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It’s Time To Fire Your Inner Perfectionist

Imperfect action

I’ve got a wish.

I wish I could erase a word from your vocabulary. That word is perfection.

I know I am being dramatic here and it’s not really the word I want to erase, but I do want to erase the baggage that comes along with it.

When were attached to perfection:

  • We spend a lot of time learning, and not much time implementing
  • We procrastinate and procrastinate
  • We spend too much time making it just right (and its still not perfect anyway!)

Heres the thing – whatever you’re doing will never be “perfect” until you try it out in real life with real people.

So heres my favorite motto: Imperfect action is better than no action.

Taking lots of imperfect action is what gets us new clients and new business.

I want to share a success story to inspire you to imperfect action.

Last month I was teaching the art of mastering enrolling conversations on a coaching call.  I gave a participant a basic script for what to say in a sales conversation.

Instead of waiting months to get the script perfect and after almost “wimping out in the last moment,” she leapt into imperfect action right away and used the script with a prospective client. She stayed open and relied on her curiosity to get connected to her prospect. And by the end of the conversation, it was her prospect who asked if she had any packages she could offer her!

YES, this imperfect conversation turned into her client committing to working with her for the next 5 months. This imperfect action not only resulted in a long-term client, it also renewed her confidence in her business and her ability to enroll other prospects into her business.

Here are a few lessons for enrolling new clients and overcoming your desire for perfection:

Imperfect Action Is Better Than No Action: Stop waiting for the perfect time, the perfect idea or the perfect package. Use what you have and “just do it”. You can always improve on what you have later but by if you don’t put it out there in the first place you’ll never make anything happen

“Perfection” Is Not A One Time Event – Its A Process of Trial and Error: Try something out (such as a sales conversation script), learn from every time you use it, and make an improvement every time.

Be Honest: Honesty is always the best policy. During enrolling conversations don’t fret about following the right steps or losing the prospect. Be in your element, show genuine interest in your prospect and trust your instincts. When you are honest and passionate about who you are and what you do the rest will fall into place

Celebrate All Victories: By trying to be perfect all the time, we forget the small things we accomplish. Instead of just focusing on the things she forgot to do, I asked my client to celebrate the fact that her client ASKED for her services. What a great success!

If you’re a perfectionist and my ode to imperfect action inspired you, I’d like to ask you to share an imperfect action you’re willing to take in the next 7 days in the comments below.

Creativity Blockers

I believe that we all have an innate ability to be creative in our own individual way. It is our ability to turn off our intellect and flow in our intuitive state that gets us in our creativity zone into our Zone of Genius.

Seth’s post has inspired to come with my own list of creativity blockers:

  • The fear of the unknown
  • Resisting Change
  • Fear of being rejected or even hated
  • Ignoring your intuition
  • Being judgmental of yourself and others
  • The need of approval from others
  • The habit of being attached to things as the way they are right now
  • The habit of creating doubt in your own mind

The absence of creativity blockers get you into this state:

  • I completely trust and act on my intuition
  • I enjoy the wonder of uncertainty
  • I am fully self-expressed even if my colleagues/employees/bosses/industry don’t like it
  • I get the sense of who I am from the essential nature of my being rather then from my actions, accomplishments or others
  • I am continuously open to new ways of seeing something, while retaining my unique way of seeing things
  • I sense the perfection in everything around me

What inspires you to be creative?

Book Sharing

Kathy Sierra from Creating Passionate Users encouraged her readers to post comments on the book they most want others to read. I am taking the call and sharing my two entries.


Bee Season

Bee Season by Myla Goldberg
I want you to read it because it will awaken parts of you that will help to expand the bounds of what’s possible in your life.


Biology of Belief

Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton
I want you to read this book because it will completely change your understanding of life, science and consciousness.

What are yours (one fiction and one non-fiction please)?

Constraint Driven Creativity

I usually give myself an hour to read blogs and write my own posts Monday through Thursday.

I have two different types of days of blogging:

1. I feel no pressure. I settle into the hour, read and allow whatever comes out of the time to naturally evolve. I enjoy my time. I am often happy with the result.

2. I begin the hour already worried that 1 hour is simply not enough time to read my favorite blogs and create a post worthy of my own inner critic. I feel rushed and often produce very little that I can even contemplate posting to my blog.

I am now in minute 21 of my hour. I am still feeling the pressure. My limiting belief is that I can’t get out of this pressure in this sitting. My desire is to simply write what is and allow myself to snap out of this mode.

Yes, our relationship with our constraints is the secret doorway to unlimited creativity. As that relationship grows, matures and becomes effortless, so enters our creativity.

Kathy Sierra has a take on it:

“What if you needed to build a powerful web app, but you had only ten hours a week for programming? What if you wanted to write a novel, but you had to do it in 30 days? What if you wanted to create a computer game, but you had only 48 hours? What if you had to write, shoot, and edit a short film in 24 hours? Constraints can be your enemy, but when it comes to creative breakthroughs, they can be your best friend.

Constraint-driven creativity is not just about inspiring (or forcing) creativity, it’s also about getting something done. How many of us keep planning to get around to writing that book… once we’ve got some free time? How many projects stay on the back burner forever because we just can’t seem to make it happen?”

We can look at our constraints as the walls of our prison cells or we can look at our constraints as simply borders of our canvas. So let’s pick up our brushes and let’s freely paint within the borders of constraints.

Yes, you can write that book in 45 days.
Yes, you can create this website for $5000.
Yes, you can build this widget with lighter materials.
Yes, you can run a successful business while working 30 hours per week.

What project do you have that you want to try this with?
What constraints do you have in this project?
What will help you feel the freedom in the constraints not despite them?

This is what Jack White of White Stripes has to say about it (from Tom Guariello’s book — Work Different: Design For The Rest of Us)

“A lot about the White Stripes is about constriction and keeping us boxed in. Being extremely stripped down to the most minimal components, mostly revolving around the number 3. You see that [we use] three colors: red, white and black. But also vocal, guitar and drums, or vocal, piano and drums; and, keeping ourselves limited. I think there’s more creativity where there’s less opportunity. Instead of trying to bring more musicians into the band or more tracks when we record or more time spent in the studio, it’s best to explore the creativity with limited means. You get more out of it; something more interesting happens.”

(40 minutes to complete this post from start to finish)

Create New Rules

Gaping Void - change the system

(Cartoon courtesy of Gaping Void.)
My worldview was supported in BOOMING fashion in a post by Seth Godin. I already believed that change has to happen outside of the system. I already believed that changing from within paradigm is flawed. Seth once again was able to market to me in a way that solidified an already existing belief in me.

Most politicians get into politics because they want to make a difference. Doctors want to save lives and care about their patients. Lawyers have their own idealistic views when they get into the game and then the game changes them. We want acceptance. We want success. Acceptance and success in the game means conforming, means compromising, means playing by someone else’s rules. The only way to create change is to play a different game.

Change happens by creating new rules, new fields and new cultures.

This change, in turn, influences what happens in more established arenas.

This is what Seth Godin says about it:

“Once something makes its way to the mass market, the mass market doesn’t want it to change. And once it moves from that big hump in the middle of the market to become a classic, the market doesn’t just want it to not change, they insist.

History has shown us that the answer is crystal clear: if you want change, you’ve got to leave. Change comes, almost always, from the outside. The people who reinvented music, food, technology and politics have always gone outside the existing dominant channels to create something new and vital and important.”

The Burning Vacation

Burning Man

I’m off to Burning Man for the next week. I’ll be completely unplugged from this world and in another Universe. I’ll miss posting, but I know I’ll come back completely recharged and ready for anything.

Burning Man is:

  • A temporary society based on a gift economy
  • An experience in creating for the sake of creating
  • An annual experiment in temporary community dedicated to radical self-expression and radical self-reliance.
  • The greatest party on Earth
  • Impossible to comprehend without experiencing it