Done, Not Perfect
Continue moving your business forward by learning to let go of perfectionism
Owning your own business has many benefits, not the least of which is creating your own timeline for projects. With this freedom comes great responsibility. If you find yourself sometimes struggling to complete tasks because you identify as a perfectionist, you’re not alone Fun fact: more than half of our team self-identify as perfectionists based on results from the Enneagram test.
According to Psychology Today, there are three types of perfectionism, which are all on the rise for those over the age of 30:
- Self-oriented: unrealistic desire to be perfect
- Other-oriented: imposing unrealistic standards on others
- Socially-prescribed: perceiving unrealistic expectations from others
The pervasive presence of social media is at least partly to blame for this rise in perfectionism. Every day, we experience constant critique of ourselves and other. To avoid potential criticism, we may hesitate when it comes to making business decisions and completing tasks. Instead of moving forward, business growth stalls and so does motivation.
In talking to our community about their experiences, we’ve found common threads in how they focus on accomplishing business goals without letting perfectionism getting in the way. Here’s what we found:
Focus on progress over perfection
Businesses constantly evolve — whether it’s changes in goals, number of customers served, or sales achieved. A healthy, growing business will constantly pose new challenges: what worked last month may not be working as well today. Holding back on announcing you’ve launched your business until you have the perfect graphics, for example, may get in the way of connecting with valuable customers (because timing is everything!).
Janessa, our Head of Community, shares why she quickly abandoned using a grid layout in her Instagram feed:
“I was spending a lot of time thinking about the perfect quote. And then sometimes I’d snap a great photo that was perfect but I wouldn’t post it in the moment because then I’d break the grid. I was overthinking it and not posting frequently, either. My Instagram feed now fits my life, instead of the other way around. That feels much more authentic and natural. And, not surprisingly, it’s helping me build more connections with like-minded people!”
Create realistic standards
Saying goodbye to perfectionism is not the same thing as saying goodbye to standards. For example, copy editing a blog post or editing a social media post is important but spending too much time “getting it right” can cause a significant delay in releasing new projects (or never finishing at all) could stall your business. Create guidelines, get feedback from a small cohort of mentors and accountability partners, and adjust as necessary.
Our CEO Amal shares how this philosophy helped launch our company in the early days:
“When we first started, it was just Phil and me. We had big dreams, but needed to start somewhere. We set a deadline to launch on June 1st, 2016 and found 50 people to test it. It wasn’t perfect (we got TONS of feedback), but it was a start. We focused on getting updates as quickly as possible, without overthinking our design. I would literally post feature updates by writing them out on Post-It notes on writing updates on our whiteboard. AMI (our follow-up technology) came from feedback from this initial group. If we hadn’t committed to launching, we may have never built the ‘stickiest’ part our our app today, which we’re best known for.”
Bias towards action
No matter what challenges you may face, we encourage you to keep going, even if life and your business don’t go as planned. Getting started and putting yourself out there without thinking through every detail may sound daunting, but is sometimes exactly what you may need to get started.
We love this story from one of our community members, Geraldine Scott, who has been going Live on her Facebook Business page every day and encountered an obstacle one day when Facebook and Instagram were both down. We love how she rallied to keep going despite all challenges she faced:
It was mainly keeping the consistency of doing a Live every day. As far as perfection, I’m always ready to just wing it lol. The part of running a direct sales business that lets people down is the lack of consistency, I think.
A planned sidewalk sale forced Success Lead Kara Hoholik outside on an unusually cold and rainy Saturday in May — in sandals!
“I decided to just have fun with it because I was there anyway. Wendi happened to be in town for a race and we had a wonderful conversation and she became a very unlikely customer! It was proof that I was where I needed to be, despite the weather being less than ideal.”
What new project have you been holding off because perfectionism is getting in the way? Share in the comments below — we challenge you to get started and let us know how it goes!
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We would also love to work with you on future blog posts. If you would like to share your story and experience, send us a blog submission!