Confessions of a Perfectionist Procrastinator
If one is called to teach what one needs to know more fully — taking quick, definitive action is the topic of my soul. Analysis-Paralysis has been the abiding sin of my adult life, right along the need for perfection.
My official, Pleiades Publishing Services business card title is, Research Analyst and Web Content Developer…I am, by nature and inclination, a thinker. To me, acting quickly and definitively feels like, Ready, FIRE, Aim!
Taking action before everything is just PERFECT really makes me really uncomfortable…unfortunately in business NOTHING is ever “Just Perfect!”
If you have ever read the Confessions of St. Augustine, you know that as a youth Augustine lived a hedonistic lifestyle. It was during this period, before he earned his “Saint Spurs”, that he uttered his famous prayer, “Grant me chastity and continence, but not yet” [da mihi castitatem et continentiam, sed noli modo] (Conf., VIII. vii (17)).
The mature St Augustine was a great teacher because he had been such a great sinner in his youth. Given my own long history of Analysis-Paralysis, and the many lessons learned from my both my SBDC clients and my design firms customers, we have a great deal to discuss, or like St. Augustine, a great deal to confess…
Waiting for the perfect word or phase — Not a Good Thing
As a professional writer, as well as a business owner, I have often sought just the “right” words, the perfect phases to set the tone for a piece of marketing literature. I’d spend hours, days perfecting my marketing materials. I might not feel confident about my grasp of the subject matter, so I’ll read books and take classes. I’d check out competitors web sites to determine the best market positioning. Then I’d structure the whole marketing campaign, in rough draft…writing sales letters, producing brochure layouts, and composing website copy. I’d choose a color scheme that matched the look and feel of the corporate branding. I’d burn through hours, days or weeks of precious, market-launch time, and during the whole experience i’d feel wildly productive. I was DOING! But very little of the time was “Billable.”
Well bless my heart, like too many other self-employed professionals, I had mistaken all this ‘wordsmithing’, this ‘busy-ness’ for productive action.
In business, nothing has happened, until something has been sold, and paid for.
Obviously, the words we use to market our businesses are important and deserve our attention. Crafting the perfect marketing message and delivering a marketing message in a timely manner isn’t the same thing.
As an SBDC counselor, I worked with clients, who like me before them, had been hypnotized into inaction by the shiny sheen of perfection. You are not alone. We’ve all shared those marketing moments when we have just not been fully conscious.
Over the next several Blogs we will discuss some case studies of common marketing faux pas and some tips that will make your marketing literature an effect part of your complete marketing plan.