Dear Natalie: Should I Launch if it Isn’t Perfect?

Gather ‘round the couch, awesome She Takes on the World readers!

I’m back for yet another episode of Dear Natalie, where you submit all the questions you’ve been dying to ask me, about business, habits, life, money, and everything in between — and I answer, right here from my home in L.A.

Today, we’re talking about a topic very near and dear to my heart, which is also one of my biggest challenges: perfectionism.

(Is it weird I’m always so excited to talk about my shadow side…? Oh well!)

Today’s question comes from the wonderful Tricia, who writes:

“Dear Natalie,

I’m a serial entrepreneur and I’ve started a couple companies successfully. I built my businesses through word of mouth referrals only. I don’t have a website right now… but I do have an “almost site”.

I have say almost because I’ve had photoshoots, I’ve hired designers and copywriters, but there are still things I don’t like. I’m your stereotypical type A perfectionist.

I want to do a new photoshoot now because there are thing about the shoot I don’t like, and I never feel like the words and graphics are good enough. I look at other people’s sites (like yours) and it makes me think I should just keep working at mine to get it perfect.

I think I know what you’re gonna say already Natalie… but can you give me some advice on just putting it out there?”

As soon as I saw this question I couldn’t wait to answer it!

Because this isn’t just about perfection, people. This is about something much, much deeper and more powerful: fear.

Watch the video to check out:

  • 2:39: Why I chuckled to myself at the note that you like my website
  • 4:59 How a recent photoshoot taught me a huge lesson about perfection
  • 8:19: A critical thought to turn over that might just change your whole perspective on perfection
  • 9:01 Why I’ll never tell you to launch “when you’re ready”

Now it’s your turn, awesome entrepreneur!

I’m sure you’re grappling with your own challenges — including perfectionism, and the fear of being seen.

What’s your secret for pushing yourself to just “Do it anyway”?

I’d love to read your story below (I always read every single one!)

And oh hey: Have a question you’d love to see me answer here? Drop me a line at dearnatalie@shetakesontheworld.com – and I’ll see you over there.

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7 thoughts on “Dear Natalie: Should I Launch if it Isn’t Perfect?

  1. Dear Natalie,
    Thanks so much for sharing so much of you with this answer. Unlike you, i’m not a perfectionist. I tend to do what I like, when I like, how I like. Not a good way to run a website I’m learning. Like my website is about Opportunity and the designs are all pink roses which I love. The two don’t go together at all, but when I see the front page I’m inspired to share more of me and what I want others to learn about their opportunities. Will it work? I have no idea. I’m too new to blogging and will have to wait and see and learn. I’m enjoying the writing and learning about blogging and at 77-years-old, maybe that’s enough. It’s taken me a long time to learn, but now I realize that what we do in life has to bring us joy and pleasure and if that lesson can be passed on – that’s a lot.
    You showcase joy and pleasure in what you do and what you share with us. Keep doing it. We need to hear it.
    Love, Hugs, and Prayers,
    Nana Pennypockets

  2. Natalie,

    I get “access” to you and your lovely business brain a lot, since I’m part of the Conquer Club, but I want to say this video was exceptionally helpful. I know we have gone over some things like this in Office Hours, but for some reason this video really just clicked for me. I’ve been holding myself up from doing a really big project because of fear and worries about getting it “perfect.” The result – it has taken me 4 years to re-do my last webinar, because I want it to be 100% perfect! Akkk! I’m working on this, and understanding not everyone will love it, (maybe not even me), but it’s better than not doing it at all!!!

  3. Thank you, Natalie. I have been stuck at the starting gate for the last 2 years and I am finally breaking free of the need to be perfect. It is a painful process andI have found that putting myself out there feels like walking around naked. I am learning to trust in myself and embrace my inner power. This journey to be of service for others as a life coach is also a personal journey. I am learning so much about myself. I know that in order to keep growing personally, I need to put out products and content that might not be perfect.
    Thank you for helping me feel that I am not alone and motivating me to keep moving forward.
    Much love,
    Sarah

  4. Love it! Thank you Natalie. As the co-founder of a web design & development company, I’ve really been struggling these past couple of years with feeling like the internet has gotten really….if not “fake” then can we call is “over-polished?”

    I feel like what started out as grassroots business and marketing for so many (blogging about real life, showing others how to navigate paths we’ve already traversed., etc) over time has been overtaken by the “marketing” of it all. The high end photoshoots, expertly produced videos, graphic designers, professional copywriters – all these are great and I love that an industry is being reborn and giving platforms to new voices – but there seemed to be more focus on creating the PERCEPTION of being professional, high-end, experienced rather than on the substance of it all. The actual words of so many of “just be your authentic self!” “It doesn’t have to be perfect!” felt in conflict to me with the subliminal (or not so subliminal!) message of “but in the end it’s the high end look that makes or breaks you”. So, even though I just wanted to be able to turn on my webcam with messy hair and talk honestly and unscripted and share all of it, not just what’s polished, the truth is I’ve been really scared. Because we create powerful wordpress websites for a living and my fear has been that we are held to an even higher standard and if we don’t deliver with that level of production, we’ll look amateur, rather than authentic. I just want a photo of me, in a grey t shirt and jeans, making a stupid face showing my REAL LIFE and that I’m a real person. I don’t need or want to be on a pedestal, especially not for the sake of marketing. I want our clients to see us both as real people who don’t always have perfect days AND as professionals who will meet or exceed their expectations, and surprise and delight them.

    Oh my, sorry for the soliloquy! I share all that, a) to ask does that make any sense at all?!? but b) more importantly to give you some context as I and say THANK YOU!!! I LOVE hearing that you’re trying to strip away some of the “perfection” and just be real. I LOVE seeing you just chillin’ in front of the (web) cam answering questions without fancy production.

    I’ve been a subscriber for over a year (from when you first launched your 12 month incubator program in 2016(?) but have only recently started watching more of your videos and reading your posts as I’ve been decluttering all my subscriptions. You always share something that really speaks to me, where I’m at, where I’ve been and makes me feel even on my most defeated day like I’m still on the right track and can make bigger things happen.

    I can’t wait to see the new photos of you, and the new site! Such a teaser to mention them and not share at least one. 😉 I can’t wait to see what’s next… <3

  5. Thank you for sharing your heart on this topic, “fear” of perfection, Natalie! I’ve struggled with this fear for sooo long, and it’s the basis of why I often cocoon myself from others and the world. I grew up in a household where perfection “had” to be the norm and flaws were never spoken of as normalcy, even though the flaws were the norm in our house. So I’ve spent a lifetime trying to measure to that outlook of perfection.

    But it’s been the silent killer of dreams, relationships, but mostly me not being able to really live in myself, my heart trapped under all those unspoken expectations. I’m realizing those expectations are merely my own perceived expectations but very real, nonetheless. And it seems that judgment and shaming by family and friends has been the result of me living more flawed, so the repetitive cycle continues . . . but man, oh, man is overcoming this fear my hope, and more of my intention daily!

    Listening to your series this year and watching you live more in yourself gives me the courage to continue on in the journey of overcoming. So thank you for sharing your journey of moving toward more freedom with intention and encouraging us to do so as well!

    Love and hugs,
    Rebecca

    P.S. I’m reflecting on your question: “How would it feel to not have to carry this fear any more?” and feel the joy bubble up in me when I think about truly overcoming this fear, woot, woot!

  6. Thank you so much for sharing Natalie. Something you said struck me…the fear of being seen. I have struggled with perfectionism my entire life and I know it’s holding me back. I fear failure…and success. It’s an oxymoron! So I’m stuck and don’t seem to get anywhere it seems. I’ve probably started and abandoned my website about 5 times in as many years. I recently went through a rebranding and am hoping to actually finish the new site this year though! Thanks for your candor and I can’t wait to watch more.

  7. Love seeing you “stripped down” Natalie. You definitely have a different energy and it feels more inviting. You do a great job of just going with the flow and not being scripted. Very inspiring!! Looking forward to your new brand!
    Josie Grundy

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