This February, I have a very special date on my calendar:
Fifty Shades of Everything Day.
FSOED is a semi-annual tradition. I get together with two of my bestest girlfriends. We watch the latest Fifty Shades of Grey movie. We squeal with glee at all the steamy scenes. We toss popcorn into our mouths and gape at the big screen. Then we get foot massages, go out for dinner, devour mushroom-pesto ravioli and discuss All Of Our Feelings about the movie. This takes several hours, obviously.
Basically: it’s the best day of the year.
Why am I mentioning all of this? To make you incredibly jealous? No.
I’m bringing up Fifty Shades—the books, the movies, the empire—because it’s a fantastic example of why “perfection” isn’t necessarily required in order for something to be “a smash-hit success.”
Is Fifty Shades a “perfect” book series? Nope. Some argue that it’s nonsensical, derivative, poorly written, and contains the emotional depth of a puddle of pancake batter. No one is claiming that it’s a “perfect” work of literary art. Yet, it has connected—powerfully—with billions of fans.
Every month, I hear from so many biz owners who feel terrified about publishing blog posts, sending out newsletters, and releasing e-books and courses because… “it’s not perfect yet.” They’re petrified that their work might contain a typo. They’re worried that their logo or product/service name isn’t “just right.” Most of all, they’re worried that their work, fundamentally, is just “not good enough.”
This type of anxiety can paralyze you in your tracks. You can fuss, fret, and spellcheck forever and ever, always finding something new to “fix,” never attaining the “perfection” that you’re chasing. It’s a futile quest.
And here’s the ironic twist: while you’re chasing MORE perfection, the people in your business audience—your clients, customers, and fans—might actually be craving LESS perfection. They might want to see the real, raw, unfiltered version of you—not a bleached out, immaculate, photoshopped version of you.
I did a Facebook Live video recently—my first one, ever—broadcasting directly from my home office. Nothing fancy. It was just me and my webcam. I wasn’t wearing makeup—because I typically don’t, unless it’s a special occasion—and afterwards, I was flooded with emails from people saying, “I loved that you didn’t wear makeup! It was so refreshing to see you like that. It made me feel like it’s OK for me to just ‘be myself’, too. Thank you!”
That experience reminded me that audiences love shiny, glitzy, polished, “perfect” content, BUT… audiences are hungry for “imperfection,” too. Imperfection makes you relatable, approachable, and interesting. Sometimes, imperfection makes you even more inspiring.
And, if we’ve learned anything from projects like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey, your work doesn’t have to be “a feat of staggering genius” or “completely perfect” in order to delight people, generate sales, and create total fan-pandemonium.
Be brave enough to share your imperfect self—and imperfect work—with the world.
You might be surprised by the tsunami of love that you receive in return.
PS. My awesome husband Gary Cassera just launched his podcast The Dog Entrepreneur! I’m so proud of him because he put this out and didn’t let perfection stand in the way of “good enough.” Even though it’s geared towards dog entrepreneurs, the advice is applicable to all biz owners (and dog lovers!) – the episode with JP Sears is a personal fave! Curl up and listen right HERE.