About this episode.
The three pieces of advice I would offer my younger self, or a fellow perfectionist who really wants to start a business today but is struggling to hit the ground running…
I’d always dreamed of starting my own business but something was always holding me back, a huge part of it was perfectionism, but there were some other big lessons I learnt along the way.
Join me in this episode where I uncover 3 business lessons, things I know now that I wish I knew back then.
Hello, and welcome back to another episode of the The Business of Perfectionism, my name is Kristy, I am a business owner and a business mentor and coach, and I am also a recovering perfectionist!
I have been having so many good conversations with people in the Instagram DM’s about this Podcast, I am so so so incredibly pleased that it has already helped a number of people, and I am so grateful for each and every one of you tuning in right now.
So today I really wanted to share with you a few of my biggest business lessons, it’s a little bit of a reflection - these are all things that I put in that category of what I know now that I wish I knew back then, and I really wanted to share them with you - and who knows, hopefully me sharing these with you will help you in avoiding some of these things or making slightly different decisions for yourself also.
I have been in business now for just over 6 years, I have done a variety of work from freelancing, consulting and contracting - mostly within the marketing, social media, ecommerce space, but what you might not know is in 2015 I opened up an online childrens wear store and I ran that for just over three years.
Prior to that, I had never worked for myself, I had never had a business, however I always always always had a dream that I would and I was very fortunate in my professional marketing career that I really got to work in a lot of different parts of many businesses and so that’s really where also got the taste for running a business.
It actually started back when I was 16 - I was working in retail and I remember saying that I was going to open my own store, I was living in a regional town and back then (it was a while ago) we just didn’t have a lot of great shops so I had this dream of making my mark and opening up my own store, it was going to have really great brands and be really beautifully designed, I can even still remember the vision I had for the store and what I dreamed it would look like.
And as it turns out, the dream changed as I got a little older and I actually enrolled to do my Diploma in Interior Design..
Although the industry and job changed, I still really wanted to work for myself, it was always on my mind, I just dreamed of being my own boss, of making my mark, of doing something different, but even after graduating I just didn’t have the guts to do it. I was 21 and I told myself I needed a certain amount of experience before I was able to work for myself..
And then as my corporate career went on, I moved to Melbourne and then to Sydney, I ended up moving into publishing and worked on Magazines, I went into Marketing and studied more in that field, and although I always had wanting to do something different, to work for myself in the back of my mind, I really did let it go for a while and told myself it just wasn’t an option and so I focused on my corporate career and I moved into Fashion and I just kept going….
BUT the thing I found was that I was never truly happy and moved jobs every 18 months to 2 years always searching for what was next, looking for the next challenge, trying to find that level of satisfaction that I was craving, that I believed was out there, I just didn’t know how to find it.
It actually wasn’t until I attended a Tony Robbins event in 2014 that I just decided that enough was enough, and so I pretty much went into the office a few weeks later and gave my resignation, that was September and I stayed until we closed for Christmas and headed into 2015 for the first time ever, without a job and no real idea what my business was going to be!
I was incredibly determined to make it work, I found a contract gig that started in Jan (it was a marketing and events role) and it was early in that new year that I decided I was going to open this online store.
And so basically I got to work, I sourced all of the stock, I built the website myself, I got a friend who was a graphic designer to help me with a logo, I started my social media accounts and I go going - BUT I have to be honest, there were some parts of it that I found really - I’m going to say easy, I just made those decisions and got that going - but there were also a lot of things I found really hard.
And so, with that I really want to share with you three things I know now, that I wish I knew back then, and I don’t just mean 6 years ago when I finally opened my business, but I also mean all those years ago, when I was 21 and had this dream but never did anything about it.
And the first one is:
There is no amount of learning you can do that will bring you the confidence you actually need to take the action.
Now before I get into this one please just let me start by saying I am a HUGE advocate to study and for learning, I am forever learning and taking courses and advancing my skill set and expanding and growing, so I can also help other people do the same.
However if you’re going into a course and thinking, I just need to do this 6 month course, 4 week course, 12 month course and then I’ll be ready, then I’ll feel confident, it’s just really really unlikely to happen.
Courses and furthering your education, in my mind, are there to help support you and for your own professional and personal growth and development, however they don’t provide the solution. For so many of us, perfectionists most definitely, you are unlikely to come out of a course completely qualified / certified, whatever it is - and think, now I can do the thing, now I am ready.
Going back to my 21 year old self, so after I graduated with my diploma I moved to Melbourne and started work, I was about a year in and I still wanted to be an interior designer and I wanted to work for myself, I was working in retail more in an account management roll and I looked after interior designers and architects, I so badly wanted to do what they were doing and so I applied to go to Uni to get a degree in Interior Design and I got in - I never actually started as the year I was due to start we moved to Sydney and I decided I put studying on hold for a bit.
But I for whatever told myself that to do this, to actually work for myself I needed this degree or I needed x amount of years of experience if I was going to be able to work for myself - even though I was already qualified, I had the paper to prove it, I was awarded student of the year, I lived and breathed this topic day in, day out, I had so many contacts, had dealt with so many suppliers, I dreamt about what life would be - but even with the qualification and the award - I still had it in my mind that if I just kept studying, then I’d be ready.
Fast forward to more recent years and I still found myself doing this, even though I went to uni and actually completed a graduate diploma of business majoring in marketing, studying for 3 years while also working full time, I still for whatever reason found myself feeling like I just needed to know more…
So yes, while I am a HUGE fan of group programs, short courses, certifications, accredited courses you name it, I am an advocate…
What I am saying it’s not a magic pill. If you have this great business idea, you have it all mapped out, you’ve got the vision, the plan, you want it so badly - waiting until you complete more study isn’t just going to make you instantly more confident or ready.
Confidence comes from action, it comes from doing the thing, from taking imperfect, sometimes messy action.
And heres the other crazy thing, the more you know, the more you realise you just don’t know, and if you’re a perfectionist that just drives you further and further into overthinking and over analysing.
It’s just going to cause you to indulge in more self doubt, there is always more to learn, and you’ve probably heard the saying knowledge is power - but there another saying, and that’s knowledge without action is useless...
If you know absolutely everything there is to know, you’ve waited far too long to start. Even Law Students graduate not knowing everything, but they know enough to get started and the learning never stops.
It’s the same with business, the only way to get started, is to get started - you will continue to learn, and grow and evolve, technologies will change, systems and processes will change, the tax system might change, the algorithm will change - you will always be learning, adapting, there is unlikely to be any course that is going to give you every answer you seek and fully equip you with whatever it is you need to actually get in and do the thing.
It is unlikely you will make a mistake so big you won’t be able to recover from it - just get in and get started, build your confidence from taking the action.
There really is no such thing as ready…
You just have to make a decision, be courageous, how badly do you want it, are you willing to get uncomfortable.
And you just have to make it happen, now. Take one small step, no waiting until Monday, start when inspiration strikes. You won’t regrete it.
The second lesson is: Don’t let anyone who’s never tried, tell you it can’t be done - and other similar stories of course.
When you’re telling someone about your big and scary dream, the thing you’re dreaming of doing, the life you want to create for yourself, you might start hearing things like:
It’s really expensive to start a business
Did you know 4 out of 5 small businesses don’t make it out of the first year
The market is saturated
You won’t make any money in your first year of business
You can’t do that yourself…
And whatever else they might throw at you - these are some of the ones I’ve been told and some I’m sure I have probably told and convinced myself also….
These are limiting beliefs, these are what people have told themselves is not possible for them, and they probably don’t think it’s possible for you either.
You might have even heard these are a kid, I know I did, I remember hearing stories about how hard running a business was or how much money you need to start a business. So many of our beliefs and values are formed before we’re even 7, some up to about the age of 12 - if you grew up hearing these things it’s true you might believe them too or you might have this really strong desire to start a business, like I did, and while one part of you believed it was possible there was just another part of you that couldn’t shake these fears or limiting beliefs.
You might even find the people saying these things are the ones you love and trust, and they are not saying them to upset or hurt you - they truly believe these things and they think that by telling you these things its going to protect you and keep you safe..
Our brains are hardwired for safety and security, and it can be very easy to take the thoughts and opinions and limiting beliefs on of others. Whoever is telling you these things simply believes these are facts and truths and it’s just the way it is and until they’ve done the work themselves, or until they see you crushing it - their minds will be very hard to change.
Open yourself up to the possibility, whenever someone tells you
That’s really hard, remind yourself that you can do hard things and are capable of whatever you put your mind to
It’s too expensive - you are resourceful and you will find a way
You can’t do that - you can do anything you choose to
And that’s what it comes down to, choice! That’s the belief they have chosen, and now it’s up to you to choose the belief that best suits you.
Unfortunately our identity can really become quite wrapped up in what we think others think of us, and when we hear these negative beliefs, people saying things like ‘most small businesses fail’ we can start to tell ourselves that these people are judging us for trying, or they think less of us, or they don’t believe in us.
But the only person that has to believe in you, in you.
Do not take on the limiting beliefs and negative thoughts of others - their beliefs don’t have to be yours, look at all the people doing all of the amazing things they are trying to tell you are impossible…
If there is someone else out there doing what you want to do this is proof that it is possible, if it’s possible for them it’s possible for you - let that be the proof that what you want is possible, you can have it, you can do it.
And last but not least - this was probably one of my biggest lessons of all…
And that is - The best strategy will struggle to work with a crappy mindset
I learned this the hard way…. When I opened my first business in 2015 I was all about the strategy. I pushed and I pushed, I was also consulting a few days a week and would then work on my own business in the evening often staying up until around midnight only to get up the next morning and do it all again.
I felt like I was working my arse off, and people could see me working and from the outside I looked quite successful, my online following was a decent size, I had great brands, I’d been involved in a few great collaborations and things looked to be going well.
But I was constantly burned out, I was tired, I was over it, I was doing things for the sake of doing them because it’s what other people were doing or it was the advice I was given.
I lost sight of my vision, I became a slave to social media posting several times per day and I lost the joy in what I was doing.
I didn’t take care of myself, I didn’t take the time to enjoy what I was doing, I was afraid to be seen and in the whole time the store was open I showed my face on my Instagram feed twice.
I was so wrapped up in self doubt and fear, and of course what I now know is perfectionism, I was busy all the time but I wasn’t achieving the things I really wanted to.
I was scared to use my voice, be seen, be heard, to be vulnerable.
I procrastinated and did the things I knew I could easily do and ignored the things I was stuck on
I was so scared of judgement and old colleagues and friends seeing the full extent of what I was doing and I allowed that to rule what I would show for about the first 2 years.
I went back into the personal development work that actually got me to take the leap into my own business in the first place, I started devouring personal development content and lessons and it became the daily for me, Podcasts, books, video and then eventually into my own NLP training and certifications.
So today yes I have a strategy and I have goals and I am working towards something, but when things seem hard or they’re not going the way I hoped I turn inward and work out what is bothering me or why, I look at what I can do differently, how I can approach things differently. I listen to my own intuition and I never do something for the sake of it or because some guru told me I have to if I want to be successful.
We have to be willing to work on the things that are keeping us stuck, truly look at what’s holding us back, we cannot blame others when things don’t go our way instead we need to take responsibility and do the work ourselves, on ourselves, for ourselves.
And so although this isn’t one of my official lessons I was going to mention today, the other thing I want to say is I believe at times, you really need to turn inward and discover what it is you actually want, what makes you happy, what is it that is going to drive you, who do you want to be, what do you want to be know for, what is the impact you want to make, and go from there.
And so, to recap, Three Things I know now that I wish I knew then….
1 There is no amount of learning you can do that will magically bring you the confidence you actually need to take the action.
2 Don’t let anyone who’s never tried, tell you it can’t be done - and other similar stories of course.
3 The best strategy will struggle to work with a crappy mindset
And with that, I might just leave it there today!
I really hope you enjoyed this episode, if you did I would absolutely love for you to please take a screen shot and share it on socials, don’t forget to tag me so I can show you some love.
And I would also like to mention, I have just opened up my new 1:1 Business Mentoring packages, so if you would like to work with me for 3 or 6 months, or even if you’d like a single session, which is a 90 minute session followed by a week or voxer text support, please head to my website, it’s kristypask.com/coaching - all the details are there and you can contact me directly from the website.
And of course, you can find me over on Instagram too, it’s just @kristypask
Thank you again for joining me today, I look forward to chatting to you again soon.
Links and resources:
Learn more about my 12 week, 1:1 coaching program: The Holistic Marketing Method
Connect with me on Instagram: @kristypask
Book in a 1:1 single session with me here.