Imperfection: 3 Reasons Architecture Clients Don't Want Perfection

January 1, 2023

Tyler Suomala

Founder of Growthitect

Happy New Year! 🎉

The end of one year and the beginning of the next is my favorite time of the year.

It reminds me of how unpredictable life can be (in the best way!).

Without fail, year after year, there are always factors that seem to come out of nowhere and introduce an unexpected tributary in the River of Life.

My wife and I added another member to our family this year.

My LinkedIn posts were viewed more than 4.3 million times.

I write a weekly newsletter to hundreds of architects.

Wild. But it’s amazing what can happen to our lives in 365 days.

Do you feel the same way?

With all of us high on hopes, aspirations, and resolutions for the New Year, it seems fitting to think about the power of imperfection.

At some point, we were told that perfection is the apex of achievement. We strive for flawlessness in every aspect of our lives. But the truth is that perfection is unattainable. And trying to present ourselves or our business as perfect can have negative effects.

Instead, I’m focused on cultivating imperfection as a valuable and empowering trait in 2023.

Those of you that have met with me while exploring Monograph have probably experienced my habit of leading with imperfection.

Within the first 5-10 minutes of every call, I usually say something along the lines of:

"Monograph is not the perfect solution for anybody. But let’s determine if it’s the best solution for you."

I began to say it because it’s true. But it’s always well-received and appreciated.

Here’s why embracing imperfection is so powerful:

01 // Relatable

As humans, we are inherently imperfect beings.

We make mistakes, we have flaws, and we have limitations.

Our work, team, and business ventures are no different.

Embracing imperfection at any level is a way of acknowledging this reality.

By recognizing that imperfection is a natural and normal part of life and business, we let go of the pressure of perfect perceptions so that we can focus on the needs of our clients and our team.

02 // Realistic

Can anything ever be perfect? Like, actually perfect? Perfectly perfect?

I don’t think so.

(To my rockstar wife, Maddie, that proofreads all of these newsletters: You’re the exception, babe! 😘)

Maybe an Eames lounge chair. But I wish it had a little more cushion and less squeaky leather.

By acknowledging imperfection internally and externally, you create endless opportunity for self-improvement and business growth.

Imperfection sets realistic expectations. There’s never been a perfect client experience and there never will be. Somehow, something will go wrong.

(Much to everyone’s displeasure)

And when it does, you can embrace those imperfections rather than defend perfect perceptions.

"You’re right. That’s not a great look for us. We’re always working to improve. Here’s what we can do to resolve it…how do you feel about that?"

Imperfection is not a hindrance, but a catalyst for growth and evolution.

03 // Authentic

Nothing is a more powerful relationship builder than authenticity and vulnerability.

By letting go of the need to be perfect, you are able to be more open, honest, and genuine with your clients. You will build relationships founded on trust and respect.

Plus, here’s a secret: the more vulnerable you are, the more vulnerable your clients will be too.

Want a quick route to the 3 layers of pain? Discuss some of your own challenges with your existing situation.

Want to prime a deep discussion before asking lots of questions? Share a relevant personal story.

You will be shocked by the impact this has on your conversations.

When you let go of the need to be perfect and present your business as perfect, it allows you to connect with clients on a deeper and more authentic level.


Embracing imperfection is a powerful tool for building stronger client relationships.

A simple acknowledgement of your imperfection can have lasting effects.

"We’re not perfect. But let’s find out if we’re the best architect for you."

Use it to exemplify that you and your team are relatable, realistic, and authentic.

Let me know how it goes!

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