See this photo? It’s shot from the vantage point of my living room, where you can see right into my kitchen.

When friends come to our house for dinner, the medicine bottles are discretely tucked away, my husband’s baseball cap goes back in the closet, and the surfaces look as clean as a home ready to go on the market.

So why am I obsessed with everything looking perfect?

For starters, I work with lawyers who are compelled to edit. Hand them a document, and they’re likely to noodle. That’s how they’re trained. To counter that urge, I manage their expectations. I politely ask them to focus on what I may have omitted or misconstrued. Then, they should edit as necessary. Once they’ve agreed, I instruct them to maintain the tone of voice in the content, which is my area of expertise.

If they push back, I might say something like this: “If I were your client, you probably wouldn’t want me writing your brief, right? I’m a marketer, hired to tell your story in a way that connects a prospect to you.” And as the saying goes, ‘People do business with people they know, like, and trust.’

But lawyers aren’t the only ones. I know people in other professions who are equally detail-oriented and have difficulty relinquishing control. Example: Will this postage stamp elicit the wrong message when we send an invitation to clients for the firm’s event? (True story.)

Quick note: I’m not advocating for carelessness or sloppiness, especially in professions involving life-or-death decisions.

Still, we could use some time to back up (myself included), count to ten, or whatever your go-to method works, and let go of that never-ending desire for perfection. When your friends come over for dinner, they’re not likely to notice a little clutter here and there. (Unless, of course, you point it out!) I’m sure your friends will still love you just as much, despite a messy countertop.

So go ahead, and after you’ve reviewed and edited your next email (but not obsessed over it), hit the “send” button. Come to think of it; when it comes to your clients, the good ones will still want to work with you, too.

Hat tip to Lindsay Griffiths for her recent and relatable post, “We are Messy and Imperfect…and That’s Okay.” She has such good instincts and is a real pro.

#perfectionism #getreal #people #imperfect #messy

Written by : Nancy Slome

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