Episode 380: 5 Perfectionist Beliefs I Had To Release In Order To Build My Team

In today’s episode, I share 5 perfectionist beliefs I had to release in order to build my team. These beliefs stem from perfectionist thinking around tasks, team members, and other parts of our day to day business. They inform the decisions we make (whether we’re aware we believe them or not), and those decisions will then have a big impact on our business and clients.

These beliefs will also have us spending a lot of time on busywork and other things that aren’t the best use of our time. As perfectionist business owners, they can hold us back in so many ways.

If you are in the process of building your team and growing your business, listen in for the 5 beliefs I want you to be looking out for. Becoming aware that we believe them is the first step to changing them for yourself.

Find the full episode transcript and show notes at samlaurabrown.com/episode380.

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • The 5 perfectionist beliefs I needed to release in order to build my team
  • How these beliefs can impact your business long-term
  • Why perfectionists can delay delegating in the business
  • Why you don’t need to be 100% productive to begin hiring for your business
  • How releasing these beliefs helped me empower my team

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Hi, and welcome to another episode of The Perfectionism Project. A podcast full of perfectionism advice for entrepreneurs. My name is Sam Laura Brown, I help entrepreneurs release their perfectionism handbrake, so they can get out of their own way and build a fulfilling and profitable business. I’m the founder of the perfectionist getting shit done group coaching program, which is otherwise known as PGSD. And for even more perfectionism advice to help you with your business, you can follow me on Instagram @perfectionismproject.

Sam Laura Brown

In this episode, I’m going to be sharing five perfectionist beliefs I had to release in order to build my team. If you are in the process of building your team, whether that is with contractors and freelancers or part time and full time employees, or regardless of whether you are early on your business, you don’t yet have a team. These are beliefs that I just want you to be looking out for. Because these are beliefs that I have needed to work on during the growth of my business in order for my business and my team to grow.

And these are beliefs that really stem from perfectionist thinking about tasks and projects and team members and all different things like that. So it’s going to be really helpful for you just to be aware of these, and how they might be coming up so that you’re able to then work on them, and through them and not have them hold you back. Because when we are believing the beliefs that I’m going to be talking about in this episode, it will have us spending a lot of time doing things that aren’t the best use of our time, we will be doing busy work, or we’ll be spending time doing things that maybe a needle movers, but there might not be a needle mover for us to be doing personally anymore, it might be better to have a team member or someone else complete those things.

And there are just so many ways that it holds us back in business, you have these beliefs, as I shared, I’ve had all of them, I have had to work on all of them. And yeah, we’re just going to get into it. And you hopefully will be able to identify if one or all of these going through your brain at the moment, whether consciously or unconsciously. And having that self awareness really is the first step to being able to change those beliefs. And this is something that’s really important to be thinking about when it comes to growing your business that a lot of times when it comes to team building, we think about like, Okay, what questions to ask in an interview, and what position to hire for and all those different things.

And while those questions might be important and helpful, it’s also really important to recognize the underlying beliefs that we have, because those beliefs will inform the decisions that we make about who to hire and when to hire and what to give them and how to manage them. And those decisions have such a big impact on the growth of our business on the impact that our business is able to have on our customers and clients on our ability to hit our revenue goals, and all of those different things. These beliefs are really foundational to that, and to whether the business is really succeeding, or whether it’s not succeeding as much as you want it to be. So let’s get into it.

The first belief that I think is super common, and we hear this a lot is if you want the job done, right, you need to just do it yourself. And I think intellectually, a lot of times, we understand that perhaps it would be helpful in business, especially if you hear a lot about people talking about delegating, and outsourcing or all those different things, that it might actually be beneficial to have someone else do the task. And yet we can come back to this sort of, if I want the job done, right, I need to do it myself.

And I’ve particularly found this kind of belief going on, when it comes to things like social media or where my personal image is being shared publicly. It just I think that fear of judgment. So we know with perfectionism, it’s a strategy to avoid a shame. And it’s not that we’re necessarily scared of judgment itself, or failure or success. It’s that we don’t want to feel the shame that might come if any of those things were to happen. And so as it relates to this belief, if I want the job done right, I need to do it myself.

It kind of is like this idea of if I do the job myself, I have more control over the outcome and more control over the outcome being perfect or not imperfect, and therefore more control over whether or not I’m going to experience shame. So with for example, Instagram, that I have found myself at different times in the business, really spending too much time creating content, like overthinking it, overworking it, tweaking, perfecting, refining, and all those different things and being scared to outsource it and when I have outsourced it and gotten help from my team members with it, that I find myself still wanting to meddle in it.

And even though I’ve identified it’s not at this point anymore, a big needle mover for me to be spending much time on that specifically that I still feel compelled in many ways to do that, because it just feels like if I actually make sure that everything’s done, right, like, I need to do that myself. So it’s done in the way that I’m happy with. And then I’m portrayed in the way I want to be portrayed, and all of that. And it really is just my brain, freaking the fu*k out and isn’t actually grounded in really much truth, even though it can be challenging to see that because if you have always done it yourself, and maybe you haven’t had haters, or different things like that, it feels like Well, I’ve been successful at managing, how I’m perceived and things like that.

So I can’t put that in someone else’s hands. And also, if you’ve always been the one doing the job, or if you have delegated something, if you end up meddling in it and redoing it, this is something that I’m still working on resisting, or not resisting the urges. Allowing the urges to be there but not acting on them to change work and in different things like to yet change the work that people on my team have completed.

I’ve gotten so much better over the years, at delegating something and allowing that person to be empowered in that task, and to not be meddling with it. But it really is something I could be coming up this belief of if I want the job done, right, I need to do it myself. And the reality is that we end up being so limited in our business, if we have to do everything ourselves. And also, it’s not really acknowledging the fact that it’s very unlikely that in every area of business, whether it comes to marketing and sales operations, HR, like human resources, hiring people, that kind of thing.

All of the different things that go into a business, likely, or not your zone of genius, it’s most likely that you’re really excellent at one or two of those areas. And the other ones you might be competent in, but they’re really not your zone of genius, that if we are in this belief of if I want the job done right, I need to do it myself. Even though that gives us a sense of control, it means that we’re limiting the growth of the business because we have someone who isn’t the best person in that role, even though it feels like we are.

We just haven’t had our eyes opened to really see what it’s like to have someone else do it. And it’s like, it’s almost like with disbelief as well, we’re trying to compensate for not having the leadership and management skills, and the emotional maturity as well, the emotional toolset to be able to be okay with work not being done exactly the way you wanted to, or being done in a different way. And instead of just developing that skill set of the emotional management, the releasing perfectionism, all of that kind of thing, and leadership skills, that we just end up doing the work ourselves.

And our business suffers greatly because of it. And related to this is this second belief I want to talk about is it’s quicker if I just do it myself. And the number of times I have thought this. So many times, I definitely have found myself thinking like, oh, instead of hiring someone and training them, or instead of having to explain to this person how I want it done like it’s only a five minute task, it’s only a 15 minute task. It’s only a two minute task, our brain, you might already have realizes, tends to underestimate how long things take, and will only be focused on the short term, instead of thinking about the long term impact of us keeping that task on our plate or not articulating to someone we’ve hired how we want them to do it, or empowering them to do it in the best way possible, that it isn’t quicker ourselves quicker for us to do it ourselves.

It is It might feel quicker in the short term and easier and more familiar and less uncomfortable. But it’s definitely not quicker to jump in and do things and I’ve really had to do so much work on that. And my power planning has been so helpful with all of the beliefs that I’m talking about. Because I’ve really it’s really allow me to see the patterns and behaviors that I have when it comes to leading my team and delegating and noticing when I might have delegated something out and then I’ve got it back on my plate because I’m like no, no, actually we need to do it this way. It’s just having that awareness around it that has really allowed me to do the coaching and self coaching that has been needed.

On these beliefs, and we talk about a lot of this kind of thing, inside perfectionist getting shit done, so that you’re able to release your perfectionism handbrake and build a team that’s really going to be able to help you succeed. But just knowing like, just question if you’re having that thought of, it’s quicker if I just do it myself to just take pause and investigate that. There could be some kind of instance where that might be the truth. It’s quicker in the short term and the long term and it makes the most sense.

I’m going to talk about this more a bit in the next belief, about some ways that might not be true, but look at it at least question that assumption. And notice as well, like, if you don’t actually do the work to delegate it out to empower the person you’ve delegated it to, then how much time is it taking you every week, every year, and opportunity cost wise? What does that mean, you’re not spending time on that you could be spending time on and also just noticing as well that even if it’s just a quick five or 10 minute task, or whatever it is, that you’re then having to be out of whatever task you are doing.

And jumping into that task, there’s more task switching in your day, it is going to be more challenging to do the deep work that’s required for you to do to grow your business or courageous work and all of that, that if we’re just like doing things, because it’s quicker for us to do it, that’s not actually what creates a successful and profitable business. Which leads me to the third belief I want to talk about, which is, I can do this myself. So I should do this myself, I want to say this one. And the next one had probably been the biggest one to me that I’ve had to work on this idea of I can so I should. And so specifically how that has looked for me.

A recent example is with hiring a marketing manager. And up until that point, always doing the marketing for the business myself. And I’ve had different contractors and things like that, that I’ve worked with over the years, but I have been the marketing manager, leading the way with the marketing strategy, creating the marketing materials, like really doing a lot of that. And, and I was doing that because I thought I should do that. Because I could like I did have some competence around doing that.

Because I had invested in learning about marketing since basically the beginning of the business that I had, like, I wasn’t hiring anyone else, I didn’t get the self image to hire anyone else, or even like enough self belief to think that that was something that I could do. And so I was doing everything myself in the business. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But it’s recognizing at a certain point in time, that’s no longer what’s going to serve you that idea of like what got you here won’t get you there.

And yet, I was still stuck in this mentality of like, I can do marketing and like, I should be able to do the marketing myself, so I shouldn’t have to hire someone. And it was almost like hiring help was admitting that I couldn’t do it myself. And that made me not want to do it that I wanted to be like, No, yeah, I can do the coaching, all that kind of thing. And I can do the marketing, and I can do all the things. I don’t know if you relate to that. But I think it’s quite common for perfectionist, we want to have this. We want to live into this idea we have of ourselves.

And we think that others have of us that we can do all the things we’re super smart, intelligent, capable. And we don’t need help from anyone. And so yeah, it was just like, I was having to admit to myself that all these other people could do it, but I couldn’t. And when I really started to get clear on, I can do it. But I have this vision for the business. And I can see that especially because that vision is a bigger vision that it’s basically over a 10 year time period that my marketing skill set, as much as I will continue to learn about marketing and sales and all those things.

My marketing skill set isn’t going to get us to the vision that I have for 2031, which is the year that I will turn 40 and having the business do 50 million in revenue. Anyway, that’s in alignment with our values. So I wanted to always mention that that’s what we’re doing with our growth goal that it’s always in alignment with that. But I could just see like if the goal is having that revenue and the subsequent impact that that means like the positive impact we’re having on our clients, and in 2025 Having a $5 million year.

My marketing skill set isn’t going to get us that no matter how much coaching I do, how many masterminds I’m in how many courses I take, and it’s not me, belittling myself or diminishing myself or admitting I can’t do this. I’m actually making the most mature business decision I can and the most intelligent decision I can, which is to say, Yeah, I could do this myself. But also, even if I could do it at a high level, there’s, it’s not the best use of my time, that’s not where my value to the business really lies.

And so I’m going to hire someone, and learn the leadership skills required to empower them and manage them and do all of that. So that we can get to the goals we have and the vision that we have, rather than me making a decision from ego essentially, and saying, like, well, I can do it myself. So I shouldn’t I think a lot of us grew up being told that like, if you can do something yourself, you shouldn’t get help with it, you should, like you’re not deserving of that. We’re not even like told that in that those terms. But just like, if you can do it yourself, you should, and that you should save money wherever possible.

And all these kinds of things makes me think of like, this is a bit of a weird example. But say, for example, buying fruit at the grocery store, either buying it like whole, or buying it cut up, or maybe it’s like meat or whatever, that you will pay a lot more. So even like shredded cheese, you’ll pay a lot more to buy the shredded cheese versus a block of cheese. And it’s like, well, if you can grate the cheese yourself, you should. And it’s a bit of a weird analogy, but it kind of illustrates is that at some point, you get to decide, actually, I would rather spend the money, then grate the cheese.

And it’s the same thing here. Like I would rather invest the money and also invest in my skill set of managing and leading and empowering team members and that side of the business than doing the marketing work myself. So that has been a big one I’ve needed to work through. And the kinds of things we talk about in PGSD have been so helpful with that, like the self image self, self trust huge with that as well. The next belief is I have to be making perfect use of my time before I can hire help. So this is kind of similar to the one before but this really came up for me particularly when it came to hiring my first freelancers and contractors and like getting that initial help into my business.

But it has definitely come up for me like every time I’ve wanted to bring someone else on that I’ve had this belief that I have to be 100% productive before I can justify spending money on having someone to help me. And that really helped me back. Because, for example, one of the things that I first hired for was someone to help me with the podcast that I was just noticing how much I was dragging my feet when I was the one to record the podcast, which I love. But I also was the one to create the show notes for the podcast, and put them on the blog and create an image for it.

And to do like the backend things that are needed so that the episode would go out on all the platforms like it just made me not want to record an episode, because I had to do all these other things associated with it. And so really recognizing like, I could actually find someone to do that, so that I could just do the bit I liked doing. And they could do the bit that they were good at, then I’d be able to record more and all of that, that I had also that belief of I can do this myself. So I should like I knew how to do all these things.

But then there was also this like, I have to be like I can’t justify spending money on building my team until I know that every single minute of my day is maxed out and I’m really doing the most that I can be. And I’m so much more productive than I was years ago like this only continued to increase. But I’m not perfect. I’m not a robot like I am not perfectly productive. And so when I just allow myself to hire even though I still wasn’t perfect yet, that is when I really was able to start building my team and continue building my team.

So I just want to invite you to consider that if you have been thinking that you need to be making perfect use of every minute of the day before you can justify like you have to be fully maxed out in your capacity to just notice how that is stopping you like that belief itself is going to stop you from actually doing your best work and showing up fully like you’re just going to end up being in that situation for years to come. And you don’t have to be making perfect use of your time before you can hire help.

And probably the reason you’re not making perfect use of your time is because you’re doing things that are well outside of your zone of genius. And so you need to get them onto someone else’s plate so your plate can really just be filled with the things that you do do best and plenty of clean rest. And obviously there’ll be things as well. You need to do that tedious and boring. Whatever I’m not saying you need to feel excited every minute of every day or whatever.

But there are things that are on your plate that don’t need to be there. And even before you feel ready to hire someone, you can start doing that. And I’m glad I did that before I felt fully ready to do that. And I continue to do that before I feel fully ready to do that, just noticing that my brain, like, if I have been ready as a criteria to do things, I probably wouldn’t get very much done at all. So I’ve just learned over the years to let it be okay, that I don’t feel ready and to do things anyway. Also, the final belief, number five, I want to talk about is this belief of I have to be liked by my contractors, employees, the people that I hire. And so the way this has manifested for me, is letting things slide.

So if work wasn’t completed to a high standard, or by the deadline specified, just kind of being like, Oh, no worries, and just kind of being easy breezy, going with the flow, so to speak, instead of being like, actually, that’s not okay. And it’s not that you’re wrong, or you’re a bad person, but this is how we do things. Also not outlining expectations, clearly. So it’s kind of the same thing that I wouldn’t outline the expectations clearly be like, you know, whatever you think whatever works for you like that kind of mentality. And then also, because those clear expectations once and it was harder for people to do their best work.

And then when that wasn’t done, I just as well, as I mentioned, like, let that slide. And yeah, just having this need to be liked and like be everyone’s friend. And also part of that has been making people fit into the business when it was no longer fit, like trying to figure out, like, I really liked them as a person. And I want them to like me. So I’m going to try to figure out even though they’re not the position, they’re in now, like, it doesn’t make sense for them to be there anymore. But I need to figure out where else they could go.

And basically, it has had a lot of I want to say role creep happening. So that means basically, someone’s going to do something, and then they’ve just kind of merged into all these different things and be like, well, you know, I hired you to do this. But actually, can you do all the marketing? Or can you do all of this? Or can you do all of that, because the business or the position outgrew them. But I was scared to outgrow them. And just letting it be okay, like I still, like, I don’t think that human desire to be liked is going to go anywhere.

But also, that’s no longer the primary lens through which I make decisions about team, especially in 2022, I needed to make some challenging decisions around team and really, I’ve talked about this a bit like up leveling my self image, and what I believe myself and the business are deserving of having when it comes to team members in the work performed and things like that, also requiring that of myself as well. So it’s not just like, Hey, everyone, you should be doing this. And like, I don’t need to change the way I like me, I set the tone as a leader that I’m going to be the one leading the way.

And so I need to be living fully in alignment with the values that we have, as a business, to have everyone else like they’re going to be looking to me, whether consciously or not for that. But just this desire to have the team like me, and like I’ve been someone that when I’ve worked in like the corporate world and things like that, pretty much any job I’ve ever had. I’ve always liked having friends, from my work, there are certain people who are like, No, I have worked. And then I have my friends and I keep them separate.

But my mentality has been I’m spending a lot of time with these people. Like there are some of them that I really liked that I want to hang out with. And so spending time with them outside of work is something that I have done. And so when it’s come to building my team, until having the marketing manager position, everyone else has been remote. And so there hasn’t been like these hangouts or anything, even an opportunity for that. But just recognizing like, I can be friendly, but I don’t have to be everyone’s friend. And the goal here isn’t that they like me.

And even though I’m going to have that desire, as a human, have that to continue contending with, but I’m not going to make decisions based on what will this person think about me personally, will they still like me and all of that, and that was just, it meant that we had team members or like contractors we were working with and things like that, that I kept in the business for way longer than they should have been in the business because of this and then that was detrimental to them because they then couldn’t move on to where they were best able to contribute in another business or whatever that would look like for them.

And just the amount of time spent just having to like compensate for this belief of I have to be like, which then meant I was having to do extra work or different things like that. Rather than just having the courage and having my own back and after just be clear about my expectations and things like that. So I feel like I’ve made so, so so much progress with that.

And I don’t feel the need to be friends with everyone, so to speak, like I do definitely want to be friendly with everyone. But I’m not just like, as much as I love working with other people, which I do that it’s not just me like trying to have or hiring based on like, wanting to have friends and that kind of thing that it’s really like, we’re here as a team, to serve a purpose, and to build a business. And if that’s no longer making sense, then I love you as a person, but you might no longer be a fit for the business. And that’s okay, and having the courage to say that versus like, no, no, we can figure out how to make it work.

And just I think for me, it has really shown up as this kind of, no worries, whatever works for you kind of approach to things that I’ve really had to call myself out on. And really like sometimes it is like a no worries situation. But also, sometimes it is a hey actually, this isn’t the standard at which we do things, or we do things in this certain way and really articulating my expectations versus I never want to expect someone to be a mind reader or things like that. But to just be like, oh, like I don’t want to cause a fire.

So it doesn’t really matter to just be like, it does matter. And I can be really kind I think being direct is the kindest thing that I can do. And that’s a belief I’ve had to develop as well that it really can feel like being indirect about things can be the kind way but I think being direct being upfront being clear. And also being kind in that and compassionate. But to not just be in this like easy, breezy mode. That has been a big change that I’ve needed to make as a leader. And I have really felt the team completely up level as I have made that change.

I’ve also experienced my own ability to grow the business and show up for the business has completely transformed when I have stopped being easy breezy, about everything. And I’ve actually been like, hey, you know, like, there are standards that we have there, like certain ways that things need to be done and not even like telling someone else how to do the job. But say, for example, having work be completed before the deadline, just different things like that, that are really crucial.

Like, I’ll take a mindset of saying, Oh, no worries, like, sure things might come up. But you then change the deadline to a time you can commit to communicate that to everyone else involved. Like there’s a process there. And not just this idea of letting things slide. So those are some of the beliefs I’ve needed to work on to release in order to build my business. And I think with perfectionism. So the five signs of perfectionism are overthinking, procrastination, burnout, all or nothing thinking and fear of judgment. And those can really come up when it comes to building a team.

And so having your power planning, and then doing the work with your power planning to release those beliefs, as I talk about in PGSD specifically, but the power planning course is where you will develop your skill set your initial skill set with power planning, so you can find out more about that at Samlaurabrown.com/powerplanning, that course is open for enrollment.

That’s going to really be the tools to help you do this and to help you have the self awareness around it, these beliefs that even going on in the first place so that you can do something about it. So I hope it’s been enlightening. To hear about some of the ways it can come up for you. I hope you’re having a beautiful day and I will talk to you in the next episode.

If you want to make sure that the hard work you’re putting into your business isn’t a waste of effort, then I invite you to check out the power planning course. It’ll teach you how to plan properly as a perfectionist with power planning so that you can get out of your own way in your business. And so that every hour you put into your business gets double the return. You can find out more and sign up today at Samlaurabrown.com/powerplanning.

Author: Sam Brown