Why I’m Running Toward Embarrassment
LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman says, “If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”
I had a LOL moment when I read that the other day. I laughed as I thought about some of my embarrassing first speaking gigs.
I even thought about a speaking gig I had a couple of weeks ago, where I was trying out new content for the first time. Afterwards, I noticed I felt embarrassed that I wasn’t as polished or articulate as the other speaker.
Then I thought about this question…
What is it that I haven’t launched yet because I want it to be oh-so-perfect right out of the gate and thereby avoid feeling embarrassed by it?
Immediately, I thought of a project I’ve been working on and talking about for YEARS, but haven’t launched yet. Ugh. Totally busted!
With this realization, I’ve made two important decisions:
1) Come hell or high water, I’m getting this project done and LAUNCHED in 90 days or less. Enough talking about it and sitting on my duff, I’m doing it.
2) I’ve spent a lot of energy over the years avoiding the pain of feeling embarrassed. I realize now it’s not something to avoid, it’s something to run toward. Or if I’m not up for running that day, at least I can turn to it with kindness and compassion and, with support, gently walk toward it.
What’s true is that we’ll learn WAY more by getting our stuff out there, doing it imperfectly, and then evolving it as we go, than we will by trying to get it all right from the get-go.
It’s not that we don’t pursue excellence, but we set aside our need for perfection, and jump before we feel ready. Or as I like to say, build the jet while it’s in the air.
Here’s me at one of those embarrassing early speaking gigs! #TBT
Is there something YOU’VE been wanting to do, create, launch that you’ve been talking about, working on here and there, but haven’t actually done yet?!
Is it finally writing that book?
Putting together your signature talk?
Booking yourself to speak?
Creating an online course or workshop?
Launching a new product?
Comment below and let me know what comes up for you. I’d love to hear!
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
– Leonard Cohen
Here’s to your first/second/next imperfect offering!
May it be filled with light and propel you to keep launching and putting your stuff out there, even if it feels embarrassing. Better yet, take that embarrassed feeling as a sign to move toward it.
And happy summer solstice! Let the return to light remind you of your powerful light within.