In this episode I share my thoughts on the perfection of B- work and how to get stuff done in your business.
This is a personal solo episode I recorded about my deep and conflicted relationship with perfectionism.
I call myself a “recovering perfectionist” and believe I will be dealing with its affects for the rest of my life.
There have been times my perfectionism has served me well, but in my life as an entrepreneur, I think it have held me back.
In this episode I talk about why I recommend bloggers shoot for B- work and what that looks like in practice.
I talk about how B- work helps you move quickly and test new ideas.
I also share how putting B- work out there can be uncomfortable and even embarrassing.
At the end of the day, I have learned that “Perfection isn’t profitable. So I have a Post-It on my desk that says, “B- work every day!” I recommend you put one on your desk too.
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- #136: SPECIAL EPISODE: A Guided Meditation on Perfection with Jillian Leslie
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Welcome to The Blogger Genius Podcast brought to you by MiloTree. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.
Jillian Leslie 0:15
Hello, friends. It is me Jillian Leslie, founder of Catch My Party, founder of MiloTree, host of this podcast, and really business translator. I take what’s working in online business. Now, I break it down. So, you can take it into your own business.
And hopefully it will work for you as well. Before I get started, I wanted to announce that I have a new Facebook group and I’m super excited about it. It is called The Blogger Genius Share & Grow Your Blog Facebook Group.
If you go to Facebook, and you search for Blogger Genius, you’ll see it show up and please join it.
So, this is a group where we get to share our content so people will see it and people will follow you and you’ll get traffic and you’ll get to share the products that you sell.
Also, I go on every Monday 3pm and go live talking about my most recent podcast talking about business blogging, what’s working. It’s been so fun, and it’s growing like gangbusters.
And I hope you join it. Again, head to Facebook, type into the search box Blogger Genius. Again, it’s The Blogger Genius Share & Grow Your Blog Facebook Group pretty self- explanatory, and I would love for you to join it.
For today’s episode, I have a solo episode, this is my second one. And I’m talking about something that I feel very passionately about. And if there is only one podcast episode you could listen to that would have enormous impact on your business.
I think it is this one because this affects everything, every decision that you make as you are building your blog. So, let’s do this.
The Perfection of B- Work and How to Get Stuff Done
I wanted to talk about the perfection of B-minus work. Now I call myself a recovering perfectionist. And don’t get me wrong. My perfectionism has led me to do some great work in my life and have some big successes.
But it has also come at a real cost that I recognize. It’s cost me in terms of time, in terms of self-doubt, and even self-sabotage. Throughout school, my self-worth was completely tied to my grades. So, I don’t know if you can relate to this.
But I was the girl in college calculating my GPA every night in my head before I went to bed. And if you’re a perfectionist, you know this, your self-worth is continually on the line. And it’s exhausting. Because if you don’t hit that A-plus, you’re a failure.
And it’s not that what you did fell short. It’s that you fell short. As I’ve gotten wiser as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that when I didn’t hit it out of the park, that my world did not collapse. I didn’t die, I just felt really lousy about myself.
I punished myself, but eventually, I would recover and move on. But it was a high price to pay. Because I might have spent days in bed, feeling bad, that kind of thing.
Being a Perfectionist Makes You Scared
But the bigger costs, what I realized is that it made me scared. It made me not able to try new things or take risks or be a beginner at anything. And definitely not.
I wasn’t able to move fast or be nimble. And this is because at any turn I could be exposed for the fraud that I knew I really was.
So, a lot of the reason why I started to challenge these thoughts on perfection was just the exhaustion. I just felt like I was always on this hamster wheel. But I think it also changed for me when I decided to quit my job.
I was a writer in Hollywood. I was going to go on this journey with David, my husband, who was a senior executive at MySpace. And we decided that we were going to take our fate into our own hands and start Catch My Party.
This was 2009. And we had no safety net. It was all going to be up to us to put food on the table and somehow, I realized that perfection was not profitable, because I was feeling so paralyzed. And yet we needed to build a business.
Perfection Isn’t Profitable
So, I started to realize that perfectionism and entrepreneurship were not compatible. And I had to really start looking at this perfection paralysis, as I like to call it.
I say that there is no better journey of self-growth than being an entrepreneur, because it holds up a mirror to you, and really exposes a lot. Some of it can be kind of dark or scary or things you don’t necessarily want to see.
However, I also think that I couldn’t pick a better job for me. I get to work with my husband, I set my own hours, I have no boss, I get to be really creative, learn new things. And hopefully have an impact, especially with things like starting this podcast.
So, I think that this journey has definitely shown me how much I really thrive on being there for others, helping others. It’s made me more empathetic. And it does force me to take lots of risks that I would never take, like showing up and doing live video.
David, and I coach, live groups a couple times a year. And I really love doing this and we show up for six weeks, and we go through teaching sessions. And we really roll up our sleeves. And we get to know these people really intimately.
They’re bloggers, they’re online entrepreneurs, but they’re really eager. And I love them. So, we were teaching our first group, and I could tell that everybody was there, and they were excited, and they really wanted to please.
And I said to them, okay, what we’re going to do is we’re going to grow our businesses, but the way that you grow an online business, is by putting stuff out there and testing, testing your ideas.
B- Work Helps You Test Your Ideas Faster
You have these hypotheses; you have these ideas of what your audience is looking for. And you’re going to provide it for them. And it’s all going to work out perfectly. And that’s really not the way it works. It’s like you put it out there.
And you hope that people like it, and you hope that it works, and you hope you can make this connection. But probably more often than not, you’re going to be wrong. So, what you’re looking for is this thing called “product-market fit.”
Or in my non-MBA language, it’s where you figure out again, what your audience is struggling with, and you come up with a solution that your audience will pay for. That is blogger gold, and it doesn’t come easily.
So, I say to the group, “This is how I want you to think about business building. It’s not linear. It’s a lot of testing. It’s a lot of rejection.” And I said, “Perfection is not an option here.”
Now, for us perfectionist It is like the most horrific thing for me to say that. But for entrepreneurs, I really believe this, that B-minus work is absolutely perfect. And that, of course is where I came up with this idea: The Perfection of B- Minus Work.
Benefits for a Blogger of B- Work
And so, I started to break it down for my group. And I said, “Well think about it, B- minus work is doable, you can get to B- minus pretty quickly.”
So, if you know anything about the Pareto principle or the 80/20 rule, it’s that you can get 80% of the way by doing 20% of the work. And then to go that last 20% it takes 80% of the effort.
Think about this, it relates to lots of things in business, lots of things in school, like writing that term paper. And again, what I said to the group is so I want you to shoot for doing that 20% of the work and getting to 80% and calling it a day.
Because that’s enough to start putting stuff out and testing it. And it was so funny, because what I could see in their faces was like this look of kind of shock and horror and like how can I really be saying this to them.
But there was this slight giddiness and a feeling of relief, almost like they were wearing corsets and we’re all wearing corsets. And I like loosened all the corsets and everybody could take a breath.
And what is so interesting is that after we do these six-week groups, I always send a survey because I want feedback to say, like, what worked for you? How can we improve.
And the feedback that I always get that is so consistent is how important this concept of B- minus work is like I’ve given everybody permission. And if there’s one consistent thing that I hear is how life-changing that has been for them in their businesses.
And of course, they like the SEO session and the Instagram session and the content creation, all of that. But the underlying takeaway is this idea that it is optimal to shoot for B- minus.
And in fact, I had said to them, when I first announced this, I said, “Guys, if you hand me work, that is better than B- minus, I will be disappointed, because you’re wasting two of your most precious resources, which are time and money.”
And so, I think that this is a game changer. So, see if this feels right to you that the path to success is paved with imperfection. And you can’t know all the answers.
Since you’re testing, and everything is very fluid, you’re co-creating the growth of your business with your audience. You don’t know the answer, you’re putting something out there and you’re waiting for feedback.
So, that you can then iterate and iterate again and get more feedback and learn so that you can find this magic called product market fit. So, I think about this idea of like, where did I become a slave to perfection.
Mixing Up Perfection and Love
And I think it’s from a young version of myself, where somehow, I mixed up perfection and love, that if I did a good job, I got lots of praise. And I perceived that that was love. And my feeling was wow, if I wasn’t perfect, the love would go away.
I don’t know if you’ve had that feeling. But one thing that I’ve really tried to work on in my own life is changing that narrative. If I’m not perfect, the love does not go away. It’s not really related.
I think about what Reid Hoffman said, He’s the founder of PayPal, LinkedIn. And he said this thing he said, “If you’re not embarrassed, when you ship your product, you’ve shipped too late.”
I tell my groups that if they’re not embarrassed and uncomfortable and not embracing the mess, they’re not really building their business, that it takes all of those elements.
And I have a Post-It on my computer that says “B- minus works every day.”
Even this podcast episode, I will probably listen to it. And I will probably want to re-record it, because I will criticize it. And I’ll think I can do better.
But I’m not going to. I’m going to just post it, see what happens because this is B- minus work. This is real. I think it will speak to the people that supposed to and ready for it, it’s good enough.
So, I recommend you write on a Post-It, put it on your computer that says B-minus work every day.
And then here’s the other piece. It’s then about showing up. Showing up for yourself, showing up for your business. And doing it again and again. And again.
And each time you learn and each time you iterate and each time you fine tune. And that is how you have success growing your blog.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this episode. Does this speak to you? Are you also a recovering perfectionist? Can you embrace this concept of B-minus work, especially if I say this is the way that you will probably put food on your table?
Remember, perfection is not profitable. That’s another thing you can write on a Post-It.
Anyway, if you like this and want to talk about it, email me at Jillian@milotree.com, I would love to hear your feedback.
And also, if you want to join our next six-week coaching group, we’ll probably be starting it in early January. You can head to Milotree.com/group and learn more about it.
And what is cool is you’ve already gotten a taste of our first session, our first workshop because what we talked about is showing up iterating. Embracing the mess, embracing discomfort, being embarrassed, and doing B- minus work.
I hope you guys liked this episode and my B- minus work. Please reach out if you have any thoughts if you want to take this deeper please listen to my Episode #136, where I recorded a guided meditation on perfection. And I will put a link to it in the show notes.
And please join my Facebook group, The Blogger Genius Share & Grow Your Blog Facebook Group, just head to Facebook and join it. I’ll see you in there and I will meet you here again next week.
Imagine a world where growing your social media followers and email list was easy…
If you are looking for ways to grow your community whether that be email whether that be social media, right now head to Milotree.com install the MiloTree app on your blog and it will do the work for you. Let it do the heavy lifting for you.
Let it pop up in front of your visitors and ask them to follow you on Instagram Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook, join your list, check out the exit intent but really get your community growing. And we’d love to help you with MiloTree. And I will see you here again next week.