Are You A Perfectionist?
(Video Duration 6 mins)
Do you have a project or idea that never seems quite ready, then this will help.
Video Transcript Below
This is not advice about marketing as such it is about how you apply yourself to your business, projects and passions. A friend of mine Thad Cox shared a post on his Facebook Group recently and he was talking about the problems of being a perfectionist. If you’re a perfectionist, you tend to not get things done or you have projects that just stick around for ages because they are never quite ready.
It is a bit like if you take on anything new, you have to make sure you buy all the right equipment, all the right software and read all the right books before you even start it. Then ironically all these things can mean you never actually start at all!
I have never really been that kind of person, my approach has been I have an idea and when I am about 50 to 60% ready and I launch it. I just go for it, even though it’s not quite ready (sometimes nowhere near ready). I just launch into it, this is because I have always felt that the best ideas come once a project or an idea are actually running. It is also when you start to see what doesn’t work. You start to see things from a different perspective and you start to adapt and come up with things that you would never do otherwise. If it was still in the kind of laboratory stage, or you were still writing your business plan you may not see these new ideas or a way ahead.
But the reason I’m saying all this is that I have noticed that I’ve changed.
When I read Thad’s post it made me realise that I have got a couple of projects that really should be further down the line than they actually are. Basically I have been copying them over from my weekly to-do list from one week to the next. I might make a note that it has to be launched by Friday, and then I cross it off at the end of the week and on Monday write it in again! As I said this is very unlike me, so why is this?
The reason is that when I look back at when I started my business or whatever projects I have done in my life, I have basically just used my gut feeling and maybe touched base with one or two people. I have then just thought, that’s enough info and I move to the next stage of implementation or launch.
So what is different?
Now I have access to the whole world via the internet.
I have access to unlimited voices via social media from Twitter to Facebook, to LinkedIn, to YouTube, whatever my concern is, I can type that concern into a search box and what will return will be 1000s of pages, videos and posts of people’s opinions and experience on what they think.
So then I have to go through all of this data and media thinking should I listen to that person or follow that path, do this or do that. There will be some people saying it will not work or has been done before even though each answer it actually not 100% relevant to what you are trying to do. The result can be a feeling of being overwhelmed and as a result, you put off doing anything and park your idea yet again.
The problem with perfectionism is that we now don’t have the confidence in our own gut feeling because we feel that whatever we’re going to do we need to check with others before we do anything. It could be something as simple as watching a film on Netflix. Instead of just thinking, well, that looks good, we Google it to see what other people think. Then we read a few reviews and then see that only seven out of ten people rated the film. So worry if it worth watching it?
So if we that over watching a film, what happens when it is something bigger like a project that’s going to have financial implications attached to it?. We can have worries about what people may think and keep collecting more data carrying out more searches until our perfectionism just says let’s look at this again next week.
So this made me think on this one particular project I have been putting off for a while. I sat and did my best to think of all the variables and started to go down another rabbit hole and still could not see a way forward.
There was only one solution, something I would have always done before – I just launched it and stepped back.
What happened Next
And as soon as I launched it, literally within two minutes, the answer to the problem appeared. This was because I could see it in a live instance and straight away I could see what I needed to do.
As humans, we are like a ship that has been launched. It’s too late to go back to port for a complete refit. However, we can fix and tweak things as we carry on with our journey. This is your journey of life, your projects and your passions. Even when you tweak things along this journey, it’s not going to be perfect. Each tweak will either push you forward or you may slide back, and then you’ll see a different way and you’ll go forward again.
The real problem in being a perfectionist is you are trying to control every outcome and imagine every possible variable. This is impossible. Once your idea has wings it is time to fly. It may feel scary but that is where the real creative opportunities are.