Golden nuggets from the book “Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance” by Jonathan Fields.

01 | We can put all our energy into perfecting things

02 | And still be biting our nails uncertain of what people will think

03 | The quickest way to manage unknowns

04 | And create certainty is to put it out there and test

05 | Think of it as an opportunity to explore

06 | Knowing, too, that nothing is guaranteed

Progress Over Perfection

Do you tend to overthink and overachieve like I have been known to do? It takes work to unlearn our conditioning around productivity, performance, and outcome. When fast, instant, quick, cheap is celebrated and people are focused on transactions rather than transformation we end up with band-aid solutions. Perhaps effective in the short-term, it’s not sustainable. When building on a weak foundation, whatever is built on top will eventually fall apart, along with its people.

Do you worry about things that haven’t happened yet, so you over prepare for that sales call or proposal or product launch or design review and are exhausted because you’re overworked (and working yet another late night). What happens when the prospective client still says no? It’s crushing. When we don’t have clear boundaries, we lose a part of ourselves each time.

When the method is to push on through and create in a vacuum in order to “stay ahead” of potential problems, we can lose time, energy, and money putting in a ton of effort, thinking we’ve covered all the basis–never mind the biggest variable that we can’t control–human behavior. Insert real people and the outcome is varied.

Focus on the Process, rather than the Outcome

When approaching work with an attitude of exploration, embracing of process, progress over perfection, small consistent cycles of review- feedback-revision we make space for co-creation, collaboration, and ability to pivot when needed to move in the right direction.

Let the Client In On the Journey

With creative work, I bring clients in early and often during critical points of a project. This way the lines of communication, connection, and building trust are open. Any potential concerns can be addressed right away, rather than at the eleventh hour.

By letting the client into the process, they can witness real change from beginning to end. They see the work it takes and value it more through understanding that you don’t wave a magic wand. Most importantly, the client has a sense of ownership of their brand (after all, it is their business and money). You’ll be seen as a hero for guiding the client to succeed in expression of their vision.

Let me know if any of this rings true for you on either spectrum. What are you doing in your relationship building and process that work well and what areas can be improved?

Image Credits: Sunset Notes by Van Cooley, Hero Image by Harry Sandhu


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