Transcript: Perfectionism vs. Procrastination: What’s REALLY Happening

June 21, 2022

AMY PORTERFIELD: “And I believe everything happens for us. Everything happens for us. So no matter the decision you make and the results that happen, those are the results that were meant to happen. And so I just want you to own it and say, ‘Okay, that happened. This is happening for me. What can I learn? Where can I grow?’ I'm telling you, this one little mindset shift is huge for me, and it could be for you as well.” 

INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-seven-figure business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, the budget, and the time to focus on growing my small-but-mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and a life you love, you're in the right place, friend. Let's get started. 

AMY: If you love Online Marketing Made Easy, you’ve got to check out Entrepreneurs on Fire, hosted by my dear friend John Lee Dumas. He discusses things like how to live tax free as an entrepreneur—uh, yes, please—and shares inspiring stories like how a college sophomore turned twenty dollars, cell phone, and a dream into a cookie company valued at over five hundred million dollars. I mean, you got to love stories like that. He'll leave you with actionable steps and fired up. Be sure to check out Entrepreneurs on Fire wherever you get your podcasts. 

Hey, friend. Welcome back to Online Marketing Made Easy 

In this Shorty episode, today we are going to talk about something that I feel like might ruffle a few feathers, but I'm going to go ahead and say it anyway. I'll just get right to it. Perfectionism is just another form of procrastination. I'll say it again. Perfectionism is another form of procrastination, and making mistakes as quickly as possible is how you continue learning and growing. You’ve got to make the mistakes.  

Now, if you're a perfectionist, you're probably thinking, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, Amy. That's a bold statement.” But hear me out for a minute because here's where I'm coming from: I feel that one of my superpowers is the ability to make decisions quickly. When I make a decision, I take the time to gather the facts, the pros, and the cons, but I don't let myself linger too long. I'll give myself a timeframe of how long I want to spend figuring it out, and then I cut bait. And I think one of the things that has helped me immensely over the years is this concept of cutting bait, which means no matter where you are, you're just going to have to say, “Okay, the time is up. I'm making the decision. I'm launching this course, I'm deploying this email, or I'm sending this ad out,” or whatever it may be.  

So Seth Godin uses the term ship it, so, which basically means to just get it out there, even if it's not 100% what you wanted it to be. There comes a time—usually it's a date—where you need to say enough is enough, and move on. And the more you wallow in whether you made the right decision or not, you're literally eating up your creativity, your bandwidth, your time, your energy, and if you have a team surrounding you, you’re most likely eating up every ounce of their energy as well. The thing is, until you ship it, you'll never know if it's going to work or not. And so the more you overthink that decision, you're just delaying the inevitable.  

When I think about my first launch, that was not good—like, I made two hundred sixty-seven dollars—someone might argue, “Amy, if you spent more time on preparing for that launch, if you did more research, if you read more books, listened to more podcasts, asked more people their opinion, you might have had a five-figure or six-figure launch if you would have just held on, didn't launch when you did, learned more, did all the things, launch later.” And that might be true. I might have made more money. However, I can't even tell you how much I grew from that experience. I wouldn't change it for the world. Easier said now because it's done. And there was a lot of fear and tears that came out of that two-hundred-sixty-seven-dollar launch. But, one, just staying in the game after that, I proved to myself that I'm here for the long haul. Thirteen years later, that has proved to be true. Two, I instantly knew what worked and didn't work, and I will never make those same mistakes again. If I didn't have some of that pain and the chaos that went with that first launch, I wouldn't have learned the lessons I needed to learn to have a multimillion-dollar business that I have today.  

And I believe everything happens for us. Everything happens for us. So no matter the decision you make and the results that happen, those are the results that were meant to happen. And so I just want you to own it and say, “Okay, that happened. This is happening for me. What can I learn? Where can I grow?” I'm telling you, this one little mindset shift is huge for me, and it could be for you as well. 

So, getting back to just getting it out there, again I'm going to repeat, until you ship it, you'll never know if it's going to work or not, and you'll never get the lessons you were meant to get. You've got to get it out there.  

Brooke Castillo, of the Life Coach School, she teaches that there are no bad decisions. And although I 100% subscribe to that idea, I struggle with it sometimes, too, just like most entrepreneurs. So she says there's no bad decisions, meaning you make a decision, it either works or it doesn't work, and if it doesn't work, then you move on to the next thing to get closer to it working. You're just always troubleshooting. So she goes neutral almost, which I had another friend recently told me that she lives in the neutral, and I thought that was really interesting, where things aren’t bad or good. They are just what they are because they are what they are. I sound very wild saying that. Doesn't make any sense, but it does, right? Things are the way they are because they're the way they are. And so if we just say, “Okay, I made a decision. It turned out this way. I'm not going to say if that's bad or good. I'm just going to take the next best step.” This is how I get so much done. This is how I keep moving forward. 

Sometimes, now, again, thinking there's no bad decisions, I struggle with that because I'm really hard on myself. And so when something doesn't work out as I thought it should, then I'm like, “What did I do wrong?” And I have to snap myself out. Nope, no bad decisions. I have to remind myself of this often, meaning if something doesn't work out, then you know that's not the way to go, and now you've got this intel to make a new decision. And guess what? You never get that intel unless you ship it, right?  

So if you're trying to get it just right, you're really just procrastinating getting it out into the world. And you know what's behind that procrastination, right? Like, when you're trying to make it perfect. And here's the interesting part: most of us who have been perfectionists in the past, like I have, we don't say we're perfectionists. We just say that we, like, have high standards. We want things to be really good quality. We want to offer immense value, so we're just waiting to get it right. Are you shaking your head? Am I right or am I right? Very few of us are like, “Oh, I'm a perfectionist.” No, we have high standards. Those high standards are a mask for procrastination. And the procrastination comes from—where does it come from? Can you think of the word I'm thinking of?—fear. Is that what you said? Procrastination comes from fear. You're scared. You're worried about what people will think. You're afraid it won't work and what will happen if it fails. And even worse, what will people think of me if it fails? Oh, yeah, I've been there. I have so been there.  

And let me tell you, it's okay. It's okay that our procrastination is just fear. We're human, and fear is wired into our brains. It keeps us safe in many different situations. But if you let it get the best of you, seeing any sort of growth in your business is going to be very difficult. 

So that's why I'm always willing to put things out there that aren't exactly perfect. They're good. I will always put out things that are really good. And believe me, anything I put out there, I've worked really, really hard on it and so has my team. But I know that I can make it better. I know. But I also know that I can get to greatness a whole lot quicker if I put it out there and I pay attention, I listen more than I talk, I see how you guys are using it, the results you're getting, and I'm like, boom, “I can get them bigger results. Here's what I can change.”  

That's been Digital Course Academy. If you bought Digital Course Academy, I think it was, what, 2019 in January was the first time I launched it? That was a good course, and I got people to get huge results from that course. I can promise you that the 2022 version of DCA is so much better. Oh my gosh. It's going to knock your socks off. I'm actually rerecording the entire thing in the summer, but we've already written all the content, and it's stellar. It's easier to get through. It's easier to do it when you have a small team. Like, we have perfected it so much better. We would never have gotten to this iteration of DCA if I didn't ship it back in 2019. And the greatest thing is all my students who have DCA, they always get the updates. They don't have to go through the entire new course. I'll just tell them what's new and different, and if they want a little level up in their digital-course creation or launching, they're going to go there, the new places in the new course. So I think that’s awesome. 

So, greatness does not happen on your first shot. Let's just say it's not going to happen, all right? So the first shot, you’ve got to get out there, get the feedback, see how people resonate with it, how they're reacting to it, the results they're getting, and get right back in to get toward greatness with whatever you're putting out there. And the more you start making informed decisions quickly, the better and more natural it will feel to you. The biggest hurdle that you'll need to get over is your own mindset, feeling great about putting something out there that's just good. Did you hear that? I want you to feel great about putting something out there that's good, because you know that you're going to get to greatness if you pay attention to how people are using and resonating and getting results with whatever you put out there.  

So if you are a perfectionist, or someone with high standards, the next time that you're faced with a decision, I challenge you to be aware of the time you're spending on making that decision. Give yourself a time frame to figure it out, make that decision, cut bait, and never look back.  

All right. There you go. I hope you love this Shorty episode. I always like to share things on Tuesdays in the Shorty episodes where I've dealt with it or I'm dealing with it now or I've got some insight that I think could help you out. But I want it to be quick so that you listen to this; hopefully, you take action or you remember it the next time, let's say, you need to make a decision; and so some of these lessons start finding their way into how you navigate through business. 

All right, my sweet friends. Thank you so much for tuning in. And I will see you on Thursday for more entrepreneurial goodness, same time, same place. Can't wait. Bye for now. 

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