making imperfect progress when you feel stuck
How many of you have a project, idea, or some other task that’s been rolling around in your mind for weeks, months or years? You want to tackle this “thing” but you aren’t sure where to start. You’ve tried to begin the process but hit roadblocks. You feel discouraged and don’t have all the answers. Basically, you’re completely stuck. Sound familiar to any of you? It does to me! Matter of fact, that state of being I just described has been the last year or so of my business! Join me as I share how I moved through my rut.
recognize that you’re making excuses
I have a select list of podcasts that I like to listen to on a weekly basis. I’m pretty picky about the shows I subscribe to because I have a tendency to feel VERY overwhelmed after listening to some of them.
One that I like in particular is Amy Porterfield’s Podcast called “Online Marketing Made Easy”. Amy has an easy-to-follow style that is very sequential in nature. Being a Concrete-Sequential thinker myself, I tend to gravitate to well-organized speakers, and Amy fits the bill!
She recently did a podcast episode centering around an excuse that many small business owners often make when it comes to making progress. Essentially, it’s that we feel like we can’t start something new until we understand it completely and have all our questions answered. If there’s just one part of the process we don’t know how to do, we don’t start and we stay stuck.
You can listen to the full episode here.
Amy used an example of implementing a bonus structure in her business for her employees. It made me feel SO GOOD knowing a super successful businesswoman like Amy Porterfield struggles with feeling stuck too! Her vulnerability in sharing her own struggles helped me realize that I had been making excuses in my Eight Hundred Furniture-sized world too.
My eight hundred furniture-sized excuses
One of the places where I had been feeling stuck was setting up an online store. I didn’t know how to set up WooCommerce on my site. Most of the settings were a complete mystery to me. I had no idea how to set up shipping let alone decide which shipping provider to use.
My online shop idea rolled around and around in the back of my head for months. I had every intention of setting one up, but I let the excuse that I didn’t know where to start slow me down.
Another place I’ve been stuck has been learning how to spray furniture with my Earlex 5500.
Yep, you read that right. There is a paint sprayer in my workshop right now. I took it out once, tried spraying, messed it up and then let the sprayer sit unused for months. In my head, I knew it would increase my productivity and cut down on my labor hours. But did I take the time to learn how to use it? No. I let myself stay stuck and didn’t move forward trying to learn this new skill.
how to move forward when you feel stuck
So how do you move past that point where you feel stuck? Amy shared in her podcast that the key is to move forward imperfectly. Essentially, make imperfect progress.
Let me share that again…
Doesn’t that feel so good to read? Did you feel a slight leap in your heart just now? Did your shoulders drop a little bit as some tension let out? I know when I first heard this, I felt like someone had waved a magic wand and given me permission I felt I didn’t have before.
We live in a world that is saturated with advertisements and polished perfection. As business owners, we want to roll out products and packages that are ready to go. We don’t want to give anything less than perfection to the world. But that’s not reality. We are so used to seeing beta tests, 2.0 versions, updates and tweaks to everything from apps on our phones to Facebook layouts. If everything around us is constantly moving forward and tweaking, why can’t we?
moving forward imperfectly
Now that I’ve shared my areas where I felt stuck, how have I been making imperfect progress these past few weeks?
For starters, I opened my website in WordPress and hit the “get started” button on the WooCommerce setup wizard. I had no idea what the next screen would look like or what it would require from me.
I took some time to nose around and get familiar with the things I would need to load into the platform. There were plenty of settings I didn’t know anything about, but there were just as many that I could handle on my own. I uploaded product photos, added prices, weighed things and added descriptions. When it came to shipping, I did a ton of research and had conversations with friends who do the same thing I do.
It took me hours of work, but about a week ago, I finally launched my online shop.
It’s not perfect and I don’t have everything loaded in there that I would like. But you know what? This is my beta version. I moved past the point of having no shop to having some e-commerce option on my website.
What about spraying furniture?
Well, this past week, I grabbed a few pieces that needed primer and a fresh coat of stain. I watched the DVD that came with my sprayer again to make sure I knew what all of the gizmo’s did. And then I just….did it.
Again, my results weren’t perfect. I ran out of product for one project. I got some sputtering and overspray on another. But you know what? I did it. And the best part is that if I mess up a piece to the point it’s not sellable, I can sand off the bad parts and try it again. After all, it’s just paint.
so how about you?
How are you feeling right about now? Are there any tasks, ideas, goals or projects that have been rolling around in your head for weeks or months that you have been putting off because you feel stuck too? Do you feel a bit more encouraged to try to move forward imperfectly? I sure hope so! Drop me a line in the comments below and share if this post has stirred up anything in your heart.