Overcoming perfectionism by mastering the art of shouting quietly

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Anna Ewing

I’m someone who has always liked to quietly go about running my business, advancing my skills and observing others as opposed to shouting “HERE I AM, LOOK AT ME! AREN’T I GREAT!”. So when I was handed a copy of Pete Mosley’s book “The Art of Shouting Quietly” the cover alone really spoke to me.

As a web designer, I actively help people promote their own businesses and as such I’m a confident marketer of other people’s products and services. So why I asked myself when it comes to marketing my own work and promoting my own business does it feel so uncomfortable?! I came to realise that there was a very real barrier at the root of it.

I’m too much of a perfectionist.

I constantly look to evolve and better myself and my business, which is great, but it means no matter how praised my work I look at it and feel a tinge of dissatisfaction – seeing not the positives, but all the ways I might have done better.

As such, after 6 years of running my own creative business, the one thing I still struggle with is putting my work “out there” for judgement by others.

I’ve decided I need to get over myself.

Today’s crowded SME marketplace sees a growing trend for business owners to be a figurehead and spokesperson for their brand. People buy people after all. However, for those more introverted characters, this can prove to be a real challenge. Learning the art of shouting quietly is about mastering how to market yourself and your talents in a way which doesn’t fill you with fear, panic, anxiety and dread!

It’s also about appreciating that being good at what you do is a journey – not a destination – and we need to be able to proudly show off our work and achievements along the way.

As business owners, we’re all so busy that.. having a website? Well, it gets pushed to the back of the queue. I know you can relate to that one. Finding the time to market yourself – whether that be your products, services or your ideas is often really hard. It’s about finding time to be proactive vs reactive though and setting your stall out online from the off. You then work on it and refine it as your business grows and evolves, you do NOT wait for that perfect time to start marketing your business online – because I guarantee, there will never be one!

I realised I needed to practice what I preach. I needed to get bloomin’ started and stop getting stuck in the decision-making process, waiting for that elusive perfect time.

I’ll tell you a secret and it’s that I’ve actually run entirely on word of mouth referrals for the past 6 years. Given what I do for a living that’s particularly significant! However, I’m now determined to push in a different direction – one that will lead me to be able to grow and scale my business.

With 6 direct years experience running my own business tucked under my belt and my children now at a suitable age where I can refocus on work, I ‘ve found myself at a stage in my life where I can plan the next phase of my business adventure. As such I have been seriously evaluating not only my own marketing strategies and branding but pondering what my aims are in life and business. I needed to establish my core values, ambitions and beliefs and ensure they were central to my business planning.

You’ll have no doubt faced the challenge of writing a business plan before. I have to say however painstaking the process might be that thorough business planning (even in the non-formal variety) is so crucial in allowing your business to move forward.

I’ve come to realise over the years that THE most valuable and productive time I spend in my business is thinking and planning time – mulling over next steps, evaluating previous ones and reflecting on current business practice and how to improve.

So, from herein I’ve decided to practice the art of shouting quietly and to be more active in the online promotion of my business and my skillset.

Now all that’s left is to find time to read that book!

Pete Mosley Art of Shouting Quietly