If my clients had one trait in common, it would be this: they over-research.
For some reason, female soloprenuers are plagued by perfectionism. Far more than their male counterparts. (If you want to read more, just google gender confidence gap).
Their unrealistically high expectations of themselves, especially in the beginning, translate into hours watching webinars, surfing Facebook, and bookmarking other women’s websites that look depressingly better than theirs ever will.
It feels important – vital even – to gain all this knowledge and have every system working perfectly before you offer your first program.
But it’s not. It’s procrastination through perfectionism.
Because here’s what’s actually important – knowing what unique gift you have to share and offering it widely.
Not your website. Not your pre-call questionnaire. Not even your synched up payment-to-delivery process.
But this isn’t an article about perfectionism.
It’s an article about overwhelm – which is what happens when you over-research.
As important as it seems, every webinar, every article, every Facebook feed about that must-have online tool is just input.
And when you keep taking in and taking in and taking in and taking in without giving out, you go crazy.
Yes, that’s the technical term for the process I’m describing.
You go absolutely bonkers. And not in a good way.
When you have too much input and not enough output, you are literally overwhelmed with information.
You get depressed. You can’t make decisions. You second-guess everything you start to do and then quit.
Because – and here’s the big secret – clarity and confidence don’t come BEFORE your creative output. They show up AS A CONSEQUENCE of your creative action.
Which means the only way out of the cycle of procrastination and perfectionism that is a woman’s first year in business is to take action.
You must create output.
Calls, helpful feedback on a Facebook post, blog posts, videos, guest posts, talks to clubs and schools – it does not matter. All that matters is that you give out more than what you’re taking in.
Because then you have room for guidance and inspiration.
Just imagine yourself like a big water cooler with a spout at the bottom – if you keep pouring water in without letting any come out, you will quickly overwhelm the container and explode.
Well, maybe not explode, but as a human you may emotionally self-destruct. I speak from experience here, people…
You’ve got to open the spout and let whatever is in you out. It’s the only way to make sense of all that learning and combine the new with all those amazing gifts of yours.
Plus you’ve got to give out more and faster than whatever’s coming in. That’s how you stay “in the flow”. More importantly, it’s how you feel good.
Because people who are flowing – taking in and giving out – feel good.
And I want you to feel good.
So today – from now on – focus on your output.
The input will happen. You don’t need to worry about it. At some point you’ll discover you need a new tool or piece of knowledge. But with your newfound focus on output – you won’t just run off into a vague, never-ending online search to plug a gap in your confidence with generalized learning. Instead you’ll embark on a focused acquisition of specific, tailored, information that will help you achieve even more effective and speedy output.
Because you’ll know without a doubt that everything you want – feeling good, clear, confident, easy, flowing – come from giving and creating.
So that’s what you’ll do.
Be free. Be brave. Be YOU!