Perfect vs. Progress

Guest post

How She Does It

 

I spend a lot of time styling women who are in charge. Whether they are a seasoned corporate executive or an entrepreneur just beginning, I learn so much from my clients.  The How She Does It series will allow me to share some of the career and life lessons I am privy to by being in the presence of such amazing women.  Even better, you'll get it straight from the source. Enjoy!

 

Starting from a place of imperfection

by Dr. Shantell Malachi

 

I get it. You want it to be amazing. You want it to inspire people. You want it to be perfect. 

I completely understand.

I have just one question for you. How will it ever be amazing, inspiring, and perfect if it never happens?

How many times have you delayed launching your website because it wasn't just right? (Ok maybe I had two questions) 

Delays, setbacks, and sometimes denials are heartbreaking, soul crushing, and debilitating. Trust me, I’ve been there. The crazy thing about delays, setbacks, and denials is that they are habitually self-inflicted.

Yes. I went THERE.

A vast majority of the time we are the reason for the lack of growth or the absence of movement in our lives. We blame everyone and everything for why we haven't started that business or written that book. The unsupportive husband, the out of control kids, the overbearing boss. While they may play a small role the biggest culprit is more often than not our desperate, narcissistic need for perfection. 

How do I know this? I am the quintessential perfectionist. It took me 4 years to write my first book. When I finally published it I didn't think it was “perfect” so I didn't promote it, I didn’t even show it to my mother. After selling 2 copies on Amazon (both purchased by my sister) I changed the covered, revised a few chapters, and published it again. Still, it wasn't quite right (translation: it wasn’t “perfect”). So it sat and collected dust and I threw the biggest pity party known to man.

When the pity party got old and I found out that a friend of mine was working on her SECOND book and embarking on a successful book launch tour. This friend had never mentioned writing a book and as far as I knew she no interest in writing.

Wait. What?

That's when I decided to do something that I had never done. I asked for help. I asked my friend how she managed to write 2 books in a matter of months, promote the crap out of them, setup a book tour, and grow her social media following like crazy. Her answer: "I just did it".

Of course I couldn't rationalize that so I asked a million questions. But she didn't waiver. She told me that she decided that she didn't care if it was perfect. She didn't care if it wasn't a New York Times best seller. She didn't care if the content didn't follow the laws of grammar. She told me (bluntly) "I needed to grow my business...so I did. You're so busy being a perfectionist that you're not being an entrepreneur."

Ouch. 

So this time around I fought my need to be perfect. I spent a weekend designing my website and launched it without haggling over every picture, font, and button style. Within 2 hours of going live I sold 2 coaching packages. Two days later I went back to make some additions to the website and noticed that there was a pretty noticeable spelling error on the home page. The perfectionist in me wanted to freak out and shut the whole thing down but I just laughed. That misspelled word did not stop my clients from spending their money!

The perfectionist in me still pokes her head out every now and again but I’m learning that imperfection has value too. Give yourself permission to prosper. Even if it’s not perfect, get started. If you’re worried about past mistakes, be courageous enough to abandon the past. Your success depends on it!


About the Author

Dr. Shantell Malachi is a published Author, Serial Entrepreneur, and the Executive Director of Dress for Success Central Virginia. She is also the creator of the 5 Day Launch Your Passion Project Challenge. During the challenge, members will work with Dr. Malachi to get unstuck and get started. Join the challenge.


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