Is Perfectionism Killing Your Business?


Business & Creativity Require Us to Take Risks

IMG_7753Are you willing to take risks in some areas of your life but not in others? Are perfectionism and fear of failure stopping you from growing a wildly profitable business that you love?

The more willing we are to take creative risks, the more this can lead to success in our business. Building a profitable business is all about expressing our creativity and sharing our gifts and talents with the right people. This requires taking risks and being visible but it also requires commitment. I often find that entrepreneurs aren’t making money in their business because they aren’t taking action. They are waiting until everything is perfect. If you wait until your idea, product, service, or post is perfect, you will never get it going and you will never make money in your business.

One of the key traits of creative people is that they’re risk takers; they are willing to fail, to fall flat and to get up and try again. They’re not afraid to put something new out into the world that might be laughed at or perhaps worse, ignored. They don’t mind being dismissed as crazy, they now that visibility is more important than perfectionism. If you want to build a profitable business, this is a personality trait that you need to foster in yourself. And I acknowledge that this can be scary, that fear can paralyze us at times. I can hear your Inner Critic beginning to revolt and want to stop reading this post, but don’t.

Ask yourself if your commitment to yourself and to your business is bigger than your fear.

Learning to take creative risks in your business

First, take a second to consider that without risks there are no rewards. You may have a few failures but if you can keep your failures from discouraging you, the next time you try might be a raging success. If you have what you think are good ideas but you’re afraid to take the plunge and put them out into the world, here are some ideas for changing your mindset.

Mindset is our worst enemy and our best friend! I have learned that shifting my mindset and quieting that mean Inner Critic mean letting go of outcomes. Throughout this post you can see some examples of my artwork. I make art because it fills me up. I don’t make art to sell, which means I don’t always share what I create, especially if I don’t love it.

I am taking a creative risk today to show you that making art and marketing are both a part of who I am. My creative expression constantly fuels my ideas for my business – from new blog posts, to special offers or products.

What’s The Worst That Can Happen?

IMG_7816What’s the worst that could happen? You might face criticism or doubts (especially from those closest to you.) Or you might receive constructive feedback that leads you to a better, more profitable idea.

My creative ideas don’t always work out – courses that don’t fill, programs that don’t sell, posts that don’t get any comments, crickets on my webinars… It happens, heavy sigh. Try, test, try is the secret to my success in the craft room and in the office.

Risk-Taking Takes Practice

Like everything else that you want to be good at, risk-taking requires practice. You have to put your ideas out there over and over again, and eventually it will feel like a regular everyday thing.

I remember the first time, over 15 years ago, when I had to stand up at my first Chamber of Commerce of meeting and share a 30-second commercial about my business. I didn’t know what to say; I had no forewarning that I would have to speak in front of 100 people. I turned beet red and my knees were shaking but I did it. Now I regularly give presentations to 100s of people and I love it! But it was a process, I was not an overnight success.

I have found that asking for feedback and being open to it has helped me to push past my fears. People want to be helpful more than hurtful. If you can release your need to be perfect and invite others to give you feedback, you will grow and get stronger!

Making Peace with Your Inner Critic

FullSizeRenderIf your Inner Critic is particularly strong, I would encourage you to do the following activity. Now is the time to make peace and start taking more creative risks in your business. Business success is an inside-out proposition and often we don’t realize that our inner critic is holding us back from achieving our dreams.

Start by taking a few moments to sit quietly, take a few deep breaths and center yourself. Invite your Inner Critic to have a conversation with you. Imagine he or she is sitting in front of you. Notice what she looks like. Give her a name. You might draw a quick sketch or doodle of her or find a photo that represents your inner critic. The more we can personalize this aspect of ourselves, the faster we can begin to make peace.

The truth is that your Inner Critic has good intentions. She wants to keep you safe from fear, judgment, failure or even from success. It’s her job to be the voice that makes you think twice abou

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t taking a risk. Maybe this voice was necessary when you were a child but as an adult, you can invite her to be quiet, to step aside or affirm that you are capable of taking care of yourself.

Once you have a clear image of your Inner Critic, have a dialogue with her. You could do this quietly in your mind or as a written dialogue. Ask your Inner Critic the following questions.

  • What are you afraid of?
  • What makes you happy?
  • What would help you be less afraid?
  • What would you like to say to me?
  • What do you need from me?
  • How can I support you?
  • How can you support me?

Once you have completed the dialogue, say thank you to your Inner Critic. Take a few more deep breaths and return to your day knowing that your Inner Critic is also your ally.

Please share in the comments below what you discovered about your Inner Critic.

Minette Riordan, Ph.D. on EmailMinette Riordan, Ph.D. on FacebookMinette Riordan, Ph.D. on InstagramMinette Riordan, Ph.D. on Twitter
Minette Riordan, Ph.D.
I am Dr. Minette Riordan. I am an award-winning entrepreneur with close to 15 years experience in marketing, sales and education. In my professional life, I am a coach, author, and speaker who is passionate about helping creative women entrepreneurs build profitable businesses. I am also proud to be a wife and mom of two teens doing my best to maintain the balance in my life and in my business. I make art, write, cook and try to find more time to work out. I am crazy about Zentangle®, SoulCollage® and poetry. I love all of the roles I play and work every day to juggle all the balls that I am holding, sometimes I drop all the balls and drink a couple of glasses of wine. http://www.minetteriordan.com

About Minette Riordan, Ph.D.

I am Dr. Minette Riordan. I am an award-winning entrepreneur with close to 15 years experience in marketing, sales and education. In my professional life, I am a coach, author, and speaker who is passionate about helping creative women entrepreneurs build profitable businesses. I am also proud to be a wife and mom of two teens doing my best to maintain the balance in my life and in my business. I make art, write, cook and try to find more time to work out. I am crazy about Zentangle®, SoulCollage® and poetry. I love all of the roles I play and work every day to juggle all the balls that I am holding, sometimes I drop all the balls and drink a couple of glasses of wine. http://www.minetteriordan.com

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