Letting Go of Perfectionism

August 1, 2014

Believe it or not, I’m a total perfectionist. I’m super anal and notice every little thing on my website that’s off by a pixel or two. I always strive to put my best foot forward through everything I do.

But, sometimes I don’t do things perfectly, on purpose.

What I’ve learned over the years is that it’s better to take action than to sit around and wait for the perfect time or the perfect version of whatever I’m trying to do or create. Sometimes you just have to MOVE in order for things to really come together. And sometimes it’s more important to get the message or work out to the world rather than get it done perfectly.

A great example of this is my most recent free training series, Pinpoint Your Passion. With Your Passion-Based Business launching, I knew the biggest objection would be, “I don’t know what I’m passionate about.” I wanted to put together a training series that helped people uncover their passion, regardless of whether or not they took the next step and signed up for the program. After all, this is a HUGE pain point for my audience, and one I can easily solve.

Most importantly, I wanted an opportunity to introduce myself, share why I’m passionate about helping them find their passion, and give people a taste of how I can support them. So shooting a welcome, “hey here’s my face” video was also important to me.

I tried two microphones.
I bought a fancy lighting kit.
I did a ridiculous number of takes.
I worked all the video editing magic I knew how to work.

The video came out so far from perfect. I don’t sound like I even have a microphone, the lighting was still atrocious, and I didn’t say everything exactly how I wanted to. But rather than push the launch back… rather than stress out over what mic to try next, or how to make myself look perfect… and rather than worrying about memorizing a script… I pushed it out. It was time to go live, I did the best I could with what I had, so we rolled with it.

Yes, I could have hired a professional videographer. But honestly, that’s not a priority investment for me in this moment. My priorities are investing in the software, design, editing, and production of things that serve YOU best. And also trademarks, copyrights, photography, and other needed pieces to move my business forward so I can reach more people.

Would a professional video have made a difference in sales? Probably not. Would I have gotten more “hey, awesome video!” emails? Probably. Does that really matter? No.

What really mattered was getting the training out.

Sometimes I don’t do things perfectly, even though I try.

Let’s face it, I’m human. You’re human. We’re all human. This beautiful business I’ve built was built by just myself and my fabulous project manager/assistant/right hand gal Amy. It’s just us and I love it… but we’re two humans working to launch programs, publish blogs and newsletters, and market a growing business built around my work. Things go wrong, often.

The last Mercury Retrograde was impossible. Whether or not you or I believe in that sort of thing, it was a rough time over here. Right after Foundations started (and I mean about an hour after I sent the welcome email), all my websites were pulled down because of hacking and malware. It took a whole day to get them back up and that caused a mess of errors on the sites. Broken links, missing files, etc. Despite combing the sites, there’s a very good chance you’ll come across a broken link at some point in our time together.

Typos go out to my lists all the time… despite my reading over things more than once. Despite Amy’s editing. It just happens, ya know? And let’s be honest, sometimes I just write things in a hurry and don’t make the time for Amy to help proofread. That happens too.

And then there’s the technical oversights! There are a handful of plugins that go into running this space for you, and sometimes I forget to check the right box here or click the right button there. Those of you in YPBB may have noticed that you only had access to one of the four sections in the first week. That’s because I neglected to check a certain important box on the back end when creating the content. Things that aren’t automated leave room for error, because someone like me has to remember to do that one thing. Despite checklists, despite test lists, things happen.

I choose not to stress about it.

Yes, I would much prefer things went smoothly and were awesomely perfect all the time. Who wouldn’t? But I’m not going to stress about it. It’s more important to me that I create the things that will best serve you in your life, and get them out to you without delay.

When I make a big or small error, there’s usually not much more to do than to say oops and fix it. Apologize for the inconvenience, send out revised versions, and be on my way. Or, send an email to technical support, shrug my shoulders, and laugh it off, because some things are just out of our hands!

I share this all with you to remind you that every single person you follow, admire, hire, or subscribe to goes through the same things. Some try harder to put up a perfect front than others. Some don’t even try. Some drive themselves insane and are the ones who call up tech support in a blind rage and nearly have a heart attack over a website being down.

It’s not worth it. 

Life, business, relationships and everything in between are much more peaceful and enjoyable when you release your grip and recognize that perfect isn’t possible.

Things will happen and that’s all there is to it.

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