By: Monica Shah (see my bio)
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Hiding Behind The Quest For Perfection – 3 Steps To Stop Focusing on Being Perfect and Start Putting Yourself Out There
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There are hundreds of people who have gone through my Revenue Breakthrough Program by now. And there is one thing many of them have in common – the need to be “prepared”, “ready” or “perfect” before they really put themselves out in the world.
Perhaps you relate? You have to change a few things on your website before you go to that networking event. Or you really want to get your newsletter done before you contact that potential referral partner. You are waiting on the right company name so you can create your logo and really start to go do workshops. Or here’s my favorite – you can’t decide on a program name or structure, so you aren’t really selling or following up with your leads.
And here are the results. You aren’t making the money you need to keep yourself afloat or thrive. Or you’ve hit a ceiling on your income that you just can’t seem to break. Your client numbers are low and/or dwindling. Also, you find yourself getting more and more frustrated because you are trapped behind your computer doing tasks that aren’t very fun. Plus, you are spending way too much time alone at home (and you may even be getting a bit lonely and discouraged).
If this is you, or even partly you, please keep reading. I’m about to show you how to avoid this syndrome that I affectionately call “hiding behind perfection syndrome”. Be gentle on yourself as every entrepreneur goes through it – but realize that stepping out of it is your path to success.
1. Practice Leads to Progress. We were taught in school that our work had to be perfect before we presented it; otherwise we risked bad grades, disapproval and even ridicule. But that just isn’t the case with being an entrepreneur. Perfection doesn’t happen by sitting behind closed doors and tweaking. Frankly, it never happens at all. But progress and expertise are built by practicing. Practicing means getting out there and talking to people, working with clients and doing events and workshops.
2. Finding Your Sweet Spot Takes Trial and Error and Time. I define your sweet spot as the intersection between what you love and a service that people are willing to pay money to have.
For many entrepreneurs – it takes a bit of trial and error to get clear about their sweet spots. Jenny’s story is a great example. Jenny started out as a life coach for women. Once she realized she was too general, she focused in on helping artists find ways to make money with their art (she had an art background). After working with artists for six months, she decided to tighten her niche even further in order to increase her income. She moved on to working with gallery owners to help them find sponsorships for their exhibits. In the end it took her about 14 months to go from no business to ideal clients and income.
At each phase of her process, she had clients. It was through working with those clients that she became more and more clear about her sweet spot. She was generating revenue the whole time as well. She wasn’t waiting to charge money or raise her prices until she was totally certain.
I know that many of you would like to jump in TODAY (or yesterday) and find that sweet spot immediately – that one that makes you tons of money working with the perfect client for you. And some of you will get it on the first try and be off to the races. But for most entrepreneurs, there is a process of weaving left and right before you hit that spot. That weaving path will be so much shorter if you are gaining information from clients instead of trying to figure it out on your own.
3. Don’t be afraid to mess up. In the process of going out there as “imperfect”, you just might trip a little. You might have an angry client or two because you weren’t clear with your program rules. You might forget your introduction in a workshop. You might go to a networking event and say something silly. You might do a sales session and come off as desperate or forceful.
These aren’t mistakes – they are experiments! These are the ONLY way to learn. Learning business is just like learning to ski. I wish dearly that I had the magic wand that let you all go down your first ski slope without falling. But as far as I know 90% of people spent the majority of time falling and getting back up on their first pass down the ski slope.
You have to allow yourself fall to figure out what to do differently next time around. There may be bruises and it is going to sting.
But the faster you get back up – the easier it becomes.
So remember: practice leads to progress, finding your sweet spot takes time, and it’s ok to mess up. I’m reminding myself of the same 3 rules every single day.
Monica Shah is an MBA, business professor, and business coach for women. She specialize in helping women double their incomes in 12 months or less and create six figures and beyond. With her Revenue Breakthrough Systems, women honor every role they play in their lives, while building thriving businesses. Check out her wildly popular free report: “
Revenue Breakthrough: Doubling Your Income in the Next Six Months”. No matter where you are now, you’ll learn how to create a plan for a super-successful business that feeds your bank account and your soul. Get the free report here. Get the free report here.|