Updated: May 11, 2021
As a recovering perfectionist, I know too well how we can procrastinate and wait for everything to be perfect before starting. The thought of messy action never really comes to mind.
I remember going to a Marie Forleo event on October 31, 2019 in Sydney...a little while ago right - but it was a profound reminder of messy action.
Of course, I was applying it in my mentoring, to my startup, in my agile way of managing my team and the like, but not for myself and my business.
I was coaching friends, I was helping others. I was doing moon circles with people I know. I was clear on my vision BUT I was scared to take the first step. I was scared of this messy action being too messy.
A year from that event (October 2020), I was invited to speak on stage in front of other women entrepreneurs at Fishburners for Women in Entrepreneurship Day to be hosted in November.
Also, the year before (2019) I was in the crowd listening to Kristina Karlsson, founder of Kikki K and I said: “I’ll be on stage next year”, wrote it down and kind of let it go.
But here I was a year after. We always overestimate what we can do in five years but underestimate what we can do in one year.
The importance of having a vision
It’s never about having time. It is all about having the vision.
As a mum of two, a full time General manager in Innovation and Strategy and a side hustler for about six years with 3 different businesses before Essential shift (officially launched in May 2020) - I can tell you, it is not about having time. It is about making the time.
To free up your time you need to be clear about what you want and why you want it.
Write down now: What’s the most important vision/goal/intention you’re ready to achieve?
An often quoted study done by Dr Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University of California, explains you are 42% more likely to achieve something you write down.
Now eliminate the excuse of NOT HAVING TIME
From there it is about embracing rituals and pay attention to where you are ‘wasting time’ to create boundaries. Some examples to help you out:
Social media scrolling
Internet rabbit hole
TV (aka netflix…)
Being on your phone (watching youtube, listening to podcasts)
How can you make the time by analysing what rituals nourish you? What activities are essential to yourself and serving your vision?
STOP PROCRASTINATING and start with a diagnostic without judgement of where you spend your time. So many time tracking apps exist around the world and you can learn more about this in my ritual article.
Disclaimer: as a former strategy consultant, I love a robust diagnostic. I do the same with my clients. Non judgmental diagnostic.
Agile methodology - You work on two weeks sprint and review
Back in corporate I would lead teams working agilely on two week sprints, but it would start by quarter not really in sync with the moon (now it is, of course).
Now I blend strategy and spirituality, so I guide my clients through the same process in sync with the moon cycle: new moon - full moon - new moon - etc.
Use this question: ‘If I didn’t have to be perfect at it, I’d start xxxxxx for the next 2 weeks to get closer to my intention/goal/vision/dream’.
What came up? Write it down and put it into a two week plan.
Progress NOT perfection
After burning out in consulting, moving to Australia and starting working on my different side hustle, I started embodying the principle of Lean Start up that Ries spoke about at the Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayors Challenge in 2014. This was where I was one of the facilitator and innovation coaches: Progress over perfection.
Elizabeth Gilbert, who I love reading her book and not only because: Eat, Pray, Love makes me think of my trip to India in 2004, but because she said this beautifully: ‘Perfection is unachievable. It’s a myth and a trap and a hamster wheel that will run you to death’.
It is all about experimentation and iteration, it doesn't have to be perfect. It needs to be something that you can gather feedback from.
Progress will also put your mind in a productive mindset. Carol Dweck, in her book Mindset (totally recommend you to read it) speaks about growth mindset versus fixed mindset. And in a growth mindset you rely on your perseverance, effort and experience to start learning from what you’re doing rather than staying stuck.
A few tips:
Start now by taking small steps; What is the next best step that will move the needle for your biz? Your life? Your career? Towards your vision?
Expect and surrender to doubt. I did a masterclass for Fishburners entrepreneurs (over 100 attended) during covid on ‘The discipline to turn ideas into reality” feel free to DM me to access the recording and I share this quote from Reid Hoffman (founder of Linkedin) “If you're not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”
Cultivate patience. It took me more than five years and three startups to create a business in full alignment and launch Essential Shift. I learnt from each mistake I made in my previous venture.
So what is the one small thing that you can do RIGHT NOW? STOP reading and DO IT. Send me a DM on IG to let me know so I can cheer you up. Celebrate each of those small wins
You like all of this and NEED HELP to start NOW, apply for my 90mins intensive, talk about action. We will get things done and help you start working towards your vision!