By Lisa Corduff.
I remember the deadlines at work. Meticulously making sure what I passed to my boss was of the highest quality. I remember expecting so much from myself and my output because there was judgement coming. A “good job” or “fix this up” or “rewrite please”.
Working to KPI’s and other people’s expectations means you are always striving to over-deliver. For a pay-rise, a promotion, a great project.
You know the drill.
When I entered the world of blogging it all felt so random. Some might say ‘freeing’ but I missed the glance over my work from someone who knew more than me.
This actually slowed me right down. I never thought anything was good enough. So I rarely posted. I was so inexperienced and would have loved the ‘all clear’ from a boss.
I looked around at the stunning blogs I admired and felt paralysed. Even although I knew I wanted to share my story and recipes via a blog, it felt like those people knew more, took better photos, had a bigger audience, wrote beautifully. The old ‘comparisonitis’ crept in big time. (Heard of it? It’s the disease of comparing yourself to others incessantly #madeupword.)
Of course my husband would edit things and tell me it was great. But what if people laughed at me? What if the recipe didn’t work in other people’s homes? What if I was just plain bad at this?
There’s no boss in blogging land.
Not only this – I started my blog with a two-year-old and six-month-old in tow. So the moments I had to write were while they were sleeping. This meant the end of the day (so tired!) or during nap time. How is one meant to create a work of blogging art under those circumstances?!
But then something changed. I realised NOTHING was getting done. And it never would.
My new boss was me – I had the power to set the tone of expectation for my blog. My new KPI’s were writing things that interested people. And the only way to find out was to actually damn POST!
So I did. I got consistent. I also had another baby. Things were pretty manic in my personal life so I did what I could on the blog and on FB and pressed ‘publish’ or ‘post’ or ‘record’ at every opportunity. No time for perfection!
The momentum built. It was addictive. I let go of the old expectations of perfection so that I could just keep going.
Maybe it helps to have very little time. With three kids four and under I launched a free challenge to my community. It was 21 days long with a daily video and email and a few guest interviews.
It came about sharing a glass of wine with a web designer friend discussing the fact I was going to have to find a real job if I didn’t make something of this blog over the next year (read: create income). So she pushed me off the edge of the cliff and taught me what a ‘signup form’ was in Mailchimp.
I announced the 21 Day Wholefoods Challenge to my FB community that night with a start date.
To say I went in green – without knowing much – is an understatement.
What the hell was I thinking!? My perfectionist streak came right back to haunt me and I almost burnt out completely over-delivering on a free challenge.
While I over-delivered, it was completely imperfect. Some days I was hiding in my kid’s bedroom recording videos for the next day while they were in the loungeroom causing chaos. Some days the challenge email didn’t go out by its usual 6am. No doubt there were spelling mistakes galore (can’t bring myself to look back on it!). The imperfections went on.
I ended up with conjunctivitis and my adrenals had had a massive workout! But I’d successfully delivered (for free) what would become my signature program – Small Steps to Wholefoods. And in the process proved to myself I had something unique to teach which resonated with amazing women it was a privilege to serve.
Without taking huge imperfect action, I never would have started a business from my blog. I would never have realised the little burning dream inside me. I would never have positively impacted those 550 people in the free challenge. I was hooked.
It’s why ‘done and not perfect’ is my business motto. It’s allowed me the freedom to lose the expectation of perfection and move ahead anyway.
Right now I’m doing lots of Facebook LIVE. What an amazing tool for business owners and bloggers. It takes imperfection to a whole new level. No going back! Creating raw, honest and engaging content to build trust with your audience, showing your imperfect side is a brilliant marketing tool.
And it’s just a heck of a lot of fun. When I’m coaching clients who are looking to grow their business, the first thing I say is ‘take action’. Stop thinking about what you’re going to do. Stop looking around at the work of others and focus on what you want to do and how your work can help others.
Take a risk. Allow yourself to suck in the beginning and go for it. We all started somewhere.
Lisa Corduff is a wholefoods blogger with multiple online program cutting through the BS and helping real people eat more real food – in the real world! With a background in TV and Video Production she has been at the forefront of social media video marketing.