I asked a question recently in my private Uncaged Lifers Facebook group about whether you’d choose perfect fulfilling work, or freedom and lifestyle, if you had to choose.
Would you rather have a job that was kind of “meh”, where the work wasn’t particularly fulfilling, if it gave you tons of freedom to work from anywhere with lots of time off OR would you rather have a super rigid job that works on someone else’s schedule, but be doing work that absolutely fulfilled you?
(FYI – Most people said lifestyle).
I asked this question because it comes up a lot for me when I see people trying to come up with THE perfect all encompassing business idea – the one that is perfectly in line with their values and their message and their lifestyle and their wants and needs.
And while I DO believe you can have both – work you love and lifestyle you love (and actually being able to make money) – I often see people making the work part of it SO precious that they will never feel satisfied. They think they have to come up with THE perfect business idea before they can move on (which leads, as you might imagine, to procrastination, self doubt, and basically getting nowhere). Which means they are unwilling to let go of their ideals (and ideas) and actually create something marketable. Just because you love you idea and think it’s great, doesn’t mean people will buy it.
Not everything is precious.
I first heard this line from a client of mine last year who is an artist. One of her art teachers once said this to their art class, indicating that if you put SO much stock in making the work you do perfect, holding it so near to your heart that it will never be good enough, you will suffer and your art will suffer.
And I believe that the same goes for business. Not everything you create is precious. Come up with an idea that feels pretty good, and get out there and make it happen.
Yeah, sure, I think we all have something about us that is special, and that we can create a business that is in line with who we are and what we’re all about. But if you’re waiting for your business to perfectly incorporate every single bit of your personality+quirks+passions+lifestyle+interests+hobbies+beliefs+values, if you’re not willing to move forward until you feel totally 100% clear that this is THE perfect business for you for the rest of your life – you’re fooling yourself.
I have yet to met anyone who has come up with an idea and stuck with it. No one. Not even me.
Things shift and change. Ideas mould and form and expand. And where you start will never be the same as where you end. Ever. Once you dig in, you might find that what you are trying to sell is way too vague, broad, or confusing for the people you are trying to market to.
Not every idea is precious. Not every idea will actually be something people want to buy. And you need to be willing to change what you’re doing to fit your market’s wants and needs. You need to be flexible about your offers and your ideas. If you cling to them too tightly, you may just find yourself climbing for dear life to business ideas that are not working. And the longer you cling, the harder it is to let go.
Sometimes, just making money doing something that feels pretty easy and fun to you, is enough. Not everything has to a manifestation of your life purpose, defined.
You don’t have to come up with a world shattering idea that only YOU can deliver. (In fact, I highly recommend you don’t try to do that. No need to reinvent the wheel, and it’s likely if you’re creating something totally new that no one has ever heard of or experienced, you’re going to have a hella hard time selling it).
Think about it. You could be slugging it out in an office, working for someone you loathe doing work you cold care less about. Or you could be working for yourself, on your own terms, doing work that you do actually kinda care about.
Which are you going to choose?
Dumb question right? Clearly, doing something you actually care about, for people you care about is WAY better than chumping it out at the job you couldn’t give a crap about. Even if the work you care about isn’t your ideal perfect dream job, it’s still a step in the right direction.
I think part of the problem comes from all the stuff that gets spewed out on the internet about creating work that fuels your PASSIONS. We are led to believe that we always beed to be striving for perfection, that we shouldn’t settle for anything less. And this puts a ton of pressure on us to figure out THE perfect thing. And when we can’t figure that out, we feel stuck and we don’t get anywhere.
We need to stop making everything so precious.
I certainly don’t feel like Uncaged is the PERFECT business for me. It’s getting there, and it’s always a work in progress. And when I started, I DEFINITELY didn’t have a crystal clear idea of what I wanted to do or where it was going to lead me. I just knew I needed to start something.
Please. I beg you. Take the pressure off yourself for everything to be perfect. If you want to do work you care about and have the lifestyle you want, you have to start somewhere and possibly sacrifice some of the pieces at first. You will continue to create a better and better version of your business as you go along.
And think about this: What if it will never be perfect? What if you will always be striving to refine something, to change something, to make something a better fit? If that’s the case, and there is no perfect endpoint, wouldn’t you rather get started now rather than waiting indefinitely for things to feel “just right”?
Think about it. And tell me what you think in the comments below.
And if you like this post, share it using the social media buttons below. I have a feeling there are a lot of people out there who need to hear this message.