"Perfection is the enemy of progress." - Winston Churchill
It’s the start of a New Year and I promised to be honest with myself. Continually having periods of motivation and then slumping into a funk, I’ve come to realize that I’m a perfectionist. So much so it holds me back from so much entrepreneurial goodness. Literally, it has been a paralyzing experience with my business and my ability to push into a phase of growth. The title of this post is a quote by Winston Churchill I’ve heard my hubby use ALL the time when talking about work and as general advice to me. “Perfection is the enemy of progress.” Of course I shrugged at the commentary, surely that’s not me. Or is it?
Then it hit me, son of a gun, that IS me! I’m ashamed to admit that striving for perfect has limited my mental strength and worn me down. Too often I’ll find myself speaking crazy talk saying things like…
“If I just get a little more abs I’ll show up on Instagram with more fitness posts.”
“Maybe I’ll take a few more courses to get better at writing.”
“I’ll record more videos when I have the perfect camera… or studio space.” (Yeah, like with what money if your potential clients aren’t seeing you in the first place?)
Enough with that neg-a-tivity. Or Stalling. Either way.
If you’re not motivated by others easily, or by people telling you what to do, this is for you! I am that lady. You know the lady who really does help others get good at the succeeding and moving forward and yet, can’t take my own advice! I’m terrible at listening to myself...until the hand is forced, so to speak, to take action. It’s time for me to get out of my own way… 2021, am I right?!
Let me backup (beep beep) to the reason why perfection is the enemy to progress. Here’s what I’ve “accomplished” in the past TWO years all by myself. (Any of you that has fought to start an online business of ANY kind knows the pain you go through with all the basic skills needed to do the following fluff!) Here it is:
-Created an official LLC with my residing state. BOOM. I have a business. Now what?
-Created a website.. Several actually… until I settled on what felt right for me. I designed it all by my lonesome, too. This process was slow and painful, blowing through several host sites until I figured it out.
-I learned how to market myself from scratch, how to use facebook ads, how to use Instagram to grow an online audience (which I gained, then lost several times from inconsistent activity). I’d like to mention that I have used the knowledge I gained to help others with their online marketing and have not done it for me. What am I afraid of?
I’ve tried to regularly blog. Instead of actually going through with posting them, mostly they sit in my google docs under a folder of ‘unposted blog posts’. Let’s just say I’m approaching 100 unposted, fully written blogs in there. Yikes! (Just post them already… it’s not like anyone will know they’re there without you sharing...)
I learned how to use Canva. I’m actually quite good at it now. I play and make PDF’s all damn day on various topics that tickle my fancy. Health, fitness, food, recipes… you name it, I’ve likely created one. Do I promote them or do anything with them? Typically not. (But… why the hell not Heather?!)
On the health side, I’ve certified myself in so many different areas it’s not even funny. Everything from the psychology of stubborn, unwilling clients to Yoga to all that remains in between.
Honestly there are so many things I grew to love out of doing all these varied marketing, website building, learning, and white paper-ing projects. The creativity just feeds me happy happy joy joy. It does! At one point, I actually considered going back to school to deepen my knowledge on social media, marketing, and website building. When I dreamt about making a living doing those things, it didn’t spark me quite like health and fitness writing (being real--writing in general) or getting other fit. Meh…
The MOST exciting part of all this is the writing part. I have been writing since I was 9 years old. Yeah… That’s like… a lot of years. I have written something nearly every day of my life since I received that first journal. It was peach colored and had that little lock on the side. Writing is the place I have been the most insecure when it comes to what I’m creating. I took yet another deep dive into all this passionate-writing-blogging-fitness-health stuff and came to this conclusion...
I’m just too damn picky about how PERFECT my writing is, how PERFECTLY deliverable any fitness or Yoga post is that I never get off the pot… I just shit. (Ew, not literally! Get your mind out of the gutter!)
Here I am to tell you, two years into ‘blogging’ and I have finally realized that through all the self doubt and negative inner talk, I know I have the strength and ability to conquer my own fears. The fear that my writing is awful. The fear that I am not good enough at my job as a Health Coach that I won’t make a difference. Instead of wasting time trying to be perfect at it all, I have put it out there. It’s better shared than kept to myself!
My piece of advice if you’re starting a blog, an online fitness business, or anything new… Let the scary stuff scare you enough to keep going. Just put it all out there! Don't get caught up in the nasty game of perfectionism. Then watch yourself GROW!