Making headway

Time and time again I speak to otherwise successful business owners who are having a problem making headway, generally in the area or marketing, branding or new business.  The problem generally revolves around wanting to put the company’s best face forward and while this is laudable, it should not justify the what actually happens, which is nothing.

What is really shining through here is a degree of perfectionism, the same quality that enables the end product or service to be extra-special.

So how do we overcome inaction without trading out the quality?  The answer is perspective.  In these situations I encourage my clients to change vantage point and think as their customers do.  It very quickly becomes apparent to them that what at first seems like something that has to be perfect, in fact just has to be professional and more important, out there.

I’ve mentioned before about how our inner critic often claims that our work is not ready for public viewing.  This is exactly what is happening here too.  The answer is to focus on completing a task within a very short time-frame, on the basis that you can always go back and amend it later: in the meantime it just needs to be ‘good enough’.

To test the theory, pick a task on your to-do list that has been hanging over your head like a Damocles sword.  Consider, from the perspective of your client or end user, not what is perfect, ideal or nice (yuk!), but merely what is acceptable.  Diarise sufficient time to execute the task to this professional, acceptable standard and aim to finish within that allocated time.

Your inner critic will rest peacefully, secure in the knowledge that you will return and rework the task in a more perfect way in the future.  In reality you almost certainly won’t, as the task has been done adequately and you can now focus on more important things.

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