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Raking it in without
breaking your soul

Hello My Fellow Perfectionist

This is the life hack that allowed me to complete monumental projects, like launching a business, finishing a dissertation, publishing books, giving birth. You know, the stuff that’s really freakin hard. Emotionally, mentally, even physically. The stuff that shifts the course of your life, if you can just actually see it through.

The life hack is:

Done is better than perfect.

Perfectionism often comes from growing up in a culture where your flaws got a lot more attention than your triumphs.

This doesn’t even have to be something that happened within your household. Just existing as a woman in the United States exposes you to the circumstances that can lead to perfectionistic tendencies. White culture, especially, values flawlessness – as if it’s possible.

If you’re told on repeat that you’ve fallen short in some way, you course correct. You raise your standards (because obviously they were previously way too low or you wouldn’t have had a flaw) and you become a hypervigilant monitor of yourself.

You’ll catch those flaws before anyone else notices them.

As a recovering perfectionist, I’m not gonna lie to you. Character traits like high standards and attention to detail have both prevented mistakes (like marrying that one guy who my friends hated) and driven many successes (like having a baby while finishing grad school).

But when you don’t reign it in, perfectionism actually keeps you stuck in a standstill.

During dissertation days, Done Is Better Than Perfect played continually in my head. Because my perfectionism would have me thinking, “I bet there’s one more journal article out there that would really take my literature review all the way to the top. If I don’t fill this gap in my chapter, my committee will notice and I won’t pass, journal reviewers will reject me, and all this work will have been for nothing. Let’s head back to the library and dig for a few more hours.”

Those thought and behavior patterns are fine once or twice. But when you’re doing that on the daily – that’s how you never finish your dissertation.

Too afraid my weakness will be exposed, so stay in “development mode.”

If I don’t move, nobody will see me. Yet that’s the problem – nobody will see you!

To make great things for this healing world, you have to be seen.

You have to risk that there’s a typo somewhere in the manuscript you haven’t caught.

Indeed, after I wrote my first book, I got emails from eagle-eyed readers who said “on this page you said x but on that page you said y,” or “on page 50, you wrote it’s when you should have used its.”

A perfectionist’s worst nightmares, come true.

And that’s after I read every word. Multiple times. As did my editor. And a copyeditor.

So it goes.

Those tiny errors don’t take away from the book’s impact. In fact, every email about a tiny error also said things like “I love this book so much, I’m absorbing every single word. This is changing my life.”

The thing is: Your perfectionistic cultural upbringing means you won’t put crap out there in the world. Your high standards will always prevent you from doing so. It’s going to be good. You produce quality. Even if there’s a typo.

So just focus on getting it done. Of course, give your work one thorough review (how could you not). Then hit Publish. Send the email. Launch the reel. Just go.

The world is waiting.

Security is an Illusion

The day I got called into a meeting with HR, I realized security is an illusion.

My boss was upset that I had started blogging. I had, in fact, blogged about an issue we had on one of our projects, though I didn’t name names or publish anything identifying. 

If he had foresight, he would’ve seen my blog as a potential opportunity to market our work. To position us as thought leaders. Contributing to the field’s discourse. 

After all, it’s that blog that led to my books, which grew my consulting business, which got me to where I am today, which is pulling in 20x what I used to make when I worked for him.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

My boss and someone from HR told me that if I didn’t delete my blog from the internet, completely shut the whole thing down, they’d write me up.

I was confused. We’re at a university. What does a write up look like? What are the implications?

HR said the write up would go in my permanent record.

I sat there, waiting for them to tell me the consequence. Then I realized, “Oh that *is* the consequence.” As if I care what’s in my permanent record. You’re talking to the girl who skipped 27 days of the first semester of my senior year of high school.

As I tried to suppress my laughter, I realized this whole thing was flimsy. 

I already worked, alone, to bring in grants and contracts that paid for my salary. And covered part of all the admin salaries. Including my boss’s salary.

I brought in more than enough money each year to pay my way but a few weeks earlier my boss had still announced, to everyone, that if there was ever a gap in our grants, like if one didn’t start for a month after a previous grant ended, we wouldn’t get paid. Even though we were salaried employees.

I’m tellin ya, the blog threat was the ace on the top of what I could now see was just a house of cards. 

There was no security there for me.

The desire for security is what keeps some people content to show up day after day, wearing the same khakis, pushing the same buttons, having faith that the work will produce a paycheck that will keep them safe.

Security is what keeps people with good ideas from becoming entrepreneurs.

I get it. But it’s a myth. 

Stripe just laid off 14% of its workforce.

Facebook fired 13%.

Twitter cut 50%.

Salesforce slashed 10%.

And the list goes on. Most of those folks probably thought they had security. 

But your job doesn’t love you, no matter how loyal you are to it.

It’s only after I started my first business that I realized entrepreneurship is the most secure path. 

The only thing I can rely on, for sure, is that I can go find another client. If I have a bill to pay, I have the autonomy to say yes to another project, put money in my pocket, and pay that bill. 

I can’t get fired. There’s no permanent record.

No one can tell me not to market or network or make a pitch.

Security is knowing that I construct my future.

The reality is both self-employment and other-employment can be insecure. It’s just if you’re self-employed, you can do something about it. 

So don’t let the false comfort of security keep you from launching into your dream job.

Sure, there are a lot of unknowns. In my Boost & Bloom course, we articulate every single thing you need to know. We walk you through every decision.

You gain confidence. And clarity. And security.

Doors to Boost & Bloom open up on February 1.

Actually, if you’re on the VIP list, I’ll let you in 2 days early AND I’ll give you a sweet discount.