We’ve been working on our new site for a little over three months now — drafting how it would be organized, working on the design, writing content, pulling together images for our portfolio, reviewing user experience, coding the design into a working WordPress theme. In short, an involved and, at times, emotional task.
I see this so often with our clients, but it’s been almost two years since I built the previous incarnation of this site, then simply using my name, since Alchemy+Aim hadn’t been born yet, and I simply didn’t anticipate what an emotional journey this would be for me.
The whole of building this company has been precisely that: a very heart-felt and personal/business adventure into the unknown. I can’t separate the two. Every moment I’ve been pushed in my business has asked me to examine my beliefs and the old stories I was clinging to.
The most dangerous one of all was perfectionism.
Afflicted from an early age, my desire to do things perfectly led to some fantastic grades throughout school, two college degrees, and an array of jobs where I was often praised. But perfectionism had its dark side and I found myself frequently criticizing myself for each and every shortcoming: the C I got in Honors Chemistry, the graduate thesis I failed to finish, my struggles with body image and my weight, the end of friendships, the end of romantic relationships.
I told myself over and over again that I ought to have done more, that I wasn’t disciplined enough, that I should be better than this.
Over time, this type of thinking begins to break your confidence apart. You become afraid to take risks. You stay in places that feel safe, even if you’re unhappy.
But a business owner, stagnancy is death.
You have to risk, change, move, grow. Evolve.
I tell that to my clients all the time: your business is constantly evolving. You learn from your interactions with your customers and clients. Situations challenge you and call you to step up.
Perfection is an end point. It’s a place that when you arrive, you mark yourself as done and don’t have to do anything else. You have achieved whatever it was that you wanted.
But life evolves. Your business evolves. You evolve.
Perfection is an illusion.
My business coach, Christine Kane, truly helped me understand this. In my first year of her mastermind, Christine taught me to embrace imperfect action. Imperfect action pushes you forward and takes you to the next place in your journey.
And I have wholeheartedly begun to embrace this in my business and my life. It’s like running constant experiments, discovering what works and what doesn’t so you can make what’s good even better.
When you wait for perfect, you miss out on something.
That’s why I decided that even though I could take another week reviewing my website, checking punctuation in the text and images for optimal layouts, I was going to launch on a Thursday evening. That’s why I decided to put my heart out there, imperfectly, to see what beauty would come of it.
Were the stars aligned correctly? Was I set up to announce the launch on social media at optimal times? I don’t know. I just so badly wanted to share this thing my team and I created together. I wanted to give us the chance to celebrate what we had accomplished and where we are as a company.
Now, I know it sounds strange coming from a website developer that we embrace imperfection. We strive to create truly beautiful intuitive websites for our clients, websites that are as perfect as possible. But the moment we’re finished, their business and brand has already grown a bit — they’ve had a new idea, a thought on how to change a sentence, an image they want to replace. It’s why we build websites that can evolve with our clients, that they can control so they can implement their ideas. They can test, experiment, and adapt.
Watching that journey and being part of that journey is where we find joy.
We get it because we’re right there with you.
P.S. A huge thank you to the whole A+A team, but specifically Adam, who was lead developer on this site. This also wouldn’t have been possible without Michelle Viljoen and her brilliant design skills, Jane Reaction who did our original branding, Carrie Coleman who takes our photos, and all the designers we work with, the clients we have the pleasure to serve and watch as they grow, and the incredible business owners in my mastermind, who hold me accountable and inspire me.