Welcome to this month’s Mind Your Business partnership post, co-authored by me, Loki Loki’s own brand identity and web designer Cody McBurnett, with the help of the founder of From Molly With Love, and all-around business bad-ass, Molly Beane. Together we’re talking about something that’s seems to be coming up a lot for both of us lately—the idea that when we give up on the idea of “perfect” we not only get shit done, we often succeed beyond our wildest dreams.
Just this morning, as I was having my cold brew and preparing to work on this post, I happened to be listening to the latest episode of my favorite guilty-pleasure podcast My Favorite Murder (SSDGM, my fellow Murderinos!), when this very topic came up. One of the hosts got a letter from a fan thanking her for inspiring her to “just do it” and “make it happen” instead of waiting and making excuses.
Waiting around indefinitely for everything to fall into place (which, let’s be honest, may never happen) can be paralyzing, but also makes room for you to be surpassed by those who just go for it. And logistically, it can end up losing you money, opportunities, and momentum. But, okay, so can rushing sloppily into things, right? So how do you know when to run with it, and when to wait? Well, that’s the hard part, isn’t it? But like everything, practice makes perfect.
Maybe you had your heart set on gold foil or a special feature on that web page, but maybe those things are cost-prohibitive or take time you don’t have right now. That doesn’t mean the alternative has to be defeat or delay. Consider this: Does anyone know about those gold foil dreams but you? What if not having a business card costs you the business you need to afford the fancy-schmancy printing? Classic catch-22. But is there any reason those “extras” can’t happen in phase two? How do we, as business owners obsessed with ensuring our brand image is flawless, learn to let go and not get consumed by details?
My two cents: As long as it appears flawless, DO IT.
Here are my guidelines to help you get out of your own way and get shit done:
- Find your team: You’re an expert at what you do, but you don’t have to “do it all.” Nor should you! I mean, even if you’re excellent at everything you try, there are only so many hours in a day; do what you do best and what you’re passionate about and build a solid team to help you with everything else. It takes a village! Get yours!
- Keep up appearances: Does this look/sound/feel good? Is it polished, professional, clean, on-brand, and grammatically-correct? Don’t get sloppy, but don’t let perfect get in your way. One way to do that is to…
- Keep it simple: You may have had other, more ambitious things in mind, but no one needs to know that but you. Run with it.
- Always revisit your goals: Is your goal to increase revenue? Get more clients? Get your website launched? What do you HAVE to do to meet that goal?
- Break it down by task: “Launch my website” is going to feel daunting (understandably). What are the steps you need to take in order to make that happen? Where can you start today, what will that lead to tomorrow, next week, etc.
- Determine your non-negotiables: It’s okay if some things absolutely have to be a certain way. What are those things? Communicate those with your team, prioritize these things, and then…
- Compromise where you can: The REAL goal is to GET THINGS DONE and MAKE THINGS HAPPEN. Sometimes that will mean compromise. And that’s okay! Please do your best not to get in your own way.
Molly Beane has consistently impressed me with her ability to make important decisions quickly and with confidence. If anyone I know is living her best business life by the principles above, it’s Molly.
“Perfect is the enemy of the good.” What does this mean to you?
Molly Beane: When there’s so much to do and so much on the line, you can easily get in your own way. And although you might not be aware of it, you’re sabotaging yourself.
If there’s something you want to in the world, you just have to act.
The idea for From Molly With Love literally woke me up in the middle of the night. I knew right away that I had to START. Sure, at the beginning I was it was all very DIY (and looked it!), but the products SOLD. And that’s what I need to get started—my minimum viable product. And it was the only way to actually do my (real world) research.
My advice: If you have a vision, DO IT. You can only get better by doing it, practicing. And your product or service can only get better by putting it out there so you can learn what works, what doesn’t, etc.
And if there’s something standing in your way, keeping you from pursuing your dreams, look for those sticking points and get the help you need to fill that gap (for example, I could not figure out how to master Facebook ads, so I hired an expert to do it for me!).
Do you have an example of when “good enough” had to be good enough?
Molly Beane: Because I needed a website and labels pretty much right away in order to present to buyers, we had to rush those a bit and do the visual identity process a bit backwards. I didn’t love having to have a temporary website—I would have preferred to wait till we were ready to fully launch, but I would have missed out on sales. So we made it work—and it did! And now that the full site is live, I appreciate it even more!
Describe a time when something felt like a compromise (or just “good enough”) and it ended up being a great in the end.
Molly Beane: Well, at the beginning things were a bit “rustic.” I was designing my own labels, I hadn’t figured out the packaging, I didn’t have a cohesive look… But experimentation was the only way I could get something out there and see what worked (both for the customer and for me). I had conversations, they helped me build a community, and know my customers. And being honest and open has led to speaking engagements and now courses and 1-on-1 consulting—in a way, putting From Molly With Love out there has lead me to an even bigger calling… And I can’t wait to see where it takes me next!
What’s something you can do TODAY to move on something you’ve been putting off? What’s stopping you? Oh, the fact that you’re reading this? Oh, well, then we’ll wrap up!