Done is Better Than Perfect:
The Mompreneurs Motto of Tackling Productivity & Ditching Perfectionism!
Hi, I'm Iva Perez, and I am the founder of The Momergy Movement, and the Kidaku brand as two complementary businesses, aiming to uplift the consciousness of parents and families worldwide. Just so you know, I'm a mom to two little ones under five, an avid reader, a culture vulture, and a matcha lover. And I firmly believe in having fun. And one last thing though, I am a recovering perfectionist.
Hi I'm Desiree Bonau, and I'm the creator of Oily Essentials. I'm also the mom to a threenager, and I'm on a mission to get moms everywhere to ditch the toxins in their lives. I lead a plant-based dairy free lifestyle, and my favorite dinner beverage is a glass of wine, and no matter what situation comes up, everyone knows that I have an oil for that. And my new motto in life and business is that done is better than perfect.
Iva: Done is better than perfect. I love that. I love that moto. I think that is great and it's very fitting for what we want to talk about tonight about the subject of perfectionism.
Desiree: I know, perfectionism, it's been haunting me ever since I was in school, I think, even in high school I was always trying to shake this thing about being a perfectionist. So what did you mean by saying that you were recovering from it.
Iva: Oh yeah, because I used to have the same illness. I used to, I used very, very hardcore on the tiny little details, and, and I could spend a lot of time being frustrated and stressed over what to me was not exactly the way that had happened in my head. So, it could apply to situations, it could apply to anything that I was writing, as you say, homework-related or project related or. Yeah, also in, in life with situations, and relationships, where it was the bar was set, very very high. And it was, it was very, you know, for me at the time, I just had this sense that it just had to be like that, like there was no other way, I was very into this little square box. And if it was not within that shape, it was it did something to me I don't know how to explain it and I don't know if, if you feel that it was a little bit like that for you as well.
Desiree: Yeah, I just remember working on assignments for example, and I would actually spend a longer time formatting that document, than I did spending like to write it, to actually write the whole essay or whatever it was just you know making sure the cover pages right, the Table of Contents pages all aligned, and everything that used to take me much, much longer than the real thing. And that kind of followed me all the way around and I felt I was, but I wasn't sure, am I wasting my time doing that? or is that time well spent?
Desiree: I still can't figure it out to be honest.
Iva: Yes, I hear you and for me, my, my crash landing, I have to say, because I think that I was able to pull it off, for most of, most of my life I was able to really just, get very particular about how I wanted things and how they needed to come out and how they needed to look or feel, etc.
But then, I had really a rude awakening when I became a mom, because apparently my baby hadn't gotten the memo. About what was he supposed to be doing, according to my plan, to my master plan of how things should go. And I certainly think that that's, that was the first step into becoming a recovering perfectionist because I had to come to terms with the fact that there were a lot of things happening in those first months and years, as a mom, in which I, you know, I couldn't control the situation, of, of motherhood within my old paradigm. And I am not going to lie. It was very frustrating, to some extent, because I was, I was, it was an uphill battle, and I was fighting giant windmills. And I didn't know how to make things bend back to the weight in my head, they were supposed to be. Was that, was that your case as well when you became a mom?
Desiree: Yeah. But when you say you had, you had that when, when your little ones came and you have things mapped out in your head. What do you think the difference is between you seeing that as perfectionism versus expectations.
Iva: Well I guess they are sort of very tied together in that my having this perfectionist streak perfectionist streak is, is about how things need to need to come out and need to be done. And I applied them a lot to, to what I do. So, when I became a mom, one of the things that jumped out at me was that I felt that my child needed to do certain things according to, I don't know, books that I had read and ideas that I had gathered in my head about how they should be and go and when my baby was not following those said expectations, then it really triggered that, that sense of “I'm not doing it right. I'm not doing it right, I must be doing it wrong. So now I need to, to go all in and make changes or I need to, to be even more of this or be even more of that, and it certainly added to a lot more unnecessary burden as a new mom, because I had this idea that it needed to be, or look a certain way. And I attributed that to being a perfectionist because when you're a perfectionist, in your head, it looks a certain way and that's how you want it to translate into reality.
Desiree: And actually coincides really perfectly with this quote I once read which is: “Perfectionism is a dangerous state of mind in an imperfect world.” It's true! Because these kind of things they happen in our mind. However, there's so many outside factors, like in your case, I guess the babies that haven't read the memo, right, but that really, that really do not play along with that plan you have mapped out. So it is, it can sometimes be a dangerous state. I totally agree that derails you, and it can be really motivating. So what do you think the steps. What steps did you take to, to, like you said recover from it? Or kind of step away from these these certain expectations?
Iva: It definitely entails a change in mindset. You definitely have to become very aware of how harmful it can become for both you and your loved ones, in certain periods of your, of your life. When I guess, for me, the, the fact that I started to scale down, came to be because in the past I was on my own, meaning that I was my own person. Yes, I could be in a relationship and all of that, but my relationship, somehow, was able to coexist in parallel with my perfectionist streak, because as you said, mostly the place where he came out was on work-related things, and then, yes, in certain situations in real life but for, for the most part I would say that the outlet was the professional, my professional work.
So, when, when I became a mom. I think I brought that into this new world, and I probably made the mistake of thinking that raising my baby in those first few months was also a business project of some sort. I mean not to make it sound transactional. It was, it was a very amazing experience for me to have and sublime in so many ways. And yet at the same time, my business brain was kicking in, a little bit. And so, I felt that is this project of starting to nurture my baby was going to go according to some sort of clockwork or strategy plan that I have in my head.
Desiree: But you're so right because we're given so many books to read at the beginning or you need to read this, you fall need to follow that, your baby needs routine from the moment they're born. I even remember attending this birthing class with my husband that also talked about okay what happens when you bring the baby home. And if it's especially if it's your first one, you're like okay, they tell me it's going to be like that so I in my head, that is going to be.
Iva: They're going to sleep X amount of time and when they're not following that pattern, as you say, what you're told by books, or classes or courses that you attend, you start to think that you're failing at delivering the outcome that is expected of the of this family dynamic.
Desiree: You're so right. And I think that's where a lot of moms get too frustrated or can even enter these baby blues because they feel they're not able to fulfil their plan, they're not able to live up to certain expectations, and no two situations are the same and it is certainly a very big mindset shift to, to put a lot of acceptance into this process of doing things, isn't it? Or this flexibility
Iva: And I also think that is changing, luckily, for this new generations but I guess, probably, you and I still, still caught the end tail of this paradigm. When you go into the workforce, you start to believe that you have to be more masculine, in how you approach things like you have to be rational. You cannot be emotional about things you know you have to.
Desiree: You’re so right
Iva: to keep like a steady state type of behavior and response to challenges and to thingst that, that are very charged and you have to keep a level head, so there's a lot of male qualities that are praised in the workplace. And that are believed to make you a better employee or a better performer in that type of scenario because it's all about being cool-headed, it's all about strategizing, it's all about not taking it personal. It's about being, you know, being very assertive about what you want and this is what I want and this is what I'm going to do, and you meet with your, with your boss or your higher-ups and you're all about what's your growth plan, and what is to be achieve and you have all this set of skills and tactics that you're going to put into place. And then motherhood is really the complete opposite of that. Motherhood is the space now for me that is completely feminine in that it's all about cycles, it's all about intuition, it's all about whatever flows in the moment. It's about allowing somebody else's cues to guide you into action into what is the best response, but there's no clear map, there's no clear indication, there's no three-year plan into, what are you going to become next, or how are you going to climb the corporate ladder, It's completely different.
Desiree: And everything is unpredictable.
Iva: Tell me about the sleep regressions, what is that all about? When you’re beginning to get the hang of it, then your kid decides to go backwards. What do you mean backwards? Backwards how?? That doesn’t get into my head. So there's a lot of, as I said, those, those harsh crash landings that happened to me as a mom because I had this combination of being a perfectionist, of being part of a corporate environment that was all about highlighting more male qualities, and just having everything switched upside-down, because now it was all about being more in tune with your bio-rhythms, to be more in tune with your body, be more in tune with things that are not so structured and they're not so concrete, you know, it's more intuitive type of state.
Desiree: I think one thing that came to play in my situation as well that, well, while being an expat and living abroad, and being surrounded by different cultures. I remember when, when my son was born, I was actually in Hong Kong at that time and surrounded by certain friends and sort of my, like my environment that had certain expectations in their cultures, about how a mom was supposed to recover from the birth, this whole idea of confinement, and the first thing that the baby can or cannot do. And for me that was very foreign and I'm like, that was not in my plan. In a way, and I also was, I felt a lot of criticism when I didn't follow their plan, and I stuck to what I wanted to do, or how I wanted to do it, but the truth was, like, I have to take a day by day too. And I think that's when my big mindset shift came as well that I said, “You know what, I feel good about this right now. My baby is okay. My husband is okay with that. And right now, that's all that matters to me.” And I really started taking it day by day,
Iva: And you get to tune in more to your body, to what feels right, and what doesn't feel right. I guess also in the scope of mompreneurship, perfectionism can also be very crippling. It can also kill creativity, it can kill states of mind where you are creating, where you're coming out with new ideas and new visions for yourself and what you want to do, and it can backfire if you have this idea that it has to be a certain way. Because, let's face it, when you, when you become a mom, and if you are doing the mompreneurship route, you have to go with the flow and find pockets of time in which things can happen in terms of your business projects or deliverables that you're working on. And sometimes you can't predict them. In my case, I have been in the rude awakening of scheduling a certain time slot to do something that I said “Hey, this is something that I need to do this week”, for example, or that I need to deliver, and then boom, one of my kids gets sick. So you get completely derailed and then you have to work around it somehow. And when you don't have that much time, then your motto is so powerful because you say “Done is better than perfect”. I don't have time to go back and redo it, or find a different way to do it better, according to my thoughts at the moment. I don't have time. So, this is what came out, and this is what I need to deliver, and that's all I have. Because now, something else needs my attention, right? You have to be switching back and forth.
Desiree: I mean we just, we just came from a situation like that, didn't we? First of all, we are in collaboration, there's certain things we're working on together so that already comes into place kind of trying to find harmony and what you are expecting and what I'm expecting and trying to tune them into harmony. And then, remember when we were finishing this, this last project, and we said “Okay,” we both gave it the last look over and we said, “ooh but then maybe we should redo this part or maybe we should redo this…”
Iva: And it's awesome that we get to be each other's mirrors. Because, we could really easily go down the rabbit hole again. As I said, I’m a recovering perfectionist, is it doesn't mean that I'm fully recovered. It means that I have regressions too.
Desiree: And you can have regressions!
Iva: So It's wonderful to have a tribe that can help you, yank you back into “Hey, remember over here, you don’t have a lot of time”, and you need to make the most of what you're doing here, and if it's not perfect, let it go. Just, just continue. And it enters another beautiful quote here, about, you know, being more productive comes when you just keep pushing forward. So, there’s this element of productivity that comes into play when you leave, perfectionism, to the side, and you just say, “Okay, another step forward, another step forward and let me not dwell on those tiny little details that are not that important, the big scheme of things”.
Desiree: I know. I think we made a good call, Because we were going to schedule our next call to say like, Okay, do we redo these little sections and revisit this and that and spend our like, the meeting we have set for that day to fine tune something we've already created? Or do we say “You know what, this is good to go. We just press send or save on that project. And then we move on to the next?”, and I'm so glad we made that call because we said, “Okay, let's move on to the next” and actually we were so productive and we had a really good head start into the next piece, of our piece of our puzzle, and I'm really proud of us for doing that.
Iva: We were holding hands.
Desiree: We were.
Iva: We were holding hands saying drop it. Drop it!
Desiree: And I felt that it was hard for both of us to say: “So, it’s good, it’s good to go? We're locking it in?” “We're locking it in.” “Okay,” And I'm sure, you know, I'm sure we'll look at it in a while and we'll be like, “Okay, we could have done this better”, but you know what? We have come a long way. We have actually been able to, through that process to achieve more. And, yeah, Done is better than perfect. And you know what, Iva? I actually learned this from my business coach and online business mentor, Krissy Chin. I took her really amazing course that just helps you to get, you know, get, your vision clear and how to build your online business. And she gave us loads of examples like that and I reflected upon my own business and I had, for example, I had my website I had it done for like years already. I wasn't quite happy with it, and I said okay I need a whole revamp, and it took me ages to hit that publish button.
Iva: Because you were also at that holding pattern.
Desiree: Because I was like, oh you know what I, maybe I'll find a better image, I'll have to reshoot this picture to find a better image or let me enhance this blog post, or maybe I should add another section here and there and you know what? Then I realized after I took her course, it became, it became so crystal clear to me. I could spend another two months just looking at the same website and tweaking it here and there and it'll never be done because just like me and just like my business, it's evolving. It's like alive, it's not done, it's constantly changing like a child growing up, right? So I was like “Okay, am I going to hit that publish button now and have, like, readers, my community and my friends have a chance to look at it already, or am I going to lose out on two months of exposure by keeping it to myself?” And to be honest, it's probably also only me that would have noticed these changes, because we're so in our head, with certain things.
So you know that was one of the best pieces of advice, honestly, that I got and I felt so much that that has pushed, pushed me so much further in my business. It made me so much more productive to be like, you know what it's done, it's done, it's good, it's presentable. And I also believe that the more we do of something, the better we get at it.
We'll probably listen to this podcast episode. Probably like a year's time, and we'll be like, “Oh, what were we thinking? Or like… but you know what, it's okay we're learning, we're growing and we're evolving with this whole process and I think that there's beauty in that as well.
Iva Perez - The Momergy Movement,
Desiree Bonau - Oily Essentials
Krissy Chin’s Six Module Course: Enter the code MOMERGY upon checking out for $50 off.