6 lessons learned from going full-time with my creative business

A little over seven weeks ago I took the biggest leap of my life. I gave up the safety of a steady paycheck and said ‘Hell yeah!’ to entrepreneurship. Before that, for exactly one year, I ran Ditch Perfect in addition to my full-time job.

The transition from employee to entrepreneur has been both exciting and terrifying. Looking back now, the biggest lessons I learned along the way are not about business or marketing or copywriting. No, the lessons I learned are mostly about myself, who I am, what my values are + how to manage my energy.

So, this isn’t a post about the steps you need to take to take your side hustle full-time. This isn’t about business.

This is about going through a significant life transition + the lessons learned along the way. Big life changes is something we all go through, so I’m sure you can relate.

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12 productivity excuses that hold you back in your creative business

Is this you? You have a big creative idea (a blog? a podcast? a book? a new service?) that you want to make happen. Yet, you fall victim to procrastination + not achieving the goals you set for yourself.

In this recent blog post I shared my view on productivity: what it really is and, more importantly, what it most definitely is NOT. Productivity isn’t the dirty word we’ve come to believe it is. Productivity isn’t cramming every minute of your day full with activities and things to do, so that you can call yourself ‘productive’.

I wholeheartedly believe that this is what it means to be productive:

“Productivity is the means with which you get to work towards fulfilling your purpose. It’s not about working harder, it’s about working purposefully.”

Woah! Read that again…

Yes, productivity without purpose is just busyness.

But before you even can get started with figuring out what it means to be purposefully productive + taking action on your big creative ideas, there’s something that needs to be addressed first. You need to get real clear on the excuses you’ve been telling yourself that have stopped you from being purposefully productive.

To make things a little easier on you, I’m going to list the 12 most common excuses about productivity here. Ready? Okay, let’s get started.

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A radically different way to look at productivity

Today, I’m setting the record straight.

Many of you have let me know that you struggle with procrastination, productivity + taking action on those big creative ideas you have for yourself and your creative business.

It’s a struggle I know all too well.

I know the shame of feeling like you’re not good enough and don’t measure up to those people that renovate their house AND write an entire book on a random Tuesday + make it all seem so easy. I know the guilt of feeling like you could’ve done more, more, more.

It’s procrastination, comparisonitis, and FOMO waiting to happen.

The way out of these feelings, for me, was when I started to redefine what it means to be productive. There’s a right way and a wrong way to look at productivity and it’s time to get really clear on what’s what.

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How my client moved from perfect procrastination to creating 3 courses in 3 months

Do you have a big creative idea in the back of your mind that you’d love to make a reality, but somehow you just can’t seem to get yourself together to get started on making it real?

As online creatives, we have a running list of creative projects we’d like to take on, sometime soon or maybe further down the line. Because hey… we’re dreamers + that’s just how our creative minds work.

But thinking about those big creative ideas - whether it’s starting a blog, launching a podcast, creating a new service, reaching out to those dream collaborators, or maybe even taking your creative side-hustle full-time - brings out a *lot* of scary feelings.

Perfectionism (“I’m not good enough + can’t do this perfectly!”)

Imposter syndrome (“Who am I to do this?”)

Approval seeking (“What will they think?”)

Fear of putting yourself out there (“I can’t show the real me. People will be put off!”)

Comparison (“They’re so much further along than I am. I’m so behind I can never catch up!”)

And this leads to perfectionism-induced paralysis + procrastination.

That’s exactly what my client Annette was struggling with when she contacted me about working together through my Ditch Perfect + Take Action coaching program.

And now, 3 months later, I’m just so in awe of Annette + so proud of how far she's come in the last few months: becoming the face of her business, creating a content marketing plan from scratch and implementing it AND creating 3 digital products for her community.

Let’s dig in a little deeper to see how Annette made the amazing progress she made.

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A perfectly imperfect story of ditching the hustle of perfectionism

Ditch Perfect’s mission and blog are pretty straightforward: helping creatives (aka YOU!) ditch perfect by providing the tools to overcome perfectionism once and for all, so that you can start taking action on your big creative ideas.

I talk a lot about perfectionism over here: what it is, how it shows up for us and hinders us along the way + what to do to start letting go of your perfectionism.

But I haven’t really shared before about the link between perfectionism and the culture of hustle, hustle, hustle that seems to be all the rage these days.

And believe me, perfectionism is a hustle. It’s hustling for perfection, for approval, for self-worth.

Perfectionism presents us with this vision that has us believing if we achieve perfection, THEN, and only then, we will finally be happy/successful/*insert your particular poison here*. We keep hustling for something that isn’t achievable because we want to achieve that one specific outcome that we believe is waiting for us across the finish line.

Setting aside the question of whether perfection is achievable or not, what perfectionism does is keep us stuck in this cycle of working harder + doing more. We keep chasing after and hustling for a thriving 6-figure business, a stellar career, a house with a white picket fence, the 2.5 children (all symbols of perfection as far as society is concerned) without thinking about whether those things are right for us or match our values and priorities.

The hustle of perfectionism… it’s something I’m deeply passionate about, as I believe it’s one of the ways perfectionism keeps us small.

That’s why I’m so excited to have gotten the chance to talk more in-depth about this topic on my friend Ruth’s blog over at The Anti-Hustle Project.

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