Are You a Perfectionist or Are You a Coward?
“Everybody who achieves uncommon success has achieved it with hard work. That is the common denominator.” – John Lee Dumas
John Lee Dumas had never considered himself a writer.
As a self-proclaimed “audio podcast guy,” writing 71,000 words — all his own — did not come easily. He describes penning his first book, “The Uncommon Path to Uncommon Success: A Roadmap to Financial Freedom and Fulfillment,” as a rebirthing experience, which he discusses on this week’s episode of “Authors Who Lead.”
For 90 days straight, he spent the first two hours of every morning capturing his freshest ideas before committing five more months to complete his passion project. And even after 480 writing hours, he was still scared to put his voice out into the world — because he knew it wouldn’t be good, he explained to me.
But, in a brave move, he did it anyway.
In his book, the founder and host of the award-winning podcast “Entrepreneurs on Fire” — which has amassed over 100 million listens in its 3,000+ episodes — lays out a 17-step roadmap to get you to your version of “uncommon success.”
The path may be simple, but it isn’t easy. It’s a lot of work. And if you don’t want to put in that effort, John says that his book, and path, is not for you.
A Book is a Commitment, Not a Goal
Have you ever had an idea for a book in your head? Or, perhaps, a program that you wanted to launch? You had the idea in your head, but it wasn’t quite “there” yet. It needed more. It wasn’t perfect.
So you worked on it for hours, for days — months, maybe even years. You tried to put a new spin on it. You spent countless hours worrying. It kept you up at night, but it still wasn’t right. So you decided to table it and come back to the idea with fresh eyes.
But here’s the problem, John explains. You’re masking your cowardice with perfectionism.
“Committing to the page” is a powerful phrase that the author uses to explain his writing process. His drive to get it right, to perfect the nitty-gritty details, to keep it simple and concise, came with a lot of hard work — and, with it, he overcame his fears.
What you put into the world today is the best you can do right now. The belief that it may not be good enough will only hinder you and your success. John urges us to rise up and not cower behind perfectionism. Hanging onto an idea longer than necessary for it to magically “get better” is a misunderstanding.
Instead, what remains true is that you may miss out on an opportunity by not taking action now.
The Uncommon Path to Uncommon Success
“Try not to be a person of success. Be a person of value.”
John said he felt like this phrase hit him over the head — not only for himself, but for the people surrounding him, including his personal mentors.
The same was true for me. After our conversation, I was struck by the common path we shared. We had each spent our time and money looking for the right mentors, and once we found them, we did exactly what they said. We clung to their advice for dear life — until we were ready to move on.
Mentors are the way forward. Mentorships are one of the greatest things you can do when you are trying to accomplish anything. Some come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. If you shortchange this step, you could find yourself spinning in circles, rather than creating. Nothing comes for free, so be sure you respect the value they provide, serve them, give to them, or pay them.
When taking the first step on your uncommon path, keep in mind my greatest takeaways from this week’s episode:
- When you are committing to writing a book, commit to the page. Don’t worry about how good it’s going to be. Just commit to being present.
- You are not a perfectionist. You might be a coward.
- It works because it’s so simple. Keep it simple and you will make it there.
What was your biggest takeaway from this week’s episode? What’s the last project you committed to and how did it turn out? Share in the comments below!
That’s all for this week. If you have a message inside of you that needs to be written, today is the day to start. Don’t delay — your next big step is just a few words away.
Website: Entrepreneurs on Fire
Book: “The Uncommon Path to Uncommon Success: A Roadmap to Financial Freedom and Fulfillment” by John Lee Dumas