Perfection: An Entrepreneur’s Worst Enemy

done is better than perfect - lara casey

In 2010, I took a leap and left perfection at the door. Two years into the recession, it was clear that the real estate market I’d bet my career on wasn’t coming back anytime soon. Unwilling to wait for an opportunity to fall into my lap, I set out to make something happen. I decided to take a passion of mine – planning social and charity events – and turn that into a business.

Looking back, I had no fear. I bought a website domain, registered a DBA, created a Facebook Page, bought a cute premade WordPress blog template, and announced to my social circle that I was planning weddings (all in about a week). I didn’t think too far into branding, marketing copy, or the intricacies of starting a business. I just went for it. In the first 3 months, I booked 4 clients for that upcoming wedding season!

Disclaimer: I have an MBA in entrepreneurship from USC Marshall, so I wasn’t starting from ground zero in terms of knowhow. However, theory and education is completely different from actually DOING. And in this case, I’d never taken thousands of dollars from a client and had to deliver an event that lived up to those expectations. My point is, we all have stories we tell ourselves about why were totally prepared (or not) for a new challenge, but the truth is there’s uncertainty in anything new. Taking the leap and figuring it out as you go is really the only way anything new gets created.

Fast forward to 2015 (post having my first child)… Although I loved weddings, having a family made leaving every Friday and Saturday during the summer a little disruptive and I was getting burnt out. But, I had the idea for a new business floating around in my head.

Throughout the years I have always mentored and helped other creatives, moms, and female entrepreneurs with their businesses and strategy, especially in the launch and start-up phase. I LOVE doing that. So I thought, why not find a way to turn that into a business? Why not create a consulting company?

I sat on it for months, until finally mid-2016 I decided to post this Instagram “announcement”:

BUT, fast forward exactly ONE YEAR LATER (today), I had not officially made that happen. Why?

PERFECTION.

I feel like the older we become and the more responsibilities in life we have, we become more risk averse. We tell ourselves, “I have a reputation to uphold, so my product / service has to be perfect.” “I have a family to support, so I can’t make any mistakes”… in fact you think you’ve already “learned from your mistakes” so, “I should have all the answers.”

BUT. YOU. DON’T

(This is an especially challenging realization when your proposed business is helping others find business answers of their own.)

What’s ironic is the more experience I’ve gained, the more obsessed with perfection I’ve grown. How could I release something that wasn’t perfect and perfectly me? I needed the perfect website for my new company, a new brand that was pretty and perfectly fitting, the perfect website copy to attract my ideal client, the perfect Instagram feed with followers, etc… EVERYTHING NEEDED TO BE PERFECTLY IN PLACE before “launching” instead of doing what I did 6 years ago and just starting and never looking back. I adapted as I went – heck, I even changed my entire company name and rebranded mid-pregnancy in 2015 when I felt like Preppy Chic Events wasn’t “me” anymore! I shifted my focus from local to destination weddings. And then again from weddings and lifestyle events to mainly corporate and non-profit events.

I can’t tell you how much money I’ve spent on online programs, how much time I’ve spent reading blogs, taking free (and paid) webinars, etc… in the last year. Yes, they have been extremely helpful (and I will write a post on why one of the best investments you can make for your business is investing in yourself), but more than one year later, I have nothing to show except a lot of “knowledge” in my head when I could’ve been “on the field of play” (like Todd Herman says) learning and growing at the same time and actually applying the information.

The funny thing is, I’ve never truly failed when I set my mind to something I’ve set out to do in business – though I’ve faced my fair share of bumps and “learnings” along the way.

So, to all those aspiring entrepreneurs (or current entrepreneurs dreaming of your next idea), I have a message born from first hand experience: STOP PERFECTING AND START DOING! Something. Anything.

Which leads me into why I’m writing this post…

I haven’t figured it all out yet – that’s kind of the point – but here is my first step. I’m putting it out to the world that I’m launching a business strategy consulting and coaching firm. My focus is on helping female entrepreneurs, especially mompreneurs, launch, build and elevate their businesses through tailored strategy, solid frameworks, and an emphasis on bite sized executable steps.

To start, I am offering a 1-on-1 business consulting + coaching program tailored to the launch and start-up stages of new businesses. I want to help YOU develop the right strategies and mindset to build your venture efficiently and economically so you can get out on the “field of play” today!

{image credit: Lara Casey}

Stephanie Uchima 3.0


…and I’m back (again).

After almost 2 years, I have decided it’s time to return to the blog-o-sphere, but this time sharing with the world the knowledge I have been sharing with my friends, colleagues and clients for over 10 years: my advice, tips and experiences on all thing related to entrepreneurship and business. From working as a management consultant to acquiring and marketing real estate to starting companies to launching new products and programs within companies to consulting other small business owners on different aspects of business from marketing to strategy to finances, I have been a source of information, advice and inspiration on all things business-related.

I started blogging back in 2011 with “The Preppy Chic Blog” as a way to showcase some of my client weddings, wedding inspiration, fashion inspiration and style, and pretty much anything preppy.

Then after some health issues, I became obsessed with healthy living and wellness. Since the Paleo diet and Crossfit didn’t really fit into a “preppy chic” girl’s style, I started the blog Cupcakes to Crossfit  in 2012. Because I started blogging about the Paleo diet and Crossfit before it got super “trendy” the blog took off; however, I didn’t have the time or dedication to maintain it. Then, I accidentally crashed my database while trying to update my WordPress and lost everything (which is a good lesson: back-up everything… I didn’t and lost it all)!

While simultaneously having my first child in 2015, I re-branded my event planning company to what you see now, Stephanie Uchima Events, but I never really got back on the blogging wagon. The blog was sitting on my site, but remained stagnant because I kept being pushed down on my list of priorities.

So, here I am, starting “fresh” (since I’m most likely moving my Stephanie Uchima Events website to a new URL and transitioning StephanieUchima.com to my own personal site for entrepreneurship) and putting myself back out there hoping someone wants to listen!

{this article was original written on April 7, 2017 but never published…eek}