I spent the weekend with a hundred or so Beautiful Black Women at the Launch Your Business event in Atlanta. Rosetta Thurman’s Happy Black Woman tribe, of which I am a member, is a group of supportive, motivated entrepreneurs. Some of us are at the beginning of our journey. Others are successful leaders of six- and seven-figure businesses.
My primary takeaway from the three-day seminar is to do something every day that helps build the business, even a small thing. That might seem like a no-brainer. Still, this advice is difficult to follow if you are hampered by perfectionism, which I often am. Revising a website means doing cosmetic surgery on every page. Writing a chapter means putting the right words in the mouths of the best characters to speak them (and describing an ideal setting to support this brilliant dialogue). Doing a small thing is tantamount to doing nothing if your goal is to create a dynamic website or an exciting book.
Perfectionism requires knowing every step of the pre-defined journey and being prepared for every eventuality – before you take the first step. It is easy to procrastinate if you put that much pressure on yourself. What if you take the wrong turn? Deviating from the path is often perceived as taking a wrong turn, getting lost, failing.
At the Launch Your Business event, several women spoke about a shift in their direction once they started the process of building their businesses. Openness and flexibility, which are difficult for a perfectionist, led them to their real passions and ultimate success. But they had to take the first steps, whether or not they knew where those steps would lead and they had to be open and flexible enough to know when a change in direction was leading them to their true journey, their true purpose.
A mantra in the Happy Black Woman tribe is “Start now. Improve later.” It’s a principle that leads to having faith that every step is a meaningful one, perfect or not.