Done Is Better Than Perfect and Other Lessons for the Hesitating Entrepreneur

I am so grateful to this week’s guest of SUCCESS Line for sharing their inspiring story. Tara is a mother, wife, real-estate agent, owner of a vegan restaurant and recent graduate of SUCCESS coaching. It hasn’t been an easy road to attain the success she has today, and she is now eager to help others find the light at the end of the tunnel. 

She is faced with a wonderful conundrum: “I have phenomenal opportunities, but what is going to me toward my goal, away from my day-to-day business responsibilities and into broader change?”

Many entrepreneurs reach this state in their career. They are ready to move to a bigger stage but first have to let go of some of their current responsibilities.

My first question to Tara, and to any of you in the same position, is simply, “What is holding you back? What is stopping you from forging a path forward and reaching new heights?” 
We all have stories that keep us stuck, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you are ready to unpack your old story and write a new one, read on. 

Reprogram your habits.  

Every single one of us has a story that most people know nothing about. And those past experiences leave an imprint, a programming that we have to work to undo. 

Tara bravely freed herself from a controlling relationship to become financially independent. But now, her past programming has led her to believe she cannot give up control of her business. 

The way forward is not to attempt to erase the past—that is not possible. Instead, we need to learn to look at our past experiences through a new lens. To put our programming into new contexts so that we can let go of deeply ingrained habits. 

For example, in order for Tara to feel comfortable letting go of control of the day to day in her business, she knows she needs to have the processes she uses (that are only in her mind at the moment) documented and shared with the team. She can create an online learning system with videos and manuals that detail the expectations and standards of her business.

This way, she is still able to maintain control of her business, but she does not literally have to be there every step of the way and she can focus on taking the next step in her career.

Ask yourself, what old story or deeply ingrained habit is holding me back? And instead of trying to erase it, consider, how can I look at it in a new light? 

Done is better than perfect. 

When I suggested that Tara create an online learning system, she confessed to me that she actually already had. However, she said, the video quality wasn’t up to her standards—the lighting was off and the backdrop was wrong. In response, I shared with her what the CEO of SUCCESS told me when I first came on board: done is better than perfect

There are so many people out there who don’t start an activity because they don’t think it will come out right. But the person who will not let themselves start will lose every single time by the person who just gets out there, gets it done and learns as they go. 

Tara’s first round of training documents and systems may not be what she wants to have forever, but it is better to have something right now that she can refine down the line than to not create anything at all. Attempts at perfection keep us stuck treading water—get out of the pool and get it done. 

Inspect what you expect. 

Most people start the year with grand goals and big dreams, but they don’t set up a way to track their progress. When November rolls around, they realize they’ve forgotten all about their goals and are way off. What happened?

As the saying goes, old habits die hard. If we truly want to change, we have to inspect what we expect. It is all too easy for goals to fall by the wayside without a way to monitor our progress. 

One way to make goal-setting easier is to compress our time. Try setting your goals periodically rather than annually. What do you want to accomplish in the next month? Or the next three months? A shorter time frame will sharpen your focus and enable you to track your progress more diligently. 

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Ben Fairfield is the Managing Director of SUCCESS Coaching & a SUCCESS Certified Coach.

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