This week James and I are off to San Francisco for a few days, and then we’re heading down to the coast to host our Mastermind ladies at their first retreat in Santa Barbara and finish off the trip with an event with Brendon Burchard in Phoenix. (Stay tuned for some behind the scenes updates and videos over the next few weeks!)
San Fran is actually a pretty nostalgic place for me because I’m always reminded of when I was first starting out in my biz and had scheduled some of my very first discovery calls with potential clients that didn’t quite go as planned…
During that particular trip – which my parents paid for because James and I couldn’t afford it – James talked me into riding bikes across the Golden Gate Bridge into gorgeous Sausalito.
Now, anyone who knows me well knows that I am so not a fan of cycling. But to make James happy I’d agreed ahead of time to join him for the ride, and even though I wasn’t thrilled when it came time to hop on the bikes, I went along with it.
Well, although the bike ride was beautiful, it ended up taking us much longer than expected (probably since I was less than enthused about it and had no intention of going faster than necessary).
I already had these two discovery calls lined up, and we were unexpectedly still on the other side of the bay on our bikes when the time for my calls was near – so I literally had to stop and sit on a random bench overlooking the bay to make those calls.
There were noisy birds and people bustling and boat sounds, but I couldn’t hold out for the perfect spot. I was new in my business, I didn’t yet have any clients and those calls were super important, so I had to make it work.
(And meanwhile poor James stood in the ferry line in the sun for over an hour waiting for my calls to finish up – he’s a trooper who ended up with a major sunburn!)
Taking those calls that day was terrifying and amazing all at once. Perfectionist Emily would’ve been frustrated with the setting for the calls not being totally quiet and perfect – but persistent Emily knew that waiting for perfection just wasn’t an option if I wanted to move forward in my biz. I had to do my best and figure out how to make those calls great even in less-than-ideal circumstances.
I learned a lesson in persistence that day – that sometimes circumstances aren’t going to line up as planned, but when you have a dream and a new biz, you simply have to do whatever it takes to move forward and make it work.
James and I were recently talking about how that period of time – that time when you’re just starting out – can be really scary. For so many people (myself included) there’s the temptation to put off taking any action until you feel like you have everything together – i.e. you have an amazing website, or your program details are totally hashed out, or you have a beautiful workspace to take calls, etc. And there’s a lot of fear that tells us that if we don’t have everything figured out, then it must mean we’re not ready.
But lovely, that’s simply not the case! Everyone who’s amazing at something was once a total beginner at it, and the only reason they’re now skilled and rockin’ it is because they didn’t wait on perfection – they took action and learned and grew as they went along.
There are times in your business when you just have to move forward despite things not being perfect (or even close to it!).
I didn’t really know what was going to happen with those calls that day in San Francisco. In fact, I didn’t quite know the direction my business was headed – I was still figuring lots of things out. But I did know how badly I wanted to get clients and grow my biz because it was my passion and I could help people.
And I knew that I had to keep putting myself out there and being persistent – even if that meant taking calls in the middle of a sweaty bike ride that I was less-than-enthused about! (One of the two potential clients did sign up so it was worth it.)
These days, any time I go back to San Francisco I’m always reminded of those calls on that bench, and how far I’ve come in my business since that time. And it’s a great reminder to me that taking action is what gets us to the next level – not perfection.
So if you’ve been holding yourself back by waiting for things to be perfect, isn’t it time to let that go?
You have to start somewhere, and just like anyone else who’s ever been new at something, you have what it takes to move forward, take action, and learn as you go along the path toward your dreams.
You’ve got this, lovely.
P.S. One of my recent I Heart Coaching grads who knew about this story just told me that she did the same thing while on vacation with her family last month. She took her calls in a not so convenient place, but ended up signing up a new client! She also mentioned that this was the first year she got to spend ten days on Spring Break with her kids instead of the normal five she got when she was still in her 9-5 job.