In the days before I relaunched my website in early 2015, I cried more than once on the phone to my brother. I was like a small, inconsolable child.
I'd done a really fun photo shoot with my photographer friend and was so excited to get them up on the website. Then I learned that Squarespace templates require landscape photographs and that 99% of the photos we'd done were portrait.
Over the next couple of weeks I spent hours, nay, DAYS, googling solutions, emailing Squarespace designers, hounding my brother, and generally getting myself in a very big tizz about these photos and how they couldn't be formatted the way I'd envisioned for the website.
I remember my brother eventually had to have a stern word with me. He said, "look, Leah, you can't have these the way you want them. That's all there is to it. And it really doesn't matter."
Then I hated him. Then I burst into tears. Then I accepted he was right. And then I let him do his very best with them, cropping them to the versions you see today.
Within a week of launching I'd mostly gotten over my upset.
And within a month I realised what a fool I'd been to waste so much time on something that really didn't make the slightest bit of difference to the bottom line of my business.
When you're starting out (or really at any time), it's very, very easy to get hung up on the stuff that doesn't matter. And eventually you look back and realise that all that time you spent on those things was a huge waste.
So let's make it clear today, shall we? So you can get on with the stuff that actually matters. The real work isn't:
- Getting your photos perfect on your website.
- Getting anything at all to look perfect on your website.
- Heck, even HAVING a website. One or two pages will do, to start.
- Pretty pictures for your blog posts.
- Rewriting your About page 20 times.
- Rewriting pretty much anything.
- Finding the perfect tagline.
- Getting a logo. I STILL don't have a logo. Gosh, I wonder why people are still signing up with me as clients and buying my programmes? Oh, I know, because the logo DOESN'T MATTER.
So what does the work look like? The real work is:
- Creating something that your audience can benefit from.
- Getting your message out into the world. Every day.
- Connecting with new people. Forming new relationships.
- Designing and creating a new programme or idea.
- Writing a sales page. And SHARING the sales page.
- Anything that will grow your community, either online or offline: guest posts, interviews, creating an ebook or something to share, going to events, running events.
I know having everything be perfect can feel like life or death. I know that. But please, please, please hear to this:
It isn't. And every minute and every hour you spend tweaking and refining and going over those things that really don't need going over, is another minute and another hour you'll never get back that you could have spent actually making a difference in your business. Making a difference to people. Just, making a difference.
So today, just ask yourself this:
Where am I spending time on the stuff that doesn't matter?
And then stop it. Just stop it. Because I promise you're going to look back in a few months or years from now and realise you could have made so much more progress if you hadn't been crying over having your legs cropped out of a photo.
Love and courage,