Or, How to Do Absolutely Nothing and Expect the World to Buy Your Stuff, (pt 2)
If you’re a woman, what’s the one day that more than anything you probably want to be just perfect? Chances are, it’s your wedding day, right? It’s that one day that most women dream of as a magical, fairytale day filled with love, romance, flowers and friends, the perfect meal, the perfect weather, the perfect speeches, the most amazing photos…
It’s that one day that you can, without judgement, be the centre of attention. That one day where it’s all eyes on you, where everyone is there to make you, the bride, happy. There’s months of preparations beforehand, the hopes and expectations of parents and parents in law, the pressure to be different but somehow better than your friends’ weddings… the pressure and expectation that it will be perfect.
You will hear stories of “bridezillas” getting hysterical because one tiny aspect does not fit their idea of perfect. I’ve seen it too- when in another life I worked on hundreds of weddings, here and overseas.
The thing about being a perfectionist, is that so many people think its a good thing. That it’s a desired trait. That being a perfectionist is something to be proud of, that it shows you have standards!
Being a perfectionist is really more of way of playing an avoidance game. Especially in your business.
“I can’t make the website live just yet, I still haven’t got everything just how I want it. I need another few weeks.”
“I can’t start advertising that clinic just yet, I haven’t finalised the material yet.”
“I can’t launch my business yet, I’m waiting for the designer to come back with the perfect logo.”
If you are waiting for something to be perfect before taking action, then you are avoiding doing something and feeling superior about it at the same time.
If you want to get ahead, you actually have to take action. If you could have $10K in sales today, or in 6 months, which would you choose? Today? Then why are you waiting around?
The thing is, your version of perfect is probably not going to be your prospect’s or client’s version of perfect anyway. And the only way you will find that out is by putting your business out there. The only way you will find out what works with your niche, is to try and see. To test and measure. To listen to your clients. To do market research by seeing what actually sells.
“Perfection is the Poison of Profitability”. There are too many people that I have spoken to lately who have said, when I’ve finished this …., then I will start. Or, I can’t start until I’ve got this just right. Or, next year, when I have such and such just so, then I’ll start.
Perfection is overrated. It’s giving you a safe, comfortable place to hide where you can justify not getting out there and doing the hard work and making the sales. In some cases, it’s 10 years of hiding and waiting for perfection to come along. And that’s just so sad, thinking of all the people that have needed your help while you’ve been waiting.
The thing is, while everyone wants perfection of some sort, it’s the quirks that make life interesting. It’s the hiccups and the failures, the challenges and the nearly misses that makes it exciting. On your wedding day, you don’t remember the parts that went “perfectly” as vividly as you remember the surprises or the happy glitches.
The most vivid memory from our wedding, was at the very end of the night, when I was sitting on the stage at the nightclub we ended up at after the reception party. As the lights came on at closing time, and I stood up, I realised that I had been sitting in a puddle of bourbon and coke. So at the end of our “perfect” day, spent with our wonderful friends, at the “perfect” church, at the “perfect venue”, our day ended with us both walking down Murray st in Perth trying to find a cab as the sun came up, with what looked like a huge poo stain on the arse of my wedding dress.
Perfection is over rated, in life and in business. Get out there, party hard, work hard and be adaptable. You’ll reach your goals a lot quicker, and I bet you’ll have more fun doing it.
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(And the photo? It’s my favourite from the whole day. A friend took it on a cheap camera, with bad lighting, and it’s blurred. It’s absolutely not perfect- but this shot captures the feel of the whole day for me and my husband. It’s not perfect, but it’s the most honest, heartfelt and precious shot from the whole day.)