Anything Worth Doing in Small Business is Worth Doing Badly

do something in letterpress typeI have been fortunate to work with and observe many types of creative people in my career, and it’s clear to me that we have one characteristic in common: We are all tone deaf to our own creativity.

Whether it is art, writing, design, building, or small business ideas, when we evaluate our own creative product — especially early in the process — it’s usually not a favorable evaluation. And when we measure our own product against that of others, our work suffers by comparison. I’ve seen it happen with my creative friends and I’ve experienced it myself.

This tendency can prevent us from creating at all, depriving the world of our talent and us of the joy that comes with expressing creativity.

When the fear of being judged and found lacking by society, colleagues, or others keeps you from expressing your creativity in your ideas for your small business, instead of trying for a masterpiece, allow yourself to just do it badly.

It might seem counterintuitive or even downright wrong, when for years you have probably heard people say, “If it’s worth doing, it’s worh doing well.” But for many of us, especially women, trying to do something well blocks us from even starting.

It’s just too intimidating to try to be perfect all of the time! Just do it badly!

For example, I’ve never been one to write to an outline, in spite of the many teachers who have urged the technique. If I try to write in the perfect, linear fashion, with nice, neat transitions, it is a laborious, painful, and often fruitless process. On the other hand, if I let myself follow my natural tendency to write in a messy, circular, jumbled process without expecting linear transitions or the perfect words, I eventually write my way to a product I can point to with pride.

Doing it badly means forging ahead without worrying about the outcome. It’s a bit like sticking your tongue out at the perfection ogre.

Where can you unleash creativity in your small business ideas by just doing it badly?

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