Screwing up makes you better

You can think about something for days on end. That new idea can be mulled over, viewed from different angles and perspectives ad infinitum.

None of that will help you do it better.

Whether it’s showing up online, creating a new offering, coaching for the first time or tying your damn shoes, we must do the thing – experience it – in order to improve.

Many women entrepreneurs think and think and think. Mistakenly believing it will help them execute. It’s safe (free of judgement of others) in your head. You can practice endlessly, spin your thoughts, and no one is the wiser.

The problem? Science has actually proven that it’s not until you have the guts to try something and practice over and over that you actually improve.

Doing the thing, making a mess, screwing up royally? That’s where the power is.

Ergo, your willingness to fuck up makes you better.

Your willingness to be brave? Catapults you.

When I started writing, I was in high school, about 15 years old. And I sucked. Sure, I had moments of genius, fragments to hang achievements on. But they were nothing, comparatively speaking, to what I produced as a reporter and copy writer.

When I began my career as a journalist and editor? I was okay. Better than in high school, but not the writer I am now. And every day that I continue to write, experiment, play with words, make a mess, also makes me better.

My willingness to fail has been my road to success.

When you care more about improving yourself than what other people might think, you will succeed. It’s inevitable.

When you do it, instead of thinking about it, you exponentially speed up your learning curve and put yourself on the path to achievement.

In The Talent Code, author Daniel Coyle talks to the chair of psychology at UCLA about this very thing. Robert Bjork says one real attempt at doing something – allowing yourself to try and fail – is more useful than several hundred observations.

“We think of effortless performance as desirable, but it’s really a terrible way to learn,” he said. “Things that appear to be obstacles turn out to be desirable in the long haul.”

Perfection is for losers.

I talk a lot about fear and how it keeps us small.

After all, if you don’t try, you won’t fail and no one will judge you for your mistakes.

It also means you stay where you are. And if that’s not where you want to be, the answer is doing something else.

I believe if we don’t have what we want, we’re holding it away from ourselves. More often than not, it’s because our subconscious is protecting us. Sounds crazy, right? Our brain battling us when it comes to our goals and dreams?

But think about it.

You want money and don’t have it. You run an online business but don’t show up to let people know you have offerings to sell. The two are clearly connected. (Ninety-nine percent of the women I work with do this.)

Ask yourself what you’re afraid of. Why is showing up online so scary? People might judge you, not agree or like what you have to say, ridicule you, complain that you post too much, and on and on.

So what?

Maybe they will and maybe they won’t.

The point is thinking about showing up online won’t make you better at posting or more comfortable with it. But doing it will.

Be willing to stop, stumble and figure it out. A microsecond of struggle makes a lifetime of difference.

In The Talent Code, Coyle calls it practicing deeper.

I call it fucking up to make money.

Your mistakes make you smarter.

So what are you thinking about (instead of doing) right now?

What can you screw up today to further your goals?

My challenge to you is to go make a mess in the name of progress.

Forget everyone and everything else. Create single-minded focus on your goal and then DO SOMETHING to get it.

• • •

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An invitation to succeed

And why do you need an invitation to do something that’s your birthright?

Because many of you seem to have forgotten you can have it all.

You’re spending far too much time worried about others in your industry and not nearly enough improving yourselves and your business.

A bold statement, yes?

Here’s how I know:

On any given day, I receive emails and phone calls with words strung together that go something like this:

[insert name] said not to work with you. She said people are talking about how your clients don’t get results.

[insert name] asked why I would want to work with you instead of her. She said it was a big mistake.

[insert name] keeps asking me about our game plan for my business. She said she has better ideas than you.

Let’s put aside for a moment that most of these “[insert name]”s are women from my own community – women whose very careers I helped launch.

Let’s also put aside that the remainder of the “[insert name]”s are women I’ve never spoken to and, often, never even heard of.

I’ll get right to the point.

I launched this business and my collective Facebook communities (now in excess of 12,000) to create an army of women who have each others’ backs.

The goal was, is and always will be to have positive and supportive spaces for women all the time – and I’m hyper-vigilant about keeping them that way.

I don’t believe in competition. I never have. Five billion people are on the internet. If you can’t find a client who resonates with your message – without trashing another coach – then the problem is you.

The fact remains women entrepreneurs who struggle to get traction in their online businesses come to me to fix that. They come to my Facebook groups to be surrounded by like-minded women who will help them. They want to know they aren’t alone and that it’s safe to talk about their struggles.

So if you’re in my groups or on my email list and you don’t have anything nice to say…

…kindly get the fuck out. Now.

Don’t flood my inbox with bullshit.

I don’t care about gossip, hearsay or any negativity really.

And neither should you.

This represents a much more troubling and over-arching theme among women – one I will continue to tackle head-on as long as I live.

I mean, it’s a sad state when women who came together to support one another start tearing each other down. I could wax philosophical all day about patriarchy and how society sets us up to fail by making sure women do this very thing. But I’m guessing you’ve heard it all before and just forgot.

I could lecture on the concept of “divide and conquer,” but again I’m sure you’ve heard about that as well.

And given that you already know society expects women to eviscerate one another, why not take a step back and ask why you continue to participate.

What’s so scary about a woman’s success that makes you come out with claws extended?

Do you not understand that every woman’s success before yours blazes a fucking trail to make it easier for all women?

Don’t you get that by trashing your colleagues, you make yourself look petty and small?

Why are you helping society perpetuate the myth that women cannot lead because they’re too busy comparing, fighting and trying to out-do one another?

Allow that to sink in. Really. Absorb it.

Every second you spend on that is time taken away from bettering yourself.

When you process that and see it as true, your business will grow, your mindset will improve, you will have more clients and make more money.

And you’re better than trash talk, aren’t you?

This is an extraordinary time to be a women entrepreneur. Look up the statistics. See whose ahead of the game in online business. (It’s not men.)

Give yourself permission to be yourself. Dissolve the fear that makes you attack other women. Delete the programming that leads you to believe someone else’s success means your failure.

You are me and I am you.

When you understand that, you will succeed.