One of the greatest challenges in my life came when I became a full-time entrepreneur.
I gave up a good paycheck as a RN working in Hospice for a life of uncertainty, insecurity, and total imperfection. I took the big leap into this new life with a dream and then found myself falling hard on the pavement, bleeding, bruised and utterly ashamed that I was incompetent at everything new that I was trying.
Yet, I have to give myself some credit. At least I tried.
I have met countless entrepreneurs who gave up because they couldn’t handle the stress of not getting it right. They needed the certainty (this word is not in an entrepreneur’s dictionary by the way). They needed to feel good at what they were doing (nope, just not possible). They needed to have an outcome that matched their vision (this my friend, will never happen). And lastly, they needed to be perfect in their execution (NOT possible!).
I know, I know. I sound like a Debbie downer.
But the truth is, this falling on your face and not getting it right IS what makes entrepreneurs succeed. It is this powerful undertone that gives us the wings to fly. Much like a caterpillar, we spend A LOT of time preparing for our time to shine. And it is during this time, that we must throw out the perfect plan and be open to riding the roller coaster on Badass Entrepreneur Island.
In this article I want to share with you 4 reasons why your imperfections are your secret sauce to success in hopes that you not give up your journey just because it can feel down right sucky sometimes. I also want to note, that this isn’t just for entrepreneurs. If you are trying anything new, you too may feel like a dumbass and I want you to see that you are capable of doing anything. But you have to be willing to get it wrong sometimes. That’s just the plain truth.
You Learn from Your Mistakes
My sweetie is an entrepreneur. When I met him, he was 3 years into his business and was struggling with a capital S. I watched him stumble with such force I was sure he would never get up. But he did. Every time. And each time he was stronger than the last. He would see his mistakes and took those lessons to catapult him to a much higher level then where he was before. Much like a stairway to heaven, he took each lesson and used it to his advantage.
So, when I took the leap, I knew very quickly that mistakes weren’t a death sentence and were instead an invitation to take the next step. It has been my initiation, so to speak, and now I dry my tears, wash the salt out of the wounds, stand tall and say bring it on. NEXT!
When I was in nursing school I learned a lot about perfectionism. I learned that those that were “perfect” were miserable and often found crying when they got a 99% on a test and not a 100% (true story!). I learned very quickly, that this world is a sad place when you place those kinds of expectations on yourself. When I started as a new nurse I was forced to give up the last of my perfect ideals, since my reality was I had very little control over my patients who were often on the brink of death. I learned quickly that I had to just do the best I could. If I were waiting for the perfect conditions and did everything by the book, I guarantee none of those patients would have made it.
The same can be said about entrepreneurship or trying something new. The ideas will die if no action is taken. And what I have found, those that are perfectionist never execute because they haven’t gotten it all right. And it will NEVER be all right.
Be Perfectly Imperfect
I have come to realize no one likes a perfect pants. Do you know of anyone like this? They are the ones who put on a show to make the rest of the world think that they are perfect. You know what happens? The rest of the world starts to feel less than and not good enough. When the truth is, this said “perfect” person is actually the total opposite! Because PERFECTION DOES NOT EXIST!
What does exist is perfectly imperfect people. I like to think of myself as one of these. Instead of showing the world what I think they want to see, I just show up. Raw and real. I share myself daily on my 365 Days of Joy video blog and believe me, I am NOT always in joy (I mean who is?!). What has happened is people love my realness and that is what has developed my fan base. I have a strong desire to connect, more than to have others believe that I’m something I’m not. I will be the first to admit that I can be a hot mess, so I own the title, “Perfectly Imperfect Michele.”
Say Yes, Then Figure It Out later
One of my super powers is I am an action girl. It’s such a strong trait of mine, my mind often moves me before my body knows what it is doing. I will get inspired to do something, then before I can even ask my conscious mind, “what was that?”, I’m already sending emails, posting on social media about my brilliant idea and calling all my loved ones to tell them my next big move.
This happened about eight years ago when I got a general email asking someone to take over a Meetup group called the “Law of Attraction for Happiness.” It was an established group of 500 members and one I had never attended. I immediately emailed back saying, “I’ll take it over!” all the while forgetting that I’ve never taught a class in my life and had no idea what I was doing. And here I was saying yes. Doing so has changed my life dramatically and after 7 ½ years and over 2,200 members, I would say it was a good move. In fact, it was this group that made me realize I love speaking and my passion and purpose is the Law of Attraction. But if I said no because I didn’t know what I was doing, I would have never been given the gifts that it has given me.
Sir Richard Branson sums it up by saying, “If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes- then learn how to do it later.” That my friend is your secret sauce.
So, let me set you straight once and for all.
You are a badass just as you are. You don’t need to get better at something before you try something new. You learned how to walk by doing, not just thinking about it! You don’t need anyone’s approval because this is your journey. You don’t need permission, a degree or lots of money. Success comes when you move in the direction you are going, stumbling along the way.
Now go boldly, bravely, and most importantly, imperfectly. You will be rewarded with a badass life my friend. Just because you are YOU.