Today I am imploring you to STOP waiting, STOP perfecting, STOP hiding, and embrace progress over perfection.
Before we dive into this episode, I want to let you know that you do not need to identify as a perfectionist in order for perfectionism to be impacting your results in business.
Whether you identify with the whole ‘perfectionism’ thing or not, I think this is going to be a really helpful episode.
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Whether I’m running free challenges or workshops, working with clients in my group program or in VIP one-to-one sessions, I will invariably come across a time with them where they use the phrase, ‘I just need to …’.
They’re putting something before whatever it is that they want to be doing.
It might be that they want to:
- Create an online course, but they just need to grow their audience by another thousand people first
- Get their business out there, but they just need to make sure they have the perfect brand first
- Do something that’s really in their heart’s work, but they just need to have more savings behind them
It’s always a matter of needing something else in order to be ready for a certain thing.
It’s important for us to be able to discern whether it’s a valid reason or if it’s actually perfectionism coming out to play.
One of the biggest and most powerful questions that I ask myself when I am in that space of feeling like I can’t do something yet because I need to do something else first, is how can I just get started? What CAN I do now?
It is such a powerful circuit break up because it helps me to understand whether I actually can’t do anything right now due to truly needing something else first, or whether I’m just holding myself back and could have already started on my path.
As I said at the start of this podcast episode, you don’t need to identify as a perfectionist in order for perfectionism to be messing with you and your business, and stopping you from actually starting to make progress.
Progress is so much more powerful than perfection.
What is this perfectionism that can come and play with us?
1. A feeling of not being ready
Whether it’s your course that’s not ready, your Facebook page, branding or any number of things. This is what can cause you to hold yourself back because there’s always something that isn’t ready.
2. Creating things that never see the light of day
When it’s never ready, it’s never the right time, or you just never feel like it’s good enough for you to be able to share it with other people.
I actually asked this question in my 5-Day Client Attraction Challenge a couple of weeks ago. I asked who had ever created an offer, changed the wording, worked on an image for it and then never shared it publicly, and we had sooooo many people putting #guilty and #thatsme in the comments.
It was so powerful for us all to see that it is such a common behaviour.
It’s so fascinating because we know at a logical level that if we did go and share that offer, even if it didn’t make any sales, chances are it would have given us traction, it would have given us insight into what people are interested in, and we might have got some questions. But instead, we never shared it so now we don’t know and are constantly living in this state of wonder.
I wonder if that would have ever worked? Or what if I had done that back when I first had the idea?
I’ve got a really juicy example for you. In 2010, my partner Honest Dave had this idea of creating a website around the theme of ‘Would you pay $1 to see how many people have paid $1’. He had this super fun idea to create a website with a simple first page and then a second page that had the counter on it that people could access once they paid $1. It was just an idea that was birthed from the curiosity around how many people would pay the dollar, but we just laughed it off as one of those funny ideas (despite the fact that it could have made thousands).
Flash forward to about 2015, we heard about this guy who was doing ‘Would you pay a pound to see how many people have paid a pound’, and this guy had made MILLIONS from this idea.
But it was that whole idea of perfectionism where it’s not quite good enough or it probably won’t work so let’s not bother.
Think about what little amount of energy and attention would have gone into that idea.
It’s such an interesting one that comes up for us, and I bet you’ve got some of those stories from your own past as well.
Wishing that you’d jumped into Bitcoin earlier, or that you’d started your business back in 2010 when decided not to start because no one else was really doing it and you didn’t have faith in yourself. You might have just released a course or a podcast and you’re kicking yourself for not starting it three years ago.
I absolutely have those types of experiences and things for me in my life, not just in relation to business, but everything.
What we want to do is look for where the excuse that we’re using or the reason that we’re holding ourselves back is a requirement for it to be perfect first, or if it’s an unnecessary requirement that we want, such as needing something to be successful before you start trying to make it successful, or needing to have an audience before you try to grow your audience.
I see people do this all the time. They say that they can’t run a webinar yet (which will inevitably grow their list) because their list isn’t big enough yet. Or that they can’t do a podcast to grow their audience because their audience isn’t big enough yet.
You’re putting these weird parameters on things that you’ll never actually be able to achieve.
Other ways that perfectionism can show up is in making decisions.
People say that they just need to decide if it’s going to be A or B and THEN they’ll be able to do it.
Decision making is something that can actually be really quick and easy if you set yourself the task of making that decision.
What is actually stopping you from sitting down and making those decisions?
The issue is not the decision itself, it’s the fear of choosing the wrong thing.
It might mean that you need to get some advice from somewhere else or you just need to sit down and try it. This happens a lot with niching, where people often say that they’re so afraid to choose the wrong niche that instead, they choose to have no niche at all.
Even if you choose the wrong niche, it will actually allow you to:
- Have faster growth
- Know which niche is the right one for you faster
- Get more insight
- Make more money
Very quickly, you’ll understand why it’s the wrong niche for you and be able to correct it from there.
If you keep being uncertain and not wanting to choose the wrong thing, you are holding yourself back from actually experiencing the insight that you need in order to find what the right niche is for you.
Sometimes the wrong decision is actually better than no decision because it helps you to make the right decision sooner.
Then the other one is just waiting – waiting for the stars to align.
I know some people do their business around moon cycles and stars which is totally fine, but how many times have you felt like you needed to wait for the perfect storm?
Waiting for someone to choose you, waiting for a coach that will tell you it will work, waiting for the right VA that will support you in case customer service inquiries go through the roof and you can’t handle it.
There are a lot of ways that perfectionism can show up. It’s not necessarily just for those people who wear their perfectionist label.
I wouldn’t identify myself as a perfectionist at all.
I am such a half-arser – I am someone who thinks that good enough is good enough. That is the kind of person that I am, yet I’m still hit by perfectionism in those micro-moments and specific projects where there’s a fear of something, I’m worried about something, or I’m procrastinating on something, because I let that perfectionism get to me.
That doesn’t necessarily mean I identify as someone who’s naturally a perfectionist.
I’ve got another really great example for you. It comes from a retreat that I went on earlier this year.
We were having this conversation, and this beautiful woman was talking about how she wasn’t sure whether she should launch something as a course or a membership. She was tossing up whether it would make more money as something that’s high priced yet only has a limited amount of people in it, or was a more cost-effective thing that had lots of people in it.
And someone said, ‘Well, I think it would actually make more money if it existed‘.
It was such an amazing moment that broke the ice and we all burst out laughing because we were all trying to help her resolve this question, and someone else had just said it point-blank exactly how it is.
Yes, it might make more money as a small group versus being a large group, but right now, you’ve been sitting on this for 18 months and it hasn’t made a cent because it hasn’t seen the light of day.
Allow yourself to create something that might not be the right fit.
I know people who have:
- Launched courses that they then turned into memberships and then back to courses
- Created memberships that they’ve then turned into memberships
- Started high-ticket small group masterminds that they’ve then transformed into more affordable large group memberships down the track
- Turned books into courses and courses into books
- Turned 5-day challenges into self-study courses
You’re allowed to change things.
If you don’t create the thing and get out of that perfectionist space, you won’t ever have anything to change or adjust.
Another one that comes up for me is people who don’t launch their business or they don’t want to come out to the world and start being an entrepreneur because they don’t know how to label themself.
They want to create the exact perfect label.
I was having a conversation with someone a few weeks ago, and she said that she’s a kinesiologist but she doesn’t want to label herself as a kinesiologist.
She hadn’t even started her business. She’d done her kinesiology training, but she was also a qualified coach, had studied Qigong, energy healing and other modalities. But the big thing she had done was that she just finished qualifying as a kinesiologist.
She had decided she needed to qualify as a kinesiologist because she had just-one-more-qualification syndrome, which luckily, we were able to put a hold on once she’d gotten a kinesiology qualification.
She had been constantly finding all of these reasons why she wasn’t allowed to have a business yet.
Previously, the ‘I’m not allowed to until’ was ‘I’m not allowed to until I have a kinesiology qualification because that’s an accepted, slightly more mainstream set of energy work that people will actually understand’.
That was what she told herself when she’d signed up for that kinesiology training.
She finished the kinesiology training but then she didn’t want to call herself a kinesiologist.
And so again, she’d been holding off on actually starting her business and taking the very basic first step of setting up a Facebook page because she felt like she needed to have the perfect words to explain herself – to label herself.
Instead what we did was we then and there on the call, set up her Facebook page as her name and in the description of what she did, we instead focused on her niche, ‘I help women entrepreneurs who are struggling with … and I use tools such as kinesiology, energy work coaching …’.
We were able to get her away from this need to find the perfect words or find the perfect explanation, and just instead get started.
Fun fact about that particular client, she created her Facebook page, shared it in the Heart-Centred community, shared it into my Take Off community, which is the program that she’s in, and out of those three actions, she got two paying clients simply by just unleashing it onto the world.
Instead of waiting to get the perfect words and finding the exact perfect label, I want you to just take some action.
Just make progress instead of looking for perfection.
I also want to leave you with a very powerful statement, and that is that NOTHING in business that is awesome and amazing and life-changing was ever built on theory alone.
You don’t build an epic business and audience based on your theories about who that audience might be.
You don’t build an epic free webinar by just theorising and posturing and navel-gazing about that webinar over and over again and never sharing that webinar.
The best webinars in my business are the ones that I have done over and over again, and every time I do them, I improve them, upgrade them and refine them.
They get better and better every time I do them.
The Take Off program today looks very different to the Take Off program that I first created and launched.
When I first launched it, I thought it was going to be a complete self-study program with no live calls, and within three weeks, I knew we needed live calls to go with that Take Off program.
I wouldn’t have known that if I hadn’t just started with something.
Nothing awesome is going to be built on theory in your business. You need to actually get it out in front of people.
A great example of that is this podcast.
This podcast has taken me years to get:
- Consistent with
- Good at speaking to the camera without a script
- Really good at working out how to offer extra value and having a call to action at the end
I would never have gotten to this quality of podcast, this level of audience, this quality of content and this consistency if I hadn’t just started the podcast, knowing that I probably wasn’t going to get it right, and knowing that it probably wasn’t going to be that great.
It has been such an epic journey, and now, when I create a new podcast episode, it goes into the inboxes of 10,000+ people.
When I create this podcast episode, there are about 300 subscribers on YouTube who get a notification that this podcast is live. I share it onto my Facebook page and I share it into the Heart-Centred community of over 34,000 people.
A lot of those audiences are the size that they are because of this podcast. If I’d waited for the audience and getting the podcast right, this podcast wouldn’t be as good as it is today.
If I’d waited for the audience and getting the podcast right, I wouldn’t have as many people listening to this podcast as I do today.
I want you to find a few spaces where you are holding yourself back from just making progress, from feeling and reaping those compound interest effects of doing something over time consistently and refining and adjusting as you go.
I want you to find where you’re holding yourself back from doing something because you need it to be perfect, and instead today, I want you to ask yourself the powerful questions: How can I just start? How can I make progress?
Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of the Heart-Centred Business Podcast.
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts about this episode and any follow-up questions you might have. Come on over to our beautiful Facebook community, Heart-Centred Soul-Driven Entrepreneurs, use #podcastaha, let me know that you’ve been reading episode number 246 and let’s continue the conversation there.
Until next time, I cannot WAIT to see you SHINE.