Perfectionism is one of the main killers of business growth.  It’s like Kryptonite for your goals.  The minute perfectionism shows up, your goals start to shrivel and die.

Here are 4 ways perfectionism kills your dreams.

1.  Perfectionism turns your inspired idea into a giant project, leaving you overwhelmed.  Say you want to write a newsletter.  You’ve got a number of topics that you care deeply about and you want to share your ideas with other people.  Great!  Then you start thinking about how you don’t have a newsletter template.  And worse, you don’t have a BRAND.  Where’s your logo?  What’s your business name?  What about a tag line?!

In less than 5 minutes, you’ve gone from an inspired idea to a huge project.  You feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of tasks to be done.  Worse, you have no idea which one needs to come first.  So you keep obsessively thinking about this problem, to try to figure out the answer.

2.  You can’t start your projects until you have the perfect amount (and quality) of time to start, plus the right supplies.  Which means you never start.  Let’s say you decide you want to create a newsletter template.  To do that, you’ll want to research what templates are out there.  That’s going to take some free time so you can really focus in on it.  And you’ll have to figure out how to get it into your email system.  That’s going to take some more focused time.  Plus you might have to contact customer support, which means more time.

You look at your schedule and realize you don’t have a big open chunk this week.  Or next week or anytime soon.  So you decide to wait until the “perfect” time arrives.  Magically.

3.  Perfectionism prevents you from practicing your skills and getting better.  It says that your action was not perfect and you are a failure. 

You write your newsletter or you have a sales conversation.  You evaluate how well it went and think “I did OK, but it wasn’t great.  My newsletter kind of rambled.  I wasn’t as clear as I wanted to be.”  Or “My prospect said No.  Looking back, there are so MANY things I should have said but I couldn’t think of them in the moment!”

Your next thought: “I don’t know what I’m doing.  I shouldn’t do this again.  I’m a loser.”

Perfectionism will tell you that trying and doing anything less-than-perfectly equals failing.  When in fact, trying and being less than perfect is actually PRACTICING.  And practicing is the only way you can improve!

Perfectionists undercut their confidence and their abilities by not giving themselves permission to practice.  Because practice is messy; it’s imperfect; and therefore it feels like failure.  Yet messy imperfect practice is the only way to improve and get to success!

Feeling like you’re a failure immediately creates shame.  Not only will you feel terrible, shame will shrivel up anything it touches: your self-esteem, your passion for your work, your desire to move forward, etc.

4.  Perfectionism defines the “right way” as something so big and exhausting that it’s not sustainable.  So you quit, fast.  I have done this many times with going to the gym.  For years, the only way my workout could be right was if I did at least 20 min of aerobic activity, then did 3 sets of all the weights on my list, then stretched all body parts.  Which took well over an hour, plus travel time to/from the gym.  No wonder I dreaded going to the gym and often chose to drive home and relax instead!  The option of going to the gym and just doing one activity for 20 min total – that option was always present but I never seriously considered it.

What’s so hard about being a perfectionist is that you’re hardest on yourself.  You judge yourself as a failure for NOT doing everything exactly the right way.  You give yourself an F a lot.  So you stop doing things at which you don’t excel.  Or you stop doing things because, like my definition of the “right” workout, those activities are so demanding of your time and energy.

As a recovering perfectionist, I now see this as a kind of self-abuse.  You hurt yourself.  I’m confident you already know it’s not in your best interest to spend 5 hours looking at newsletter templates; or to harshly criticize yourself for not excelling at sales conversations.  And I know it’s hard to stop.  You probably feel like you’re at the mercy of some inner force that’s compelling you to do things in a way that objectively you KNOW is not good for you.

Breaking free of perfectionism absolutely is possible.  I’ve spent the last 11 years dismantling my own perfectionism!  I sense it’s like recovering from an addiction, in that it’s one day at a time.  I have to be conscious of my thoughts because it’s easy for me to slip back into making overwhelming demands on myself.

If you find that the way you’re setting up your goals and tasks is taking so much out of you, that you’re often delaying taking action on income-producing areas that you KNOW are important, and you want to have an easier more relaxed and more productive experience in 2018, then I invite you to join me and other like-minded women in my workshop value-packed F.REE 2-hr workshop Generate Income & Growth in 2018

To grow your business, you don’t have to learn and implement complicated strategies, and you don’t have to struggle.  You just need to take RIGHT ACTION.

In this virtual workshop, I’ll help you figure out what right action is for YOU, based on your past successes. 

On this call, you’ll

  • Analyze what is working WELL in your marketing and client attraction, and what’s working NOT so well. 
  • Recognize and celebrate your top 2017 accomplishments
  • Identify your biggest lesson learned from 2017
  • Consciously choose your desired experience for 2018
  • Create ALIGNED 2018 goals from a place of inner confidence vs. intellect only

You’ll end up feeling much more proud of your 2017; you’ll have more clarity on what you TRULY want to experience in 2018; and you’ll have goals that feel authentic and aligned.

Details and registration are here. 

The Super Important Business Lesson I Learned from My Health Crisis

Several years ago, I had a recurring health issue.  

One day I’d feel bloated with an upset stomach, then I’d rapidly get a painful tension headache at the base of my skull.  Within a couple hours, I’d throw up.  That relieved the headache and upset stomach, but left me white-faced and exhausted on the couch for three to four days afterwards.

Within a few months, this was happening every three to four weeks.

Though the exact timing was unpredictable, the frequency was undeniable.  I couldn’t keep up my regular work schedule; something had to give.

I decided to do ONLY 3 essential things: 

  • Speaking engagements at networking events
  • Calls with prospects
  • Work with clients.

I dropped all my marketing activities: no email newsletter, no email marketing, and minimal networking.

The results?  I earned my highest income to date that year. 

What a powerful lesson about the difference between RIGHT action vs. MORE action!  My health crisis showed me quite clearly what I needed to run a successful business, and what I didn’t need to do.

I had spent years working on my email marketing.  It was a challenge and I am a girl who loves a challenge!

What I wasn’t paying attention to was where my clients actually came from: speaking, networking and my web site.

Because I didn’t know where my clients came from, I paid way too much attention to strategies that didn’t work for me.  It took this health crisis to make me stop doing any email marketing.  That really hammered home for me how much UNNECESSARY effort and time I was putting in each week, month and year in my business!

Here’s the reason I’m sharing this.  I’m not the only one who wastes time on wrong actions.  In fact, you are likely doing your own version of it! 

Here’s a quick check-list to help you figure out if you’re at risk of putting too much time and energy into the wrong parts of your business:

1.  You consistently track your income, so you know how much each client/customer/job each paid you.

a.  Yes/mostly

b.  No/hardly at all.  You’re not sure what to track or where to find it.

2.  You know where each of your clients/customers/jobs came from.

a.  Yes/mostly

b.  No/hardly at all

3.  You know what marketing strategies you used in 2017 and what the results were, in terms of prospects as well as clients.

a.  Yes/mostly

b.  No/hardly at all.  Strategies?!  What strategies?!

If your answers were mostly or all b’s, then you’re not as effective in your business as you can be. 

It’s easy to let this happen.  If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you love DOING your work.  Tracking numbers – that’s not so fun.  Plus you might not be sure what data to track or how to track it.  You rely on an intuitive sense of what’s working.

When you’re not crystal clear on what is and is not working in your business, you waste time and energy.  And you probably ended 2017 feeling discombulated vs. intentional.

Most likely, you’re basing your 2018 plans on what you did last year.  Which is going to create more of the same results as last year.  Is that a good thing?

If you’re ready to start 2018 on a stronger footing,

–  where you actually KNOW what you did in 2017 and what did/did not work,

–  where you use your 2017 lessons learned to create ALIGNED goals for 2018,

then I invite you to join me for a special 2-hour virtual group workshop

Generate Impact and Growth in 2018, on January 15, where I’ll help you

  • Analyze what is working WELL in your business and what’s working NOT so well
  • Recognize and celebrate your top 2017 accomplishments
  • Identify your biggest lesson learned from 2017
  • Consciously choose your desired experience for 2018
  • Create aligned goals that maximize your effectiveness in 2018

You’ll end up with CLARITY.  Which helps you create EASE, EFFECTIVENESS AND SIMPLICITY!

Learn more and register here

About that health crisis – it turns out that I am gluten-intolerant.  Once I gave up gluten, my mystery illness disappeared, for good.  My enduring thanks to my then-client Catherine Rose Stevens for her help with this!

I’m grateful to that crisis for the valuable business lesson it taught me.

10 Signs of Imposter Syndrome

When someone compliments you on your work, do you think: “Gosh, that was so easy; I guess they don’t really know what was involved?”

Do you worry that people might not want to work with you, if they REALLY knew you?

Do you constantly aim to project an air of competence and confidence, while on the inside you often feel anxious, tense and not-at-all confident?

If this is you, then you are suffering from what’s often called Imposter Syndrome.  This afflicts talented, high-performing people at ALL levels of success!  You so question your abilities and value that you discount others’ praise of yourself.  You never feel truly satisfied with the quality of your work.  You question what you’ve achieved and whether you truly merit your success.

It’s a hard way to live.  I’ve been there, and I still visit here some days.
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Your Growth Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone


Do you have a big goal this year?  To attract more clients and earn more income?  To recruit more team members?  To move up one level in your direct selling company?

Yet when you look at what you actually spent your time doing in the last week or month, are you still doing the same activities you did last year?

If you are, you’re going to receive the same results as last year.

I see this all the time in my coaching work with clients.  You want big results, yet your daily activities create small results.  There’s a disconnect between your goal and your actions.

It’s frustrating.  You’re so clear about what you want!  You ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY want to advance in your company, or create more income, or have more impact in the world!  So what’s getting in your way?

You’re choosing low-value, low-impact activities over high-value, high-impact activities.

In YOUR business, what your high-value high-impact activities (aka Income-Producing Activities)?  When you do these activities, you KNOW your business will grow as a result. 

For most businesses, high-value high-impact activities include:
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3 Signs of Perfectionism

Before you take action, is it important for you to feel REALLY confident about exactly what you want to achieve, and to have a detailed plan to help you get there?

Do you spend countless hours analyzing options and asking yourself what are the risks associated with each option?

And yet despite all that time you spend in analysis, do you often find it hard to identify the BEST option for action?  Which means you haven’t moved at all, despite all the hours of analysis?

These habits are all signs of perfectionism.  They keep you stuck at a low level of success and income in your business.  These habits mean you’re not being consistent in your marketing/recruiting, you’re not attracting more clients or team members, and you’re not making more money.

Here are 3 signs that you’re a perfectionist, along with the ways these stunt your business’s growth.
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Are other people sucking up your time?

girlonredphoneDo you ever have calls with a prospect or team member or client, where they take control of the call and you don’t even get to say what’s on your mind?

Do you find your calls or meetings often go long and take up way more time than you originally scheduled?

Does your day get filled with tasks that other people want you to do, and your income-producing activities don’t happen?

If this is you:
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5 Qualities of Work That Makes Your Heart Sing!

Guess how many people hate their job?

It’s about 25%, according a Gallup poll I saw cited in Why We Work by Barry Schwartz (TED Books, 2015).

This poll surveyed over 200K people in 142 countries, asking them how they felt about their work.  The results?

  • Only 13% felt fully engaged at work.
  • The majority, 63%, were not engaged; they had mentally checked out.
  • About 25% hated their job.

If you’re an aligned entrepreneur, you fall into that minority – just 13% – who find your work engaging.

The more you understand and cultivate these 5 qualities that lead to true engagement, the happier and more productive you’ll be. 
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Louder Than Words


I love words.  Yet people derive 60% – 80% of our meaning (our intentional meaning or our unintentional meaning) through something OTHER than our words!

I found this book very insightful:  Louder than Words: Take Your Career from Average to Exceptional with the Hidden Power of Nonverbal Intelligence by Joe Navarro (FBI Special Agent ret.) with Toni Sciarra Poynter. Harper Collins, New York, NY, 2010. Author Joe Navarro describes the many ways we send messages: through our attitudes, our clothes, our body language, our manners, and more.

Here is one tidbit from this book that will help you in all your relationships, and particularly in your sales conversations.  If this resonates with you, you’ll probably enjoy the rest of the book.  I loved the diagrams of body positions and their associated meanings.
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Feeling Stuck? Signs and Symptoms of a Mindset Slump

breakthrough wall


If you’ve been feeling stuck in your business, like you’re on a plateau and you can’t quite get off, then you’re likely experiencing some mindset issues. That means that your thoughts and feelings are preventing you from taking action.

This is so important to recognize, in order to take the right action. Here’s what a mindset problem can look like.

  1. You tolerate too much and your vision is small.

For example, you tolerate crap. You put up with a messy office, a door that doesn’t shut tight, or a computer/phone/other technology that doesn’t work well. You tolerate people being late for calls or meetings with you. People push your boundaries/expectations and you let them do that. Those are all examples of tolerating the crap.
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3 Ways Lifelong Learning Can Slow Down Your Business

I’m a big believer in the power of understanding your strengths and relying on them in your business.

It gives you more confidence, you feel more authentic. That authenticity and confidence helps you feel more at ease in your business, especially in your selling conversations.

One strength I see in myself and in my community: lifelong learning. My community is full of women who love learning new things.

If you look at your bedside table or coffee table, is it full of self-help books, books on spirituality, or building your business? If that’s you, then most likely you too are a LIFELONG LEARNER.

There are lots to benefits to being a lifelong learner AND in some ways it can decrease your effectiveness in your business. (You’ll find videos to help you increase your effectiveness as a learner and entrepreneur at http://marcystahl.com/blog )

Here are 3 ways your love of learning can interfere with your business growth.
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