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.
Annette from Bright Academy came to me as she was in the process of setting up an online part, a digital storefront for an already 25+ years successful physical business in the cleaning industry.
In talking with Annette, she showed a deep-seated passion for changing the "low skill, low reward, low pay" narrative that is very common about the cleaning industry + show that it's actually a space for new businesses to thrive.
Through Bright Academy she knew she could reach more people, teach more people + provide the means to shortcut the learning curve for young people thinking about starting a cleaning business of their own or who are in the beginning stages of their cleaning business.
The physical, brick-and-mortar side of her business had grown to where it is now in their target market, but for practical reasons it didn’t make sense to grow it even further.
That’s why Annette had the idea of starting up a digital storefront for Bright Academy. The cleaning services she offered may have been in geographically-restricted area, but there are no restrictions on offering digital products.
But when Annette came to me she felt behind, she dealt with perfectionism, not feeling good enough + imposter syndrome. She questioned whether she could pull off setting up this new part of her business and growing it to where she envisioned it to go.
So, that’s where I came in.
Through my Ditch Perfect + Take Action coaching program I worked with Annette to help her come up with a personalized action plan to tackle her inner perfectionist that was holding her back AND make her big creative idea of starting a digital storefront for her business a reality.
There are 3 core beliefs to my coaching work that I’ve seen to make a difference for my clients + that have helped them long after our time working together has ended:
/ 1 / Most business resources give you generalized business or marketing advice or basic strategies and that’s where it stops. But I believe that you have to focus on the mindset side of being a creative business owner too - perfectionism, fear, self-doubt, overwhelm - in order to make creative projects a reality in a sustainable way for both yourself *and* your business.
/ 2 / I believe in treating not just the symptoms but also the cause (so to speak) by addressing the real issues that are at play + that are holding you back from moving forward. That's why I always do foundational work in my coaching, which helps you tackle the underlying issues and fears you’re facing, change your coping mechanism + adopt a new anti-perfectionism way of thinking.
/ 3 / My third core belief about coaching is that I don’t have THE answer which offers a solution to ALL things for ALL people. As a coach, it’s not my job to have all of the answers. It’s my job to bring my expertise, experience + energy to the table. It’s my job to listen, to ask good questions, to show compassion, to use the tools and gifts and strengths I have available to me to help you bridge the gap between where you are now and where you want to be.
During our coaching call we uncovered the mindset blocks that were holding Annette back: aside from her perfectionism-induced procrastination, she also struggled with people pleasing, controlling and not being able to let go, imposter syndrome + a deep fear of being the face of her business.
Together we created a personalized action plan for creating the paid and free content for Bright Academy.
Annette’s main priorities for her free content were starting a blog and Instagram account + building out her existing Facebook page. Annette’s passion about changing the false "low skill, low reward, low pay" narrative about the cleaning industry (‘myths and misconceptions’) by showing the reality of what’s possible through Bright Academy (‘behind the scenes’), turned out the be, in fact, perfect content categories for her blog.
For her paid content, Annette decided to focus on creating her courses first (one at a time and one step at a time!) + her idea for a coaching program or mastermind would follow later.
The fears that came up when working on creating her content for Instagram (“I have to show my face, help!”), Annette could manage with the help of the tips and tools I provided in our coaching call + in the foundational ‘Ditch Perfect’ lesson program that she worked through each week.
Let me show why I am *so* proud and in awe of Annette + the inner and outer shifts she's made in herself and in her business.
She was stalling and procrastinating on doing the work to actually create new courses and now I see 3 courses live and 1 coming soon.
The feedback: what Annette has to say
I cannot stop talking about how far Annette has come since our time working together + how much it means to me to see her bring out her creative ideas and introduce them to the world.
But let’s hear from Annette herself. When I presented her with all of the achievements she’s made in the last few months (because it’s sometimes really hard to see how far we’ve come for ourselves!), this is what she had to say:
“You’re totally right!! When I look back a few months, that’s exactly where I was and I was so afraid to push forward. Thank you for your help, Wendy. It was so helpful to get an understanding of what it is that was keeping me stuck, how it showed up for me, and what I needed to do to move through it. I honestly still sit a lot in the feeling like I’m not doing near enough to look up yet, but that’s an old habit I have. I know now that’s my inner perfectionist talking and I’ve got her handled.”
I hope this in-depth breakdown of what working with a perfectionism coach looks like + what it can do for your creative business was helpful for you, no matter where you are in your creative business right now.
Whether you’re considering working with a coach or not, I hope this case study gave you a boost of inspiration + encouragement that your big creative ideas, even the ones you’ve been dreaming about for a long time, can become a reality, too.
Annette’s story just shows the power of coaching and mentoring and how much it helps to have someone to share your struggles and fears with. After you voice those fears and struggles and actually say them out loud, for maybe the first time, it's like a weight lifted from your shoulders, propelling you forward.
And the accountability, the email check-ins + the idea of putting in effort where you've put down money is really helpful as well.
If, after all of this, working with a perfectionism coach sounds right up your alley and my Ditch Perfect + Take Action coaching program is a great fit for you, I’d love to work together to come up with a personalized action plan to help you ditch perfect + make your big creative idea happen. Find out more about working together + get in touch with me to book a free discovery call here.
Hey, Wendy here!
As a perfectionism coach, I help online creatives #ditchperfect, overcome their perfectionism + take action on the big ideas they have for their business. Let’s work together and make those ideas happen.