5 Tips to Avoid Perfectionism and Just Get it Done

PerfectionWelcome to part 3 in my series “7 Ways to Save Money and Time When Launching Your Coaching Business.” Today’s article is about new coach mindset shift number 3:  Getting out of perfectionism! Here are 5 Tips to avoid perfectionism and just get it done.

I’m a reformed perfectionist. My father went to military school as a child, and he was certain he could whip his only daughter into shape, military style. Although he did not succeed in turning out a good recruit, he did end up turning out a bona-fide perfectionist.

This was great in some respects! I got straight A’s in school, and everything I did, I did well. I put 100% into everything and in many ways, it has helped me succeed and excel in life.

But not always. There are times when perfectionism is counter-productive. As I mentioned in my personal note, caring for twin babies is one of those times. Another is when marketing your business.

Yes, there are times when you want perfect: If you’re looking for a brain surgeon, for example.

However when it comes to marketing, “Done is Better Than Perfect.” (Scott Allen quote.)

There will always be a few mistakes, and there will always be more you can do to make your marketing better. Always. In the mean time, you’re losing all the clients that marketing could be bringing in. You have to weigh the two.

Otherwise you could get caught in “Perfection Paralysis.” You’ll end up frustrated, stressed out, way behind schedule, and disappointed in how long it takes to get results. Believe me, I’ve been there.

Now, don’t take this to mean it’s ok to crank out garbage, that’s not what I’m saying. You want to do the best job you can. But the definition of “best job you can” includes a time parameter. You must learn to say “good enough.”

I know how tough it is. I still struggle with it on occasion. But I’ve learned to chant the phrase “Completion Not Perfection,” and then just get it out there.

There’s a sense of freedom that comes with being able to let go and not worry about doing perfect work.

Here are 5 tricks that have helped me get over my own perfectionism:

  1. I think about how great it would be to get it done sooner and then spend the extra time doing something else specific I’d love to do, like have coffee with a friend or play with my kids.

  2. I remember that I see things in my own stuff that no one else ever sees unless I point it out. Then I ask myself “Is anybody really going to notice the difference? Is it going to be such a big difference that it’s going to keep my ideal client from taking action?” Usually the answer is no.

  3. I calculate how many people might find me if I get it out there even a week earlier. I figure out how much money I would make from those people, which I would lose entirely otherwise. Then I ask myself “Is it worth this amount of money to me to perfect it even more?” Usually the answer is “Heck no!”

  4. I think about all the times I’ve put hours and days into perfecting something, only to change it again within a month or so because that’s the nature of marketing: you get feedback once you put it out there, and then you tweak it, change it, or sometimes even ditch it, because you’re always working to “get closer to your dime.”

  5. I ask someone else I trust to take a look at it, someone who is NOT a perfectionist, and give me their opinion.

These are strategies that work for me. Give them a try, or come up with your own. But whatever you do, remember: “Done is Better Than Perfect!”

Read further for tip #4.

If you missed an article – start here

5 Responses to 5 Tips to Avoid Perfectionism and Just Get it Done

  • Betty Wilson says:

    My dear Kellie,

    Some time ago I saved one of your tapes, and just came across it this morning and listened to it. Little did I know that it was written for me and that I would have benefited from it long ago. when I saved it. However, due to the subject matter, I still needed it …. Avoid Perfectionism!

    I listened so carefully this time and caught every word. It freed me to “Get on with it” joyfully. When the tape ended, I rose from my chair lighthearted, knowing that where I was was okay, and that around the bend in the road ahead lay my real niche, my very special one, waiting for me. A load was lifted from my heart, mind, and shoulders. Thank you, Kellie deRuyter!

    Betty Wilson,
    a grateful student and coach.

  • Kellie deRuyter says:

    Hi Betty,

    Wow, what a great comment, I’m floating on air myself just reading it! Thanks for sharing Betty, I’m so glad you found it helpful, even months later. – Warmly, Kellie

  • Jo Ilfeld says:

    Dear Kelly,

    Imperfect Action Beat Perfect Inaction everyday. I try to live by it though sometimes it’s hard.

    Another one I’ve recently started following is that Action creates Clarity.

    Thanks for putting great thoughts out there!

    • Kellie deRuyter says:

      Hi Jo,
      You’re welcome. I agree that Action creates Clarity too. Action gets you unstuck and into new vistas, where you can often see the answers that eluded you from that place of stuckness. Thanks for the addition, great stuff! -Kellie

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