15 October 2013

Done is Better than Perfect // Savvy Business Secrets for Creative Entrepreneurs #31Days


Let's hear it for all the perfectionists in the room.

I am quite a perfectionist, and although there can be good things about a struggle with perfectionism (like the fact that things look good, sound good, feel good), striving for perfect (which - ahem - does not actually ever happen this side of heaven) can really keep us from reaching our goals, stepping up to the next level, or even getting the bed made.

Here are some steps I take to overcome the ways perfectionism stifles me:

  • FINISH something: My personality (via the Kolbe - I'm high Quick Start, high Follow Through) lends me to diving headfirst in to every project that comes my way, and then having a high need to finish every project that came my way.  This makes for a somewhat stressful existence.  But what it does do is provide a sense of completion, and gives you something to put out into the world.  Think about it this way: If it's not finished, it's not getting you anywhere. Your good intentions aren't putting any money, clients, credibility, experience, content in the bank.  So go ahead and finish. I know it's scary.  Promise yourself a prize when you finish as motivation!
  • You can refine it later: Just because something has been finished doesn't mean you can't go back for tweaks later. Get it to a point of finished, then use a phased approach.  Phase 1 can be finished product. In Phase 2, you can tweak (and re-launch if you need to), and then you can keep having phases until you're tired of it (see the beauty of working for yourself? As many phases as your little heart desires!).
  • Let it work for you while you're working on it: This is kind of like the concept of how we invest our money to make a return, right? If it's sitting in cash, not much is happening (except that its value is being depleted by inflation, which is another series altogether - hey, there's an idea!). But when we decide to make a move and let our money start working for us, we can work on other things in the background while we gain interest on the account! Do you get where I'm going with this? Your stuff/art/organization/words/design/people-skills is GOOD! You're GIFTED! What you have to contribute to the world has VALUE. Now believe the truth in that, and get it out there. While your stuff/art/organization/words/design/people-skills out getting you more credibility and visibility and doing its thing, you can be clicking furiously away at your keyboard, improving it so you can start that credibility/visibility process over again. Once you're working in this process, you'll start generating compound interest in your business (FULL CIRCLE baby)!

WHERE DO I BEGIN?

Yes.  I love that question.

In my world, I like to begin with a  list.  I hope you'll take a few moments for a nice big satisfying brain dump.  Write out all-the-things in your mind, whether they're in-process projects, big pipe dreams, almost-finished things, emails in your drafts folder awaiting a click of the send button, whispers of an idea - and just get them out into the universe.  There. Doesn't your brain feel a little less crowded?

Now review your list carefully, asking these questions of yourself:
  1. Where is my biggest bang for the buck?
  2. What is closest to completion?
  3. Which of these ideas can be finished using the least resources (be it time, money, favors)?
Once you know the answers to those questions, you'll know where to begin, and which project to finish first.  What you're looking for is impact now - with the lowest outlay of resources.  Now get after it. And don't question your choice!

Do you have tips for finishing that you can share? I'd love to hear them in the comments!


This post is part of a series called Savvy Business Secrets for Creative Entrepreneurs. You can read other posts in the series right here, or make a selection based on topic:

Day 7: Ask for Help
Day 9: Margin
Day 18: Make it Happen