to embrace imperfections and cultivate bravery. Reshma Saujani, the founder of Girls Who Code, shares her personal story of running for Congress and the valuable lessons she learned from embracing imperfection. In her inspiring TED Talk, Saujani emphasizes the need for entrepreneurs, especially women, to break free from the shackles of perfectionism and embrace their innate bravery. Let’s dive into her powerful message and explore how it can empower aspiring entrepreneurs.

The Culture of Perfection:

Society often perpetuates a culture of perfection, especially among women. Girls are often taught to seek perfection and avoid risks, while boys are encouraged to be daring and take on challenges head-on. This societal conditioning leads to a “bravery deficit” among women, limiting their representation in various fields, including entrepreneurship. Saujani highlights this disparity, citing a study by psychologist Carol Dweck, which reveals that bright girls tend to give up more quickly than their male counterparts when faced with difficult tasks, despite having similar abilities.

The Bravery Deficit:

The consequences of perfectionism extend beyond childhood. In the professional realm, women often feel the need to meet 100 percent of the qualifications before applying for a job, while men tend to apply with only 60 percent qualification. This hesitancy to take risks hampers women’s progress in male-dominated industries like STEM, boardrooms, and politics. Saujani asserts that by socializing girls to pursue perfection, society inadvertently stifles their courage and hinders their potential to drive innovation and change.

Redefining Failure:


To cultivate entrepreneurial bravery, it is crucial to redefine failure as a stepping stone to success and an opportunity for growth. Embracing imperfections means being willing to fail, learning from setbacks, and persisting despite obstacles. Saujani advocates for a shift in perspective, encouraging entrepreneurs to view failure as a valuable learning experience rather than a reflection of their worth. By reframing failure, entrepreneurs can develop resilience and embrace the uncertainties of entrepreneurship with courage.

The Power of Imperfection:

Teaching girls and young entrepreneurs to be comfortable with imperfections empowers them to explore their full potential. Saujani’s Girls Who Code initiative exemplifies this by exposing girls to coding, a field that requires trial and error, persistence, and an acceptance of imperfection. Coding challenges individuals to embrace imperfections, fostering bravery and resilience. Saujani shares an anecdote about girls learning to code, highlighting how their fear of imperfection hinders them from showcasing their progress. This fear of imperfection can hinder the growth of aspiring entrepreneurs as well.

Building a Supportive Network:

To overcome the fear of imperfection, entrepreneurs need a supportive network. Creating a sisterhood that encourages and uplifts one another is crucial for fostering bravery. By sharing experiences, providing mentorship, and promoting collaboration, entrepreneurs can find the support they need to take risks and pursue their goals. Saujani emphasizes the importance of nurturing a community that embraces imperfections and applauds courage, allowing individuals to unlock their true potential.


Embracing imperfections and cultivating bravery is essential for entrepreneurs to thrive in today’s dynamic and competitive world. By challenging the culture of perfection, redefining failure, and building supportive networks, entrepreneurs can unleash their potential and make a lasting impact. Reshma Saujani’s TED Talk serves as a rallying cry for entrepreneurs to break free from the constraints of perfectionism and instead cultivate a mindset of bravery. By doing so, they will not only forge their own paths to success but also contribute to building a better world for everyone.



Saujani, R. (n.d.). Teach girls bravery, not perfection. TED Talk. Retrieved from:

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