How to Destroy Perfectionism and Catapult Yourself Towards Your Dreams

Big Rocks in Water

Perfectionism is a huge problem. It stops you from taking action and traveling down your path.

It can inject your life with fear. It can paralyze you, and make you feel like you’re living in a soup of cement.

Imagine if you could be okay with taking action, starting a blog that looks okay, and launching a product that isn’t perfect, and making your first $1,000 online.

How would that make you feel? Pretty awesome, right?

Well, it’s not that difficult. Most people that come to me for advice already know almost everything they need to know in order to get started.

This stuff really isn’t that complicated.

I’m talking from experience, because there are times when I make something simple way harder than it needs to be.

The Precise Art of Experimentation

You have to be willing to try different ideas and see what sticks. Before I started writing this post, I had tried to write another article, but it just wasn’t flowing.

I was scared about if I was writing something that my audience wanted. I was worried about if my newsletter subscribers would even open my e-mail.

I wanted to make everything perfect. I wanted to write perfectly, get the most persuasive headline in place, and make my post magical.

I was letting my perfectionism take over.

I know you have ideas. Big ideas. We all have them.

Many of those ideas will fail, but some of them won’t, and that’s why I want you to start experimenting and throwing spaghetti on the wall.

Examples: My Own Products

I personally think that my products are far away from being perfect, but people are still buying them, and loving the value and results they get.

As I’ve been selling more and more of my own stuff, I’ve noticed that as long as I provide value and solutions to people’s problems, everything else is secondary.

I could tweak my sales copy, improve the graphics, and countless other details, but I’m okay with them being as they are.

I keep making small improvements and additions depending on the feedback I get.

And I make sure not to get stuck in the trap of perfectionism, because it ultimately stops me (and you) from helping others.

How to Kill Perfectionism

The truth of the matter is that you don’t know what will work.

You don’t know if your blog on knitting red sweaters will draw an audience, or if you’ll even want to write about it for more than three months.

Of course, you should do some preliminary research, but I think you get my point when I say that you can start now, and tweak later.

You don’t have to have it all together in order to start making a living online.

I know the words “making a living” are scary, so what if I said … “in order to make your first $100 online?”

What about making your first $100 in 6 months? That’s around $0.55 per day. And if you can make $100 in 6 months, why couldn’t you replicate that and make $100 in one month, in one week, and in one day as you refine your process?

I Started With Nothing

I started off making nothing from this blog, and I’ve now had a launch that sold out within a few days and brought in thousands.

This is not to brag, but to show you that whatever you want is possible.

At one point, I didn’t know anything.

Perfectionism doesn’t have to stop you.

Perfectionism is destroyed by realizing that you can improve something over time. It doesn’t have to be perfect right now.

The opportunities are endless, but you have to take that first step, even if you don’t know where you’re going, or what you’re supposed to do.

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Comments

  1. I think in some cases people are paralyzed with too many options. For example, there are so many ways to make an income online: advertising, iphone apps, facebook apps, ebooks, consulting, services, membership sites, and on and on. There are hundreds of step-by-step plans and people buy every one of them without taking the leap.

    That certainly was true for me until I decided on a model and stuck with it. And you know what, I was terrible at it but I still made my first dollar online. And even though I was new I went from making no money online in June to around $400 a month today just by actually doing something. Believe me if I can do it, anyone can.

    To me, absolute perfection is impossible to achieve. It seems once you start feeling like that, you’ve lost your inspiration.

    • Couldn’t agree more. There’s a lot of information out there, but it really helps to think about what you feel drawn towards before jumping in.

      For example, you may have an affinity for blogs and ebooks. If so, then that’s a great place to start. Don’t do stuff that doesn’t resonate with you just because other people say they make money doing so.

      That’s awesome, Jack! Once you get the snowball rolling… ;)

  2. Good stuff Henri and great topic. When it comes down to it, perfectionism is an inspiration and happiness killer. It’s especially bad because when we want to be perfect, we want to be the best, and when we want to be the best, we want to be better than others, and when we want to be better than others, we start comparing ourselves to the greats in our field and upon looking up at their mountain of success, we quickly become dejected and depressed as it appears so far off and unreachable. I see it all the time in the blogosphere and it’s a nasty cycle.

    Thanks for the topic my friend!

    • Oh yes! I’ve been there and done that. It does you no good comparing yourself to Tiger Woods if you’ve just started out golfing and doing pretty well.

  3. Goran Jovanov says:

    Interestingly enough, I’m just in a phase where I’m trying to transfer my blog on another domain (more close to what it is about) and I started reviewing my posts that I have so far and got stuck fixing and correcting them. They are far from perfect and definitively need some refactoring but the thing is that I got of the track of my initial goal (MOVING THE BLOG TO A MORE UNDERSTANDABLE DOMAIN).

    This post came pretty much in time when I most needed it. I strongly believe in synchronicity and this is only prove of it :)

    Tnx for reminding me, man!
    Take care!

    • It’s so easy to get caught up in those small things that seem like big, important things. I’m glad you found what you needed! ;)

  4. Hi Henri,

    Each time i come over to your blog to read your latest update you always deliver timely contents. Perfectionism is a deadly habit we all need to watch out for because it really slows down progress. I have been caught up in that act so many times and i end up achieving nothing. The worst part is that at the end of the day, I get to find out that I have accomplished nothing. I remember when starting my blog. i spent more than one week looking for the perfect theme which i believe was total waste of my time.

    Rome was not built in a day so any project we set out to do cannot be 100% right at the start. If we keep waiting for the perfect time and condition before we launch out, am afraid nothing will happen. Little drops of rain make a mighty ocean. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. If you’ve noticed companies don’t always get their product right at the initial stage. They usually throw to the market products that needs amendment. Users are the ones that will noticed and get the companies informed. Every newly released product is an upgrade and a better version of the previous one. We all need to sum up the courage to start any project anyhow. Don’t be afraid to start small. Start with all you have. All that matters is that we keep the momentum going with constant commitment and consistency of purpose.

    Success is waiting for that man who will ACT.

    Thanks Henri for that revealing post.

    • It can be tough to start, definitely, but once you start, you realize that it isn’t all that bad, and you can always tweak things as you go. Thanks for stopping by Iretipaul!

  5. Nadia - Happy Lotus Lifestyles says:

    Hi Henri,

    Perfectionism can be a huge pain because, like you wrote, it paralyzes people from taking action and everything begins with an action.

    We live in a world where everything happens so fast and we want our results to happen equally as fast. And it just does not work that way. Start somewhere and evolve as the journey goes on.

    Sustainable wealth is a journey …. not an overnight achievement. So yes…down with perfectionism!

    • Yes, things are happening fast. Is time speeding up? Sometimes it feels like it is. Like so many have said before: this is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.

  6. Power to you, Henri. Coming from someone who hopes to self-publish a book through my blog (and expand the blog as well) over the coming months, this was incredibly inspirational to read. I’ll be back for more.

    Oh, and congrats on a new personal best.

  7. Very well said, Henri. I believe in making it a habit to always seek excellence — not perfection. Sincerely seeking excellence in all we do has us thinking right thoughts and taking right action. One can’t lose in life he/she is taking command of his mind and continually correcting and improving his action.

    • Excellence is an excellent way of putting it. I’m always nodding my head when I’m reading your comments, Rob. Good stuff ;)

  8. Hey Henri, thanks for the great lesson here. You are so right about never knowing what will touch people. You can work on the perfect post and pour everything into it and it will flop. I have posted sometimes and really thought the post was lame, then it turns out to be one of my best received!

    Karol Gadja just had a post about “Art” and doing it without the need for validation. He talked about his consistent writing habit (how he writes everyday).

    i think your post really sheds light in this area too. If we wait for perfection we will never be able to consistently produce “our art”.

    • I read that post by Karol, it was awesome, like all his posts are! I’ve had the same thing happen to me many times; I write a post that I think is meh, but people really love it. Go figure…

  9. Hi Henri. I think you’re spot on with this post. When I look back over my own experiences, I can see time and again how a standard of perfectionism (really, a fear of inadequacy), has been one of the most inhibiting and detrimental ideas in my life. To many times it’s deprived me from rewarding experiences and held me back from what, in retrospect, would probably have been outrageous success. To be continually reaching for improvement is healthy, but to be afraid of the smallest flaw is death.

    • Excellently put, Lach! We have to keep moving forward and doing our best, and stay aware of what’s going on in our heads and realize that it isn’t always the truth.

  10. Thanks for this Henri!

    As always, you have perfect timing!

  11. Encouraging post Henri.

    Perfectionism is the number one killer of productivity– I am realizing this more and more.

    Thanks for sharing details about your personal experience and your finances.

  12. Well, I’m definitely ‘late to the party’ on this post, but it was so inspiring I had to comment. I am going through a tremendous life-change that has really made me face up to a lot of very unhealthy attitudes I have carried with me all my life. One of the most major is perfectionism – I seriously made myself a huge print-out with the quote from your post above “Perfectionism is destroyed by realizing that you can improve something over time. It doesn’t have to be perfect right now.” I put it on my bulletin board near my computer so I’ll see it ALL THE TIME. I want to go to grad school to follow my passion, but there are many nay-sayers (I want to go in theology and become a professor, which is not the definition of ‘high paying’). Most of all I’m afraid of moving away from my hometown and incurring a lot more school debt. I’m really struggling to let go of my fears and really follow my heart!

    Thanks for the inspiration that even if everything doesn’t turn out perfectly, following our hearts is still worth it!

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