As a recovering ‘good girl’, I have a strong tendency towards perfectionism and following the rules, neither of which are particularly helpful when running your own business. So I’ve had to learn to get over my inner good girl.
She rears her head every now and again though and one of those times was recently when I was publishing a new book. In contrast to my first book, this one was a very different process. It only took me ten weeks from conception to releasing it out into the world. And my inner good girl fought me every step of the way!
Fortunately I’ve learned to listen to her respectfully and then move on anyway. But I see a lot of women in business being held back by their inner good girls, keeping themselves small and procrastinating on sharing their content, because they’re consumed with getting it ‘right’.
So, I’m sharing three key lessons that helped me move past my inner good girl and do it anyway.
1) You don’t have to reinvent the wheel
The inner good girl never believes that she, or what she’s achieved in the past, is good enough. She’s always striving for more and this means neglecting anything she’s already created.
When I was asked to write a book on money mindset, my first thought was ‘No way!’ I was already working on another book and had no desire to distract myself.
But I realised I had already written a lot about money. In fact, when I collated all my blog posts from the past three years, I had over 40,000 words.
Whilst my inner good girl was saying, ‘Nicola, if you’re going to do this, you need to create something new’, I realised there were plenty of golden nuggets in the words I’d already written. And by collating this content in one place, I was making it super-easy for my readers.
This didn’t stop me downplaying the book as I started to promote it though. When people mentioned they were looking forward to reading the book, my inner good girl needed them to know this was ‘just’ a collection of my previous articles.
Fortunately I noticed this downplaying and gave myself permission to celebrate the fact that although this book didn’t come together in the traditional way, I had still written each one of those 40,000+ words.
Over to you: Thinking about writing a book or creating a product? You don’t have to start from scratch. What content do you already have that you could package up relatively quickly and get it out there to your audience?
2) Done is better than perfect
I was very clear that I didn’t want my inner good girl’s perfectionism to stop me from getting my book out there. I see so many women holding back for fear of getting it wrong in some way. I wanted to show that you can take action quickly and create a great product without needing to have all the bells and whistles.
For me this meant taking a few short-cuts – using existing content, taking the risk of not hiring an editor or proofreader and using a designer on Fiverr to do the cover design (paying around $20 rather than the hundreds of pounds I paid for the cover of my first book).
The end result may not be perfect, but it’s certainly good enough.
Over to you: Give yourself permission to let go of perfectionism. No-one can read a book that you’re still working on because you’re determined to get it ‘just right’. Set yourself a deadline and get it out there. You can always come back to perfect it later.
3) Ask for help
I’m all about helping other women to open up to receive. A key part of this is asking for and accepting support.
I’ve not always been so good at this myself. The inner good girl thinks she’s got to do it all herself and it’s a sign of weakness to ask for help. To challenge this lack of receive-ability, I asked my community for help in spreading the word about my new book.
As women, we’re often great at giving support, but terrible at asking for for the help we need. The truth is that people love to help. You simply need to ask.
By asking for support, I had a launch squad of around 20 people rather than just me. And it was a more enjoyable process too.
Over to you: How can you allow yourself to be supported? When releasing a book you want as many people as possible to hear about it. Who can you ask to help you?
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