Podcast artwork with episode 2 - when things go wrong.

Do you struggle with perfectionism?

Do you feel that everything has to be just right before you can take action?

Most small business owners feel this way. After all, there is a lot at stake. Winning work and doing it well is the difference between a successful business and a failing one. It's no wonder lots of small business owners burn out.

But it doesn't have to be this way!

In today's episode we look at where perfectionism comes from in small business owners. Why it's slowing us down and how to overcome it to be happier in your business, while still turning out amazing work that you're proud of.

Are you ready to overcome your perfectionism tendencies? 

Episode Transcript

If you’re here for the first time, welcome. If you’ve listened to episode 1 and/or the trailer, welcome back! It’s lovely to have you here.

I’m Holly Christie, your host. I’m a website designer, mentor and business strategist. I have 2 website and mentoring companies; This Demanding Life - to help small businesses get seen online and Simply Sites, for budding businesses wanting a stellar website.

This week we’re talking about how to overcome perfectionism and how what goes wrong in your business can ultimately be a really good thing. Let’s get started.

I don’t know about you but I’m a recovering perfectionist. A lot of small business owners are. I love hearing people’s stories of what led them to setting up on their own and putting their work and intentions in the world. It may be that they felt the impossible balance of parenting and workplace rigmarole. It could be they felt unappreciated in the workplace and wanted to take their skills and knowledge further than the company they worked for. Or they had a brilliant idea or product and just had to share it with the world.

I’ve worked with 100s of small businesses in my years of web designer and mentor and in almost all cases the business owners I work with have something in common……. They’re perfectionists. Or, by the time they’ve worked with me; recovering perfectionists.

Perfectionism is the thief of joy. I really mean that. It’s one of my favourite expressions and one I roll out on at least, a weekly basis, if not, more.

We’ve all looked at our work over the years and thought ‘I could have done that better’. Or ‘I can’t believe I thought that work was good’.

There are 2 things to know here….

When we ‘look back’ on things, we’re doing it with the skills and knowledge that we’ve gained between now and then. We’re always moving forward so there will always been new techniques, new legislation, new materials. What we created back then was probably the best we could achieve with the limitations of that period. Be kind to yourself, don’t judge old work by new standards.

This also applies in our everyday lives. There are some days I feel I need to join ‘overthinkers anonymous’ Ok, that’s not a real place but if it was, it would be full of small business owners, as well as most of society. We often look back on past experiences and ways we behaved, judging ourselves with the knowledge and skillsets we’ve acquired since then. It’s not helpful and it’s also not real. Running a small business means having to have a thick skin at times and you can practice this by letting go of overthinking, particularly when it applies to the past.

I’m no longer an overthinker, which is a blessing and it means I don’t overthink what’s happening in the future, what could go wrong or pitfalls along the way. I have a lot of experience in my work and industry that relates to website projects, mentoring, running a team, as well as dealing with more challenging clients or circumstances. If I anticipate a potential client or team member is going to be tricky or not a good fit for me I redirect them to another website developer or simply explain we’re not a good fit and wish them well. This saves massive amounts of stress in the future. It doesn’t mean it always works, red flags do sneak through occasionally but I deal with it quickly and don’t ‘doom think’ which is to predict every bad scenario along the way. In these circumstances it can be a case of ‘least said, soonest mended’. I don’t know if you know this expression but it’s one my Mum has always taught me and in a nutshell it means don’t go into detail or pick over things. Stick to the facts and people can’t argue with it.

The second thing….

There are people out there doing the same work as you but doing a much worse job of it. It may be that they don’t have the skill set (yet) or they’re just not as good as they really should be. However they’re out there confidently putting their work into the world. They’re also learning and getting better each time they do their work/practice their skillset.

Don’t let the fear of things not being perfect stop you from sharing your work with the world.

Sometimes things going wrong is actually things going right…

Last year I had a big rebrand of This Demanding Life. In the same process I was splitting off Simply Sites to be a website in itself, rather than under the umbrella of Demanding Life. It meant having both websites copywritten, new branding for both, a photoshoot to cover both websites which involved a lot of logistics as the team were coming in from all over the country and a lot of deliberate thought about looks and styling.

The This Demanding Life branding involved Mini-Mes. These are custom drawn cartoon versions of someone by Amy, my wonderful branding designer. Over the years Amy had drawn a record breaking 18 Mini-mes which were used in the logo, website, marketing materials and social media posts. Each one was custom drawn (no copy and pasting here!) and was hours of work. Crucially - my Mini-Mes were all blonde.

I’m known for my love of pink. This even stretched to me getting married in a pink wedding dress, many years ago and pink had always featured in my branding. Over the summer I had been experimenting with not quite pink but rose-gold coloured hair. I was conscious that I couldn’t stray too far from my Mini-Me blonde and this seemed a good middle ground. The night before the photoshoot, I refreshed my hair colour and it came out 100%, completely and utterly pink. I was horrified but there was no choice other than to push on anyway.

The photos are brilliant, the pink hair enhances things, outfits look better for having the contrast and it feels more me than having blonde hair. The biggest thing that could have gone wrong, (my identity for the photos), did go wrong and it I was blessed for it!

It also helped Amy and I to make the decision to scrap the Mini-Mes and create a much stronger brand because of it.

I can’t promise you won’t see my Mini-Mes ever again, after all, a cartoon version of ourselves is always fun, but sometimes it’s time to let things go.

If you’re an out and out perfectionist or you have perfectionism tendencies then I strongly encourage you to let this go. You’ll have a much happier business, and happier you, for it. Don’t judge previous versions of you or your work, keep moving forward with the knowledge and skills you already have and the ones you’ll pick up as you go.

That’s it for this week. I hope you’ve learned something, even if it’s why I have pink hair in my photos! If you’d like to discuss any of the content in today’s podcast you can email me at: holly@thisdemandinglife.com or drop me a message on LinkedIn - I’m at hollycchristie. You can also find me online on Facebook and Instagram at This Demanding Life.

If you’ve enjoyed today’s show please can you leave a rating and review wherever you get your podcasts. It helps the podcast platforms like Apple and Spotify to suggest this podcast to new listeners and I’d love to share this free resource as widely as possible.

Thank you for listening and see you next week!

Brilliant first episode!!

The first episode of “Your Business, Your Way” is a refreshing take on the entrepreneurial journey I needed to hear this morning . I felt reassured hearing Holly emphasise a crucial point: you don’t need to know everything to get started. This approach is a game-changer, especially for those new to the business world, breaking down the barriers of perfection and complete readiness that often hold us back.

What I loved about this first episode of the podcast is its blend of practical advice with an undercurrent of motivation. It reassured me that starting with what I know and learning as I go is not just okay, but a smart way to grow. The podcast feels like a supportive friend, nudging you to take those first steps while keeping the mood light and approachable.

For anyone at the crossroads of starting or scaling a business, this podcast could be the push you need. It’s a promising mix of insights, stories, and encouragement. I’m eager for the next episodes and recommend it to anyone looking to embark on a business venture in a way that’s true to them. It’s an exciting start, and I’m genuinely looking forward to where this podcast will take its listeners next.

wmbaggs

Feeling inspired

Would definitely recommend this podcast. Aimed at those small business owners, but for someone who has recently started a new role in my company, this definitely motivated me on this cold wet Monday morning to not be afraid of being vulnerable in the workplace and putting myself out there!

Can’t wait for the next episode

izagoo9067

Small Business Growth

I’m so excited to have your podcast alongside me as I grow my business. Looking forward to taking action on your steps and learn from someone who knows what they are talking about. Thanks Holly – you’re a star!

LisaJaneYork

Just listened to your first podcast episode and it’s absolutely brilliant! Good work Holly!

Mike Cottam

Really Refreshing

Looking forward to the next episode, I’m hooked already. Really easy to listen to and definitely strikes a chord with me. 

MrsH68

Small Business Growth

I love listening to each new episode of Holly’s podcast. It feels like she has read my mind and understands the challenges I find myself up against when running my business. Her advice and insights are fantastic and I’m looking forward to hearing her future episodes. This is a great resource for any small business owner trying to establish a successful business in the online (and/or offline) world.

Fay Wallis