The 5 Biggest Mistakes I've Made (and how you can avoid them!)

Published: June 30, 2010
By: Faye Hollands

On Friday my ‘baby’ Outshine turns 3 years old – a major milestone that I’m very pleased to reach!  When I reflect back over the last 36 months there have been lots of highs and lows, and the beauty of hindsight is that we can all learn from other people’s mistakes!  Regardless of whether you’re building a business, developing your career or trying to loose weight here are 5 lessons I’ve learned that will help you reach your goals more quickly…

Learn From My Mistakes

There have been many light-bulb moments since Outshine was born, but these 5 points are the one’s that have helped me significantly: –

1.  Perfectionists Have No Standards

I used to pride myself on being a perfectionist until someone told me ever-so-wisely that as a perfectionist you really have no standards because ‘perfect’ doesn’t exist.  I cottoned onto this pearl of wisdom at the start of my Outshine adventure and it’s served me well.

My Tip For You: Seriously, quit your quest for everything to be perfect – you’ll get a lot more done, and achieve far greater results if you let this crazy notion go.  It’s not about dropping standards – it’s about actually having standards, and recognising that it’s far better to get a task done than to keep making excuses not to complete because it has to be ‘perfect’.

2.  Some Things Take Time

I’m impatient, and when I’ve come up with an idea I want to achieve it ‘now’, or ideally yesterday!  However what I’ve learned over the last 3 years is that some things – great things that are actually worth achieving – can actually take time to manifest regardless of how much time and effort you put in.  And generally those achievements are well worth waiting for.

My Tip For You: Demonstrate resilience and persistence.  Don’t give up just because you don’t get an immediate buzz – if your goal’s worth achieving then investing time, effort and patience will pay off in the end.  Remember – late is better than never!

3.  Big Stuff Is Possible

You don’t have to be a big wig or an established business to make a mark on the world quickly, or to achieve those audacious goals you’ve been dreaming off.  You just need to believe that you  – yes, little ol’ you – is actually capable of achieving your goals and aspirations.

Three years ago I was skeptical that big blue-chip organisations would want to hire me to coach their senior executives, and I was nervous about simply walking into the reception of some of the businesses I was pitching to work with – after all, Outshine is just me, myself and I!  I was well and truly out of my comfort zone, somewhere that I still visit every single week, but pushing those boundaries and believing that I had every right to be pursuing those opportunities is what has helped me get ahead.

My Tip For You: Never – I repeat, never – underestimate what you’re capable of.  If you believe it’s possible, it is.  But you have to believe in yourself.  You have to want something badly, you have to be willing to get out of your comfort zone to achieve it, and you need to take consistent action on a daily basis to get there.  Do these 3 fundamental things and you’ll eventually find yourself in a very good place indeed.

4.  Celebrate Your Successes

I used to celebrate big wins – bonuses, promotions, major client acquisitions –  but when I started Outshine there were no promotions (well, I became everything from Toilet Cleaner to CEO all in one day so it would have been tricky!) and there weren’t any big bonuses –  I went from being a paid employee on a nice salary to weekly wage of $0 on day one.  Ouch.

After taking a fair amount of risk, I realised that I couldn’t wait for the big bucks to roll in or the major client wins to celebrate – I needed to acknowledge every achievement regardless of size because even the small wins are big enough to keep you motivated and focused on moving forward towards your goals.

My Tip For You: Don’t lose sight of the small things you do every day or week that help you get closer to your goals  – it’s those ‘bite size pieces’ that add up to some very major accomplishments over time but if you don’t pause to celebrate them you might not stay motivated long enough to make it all the way.

5.  Ask And You Shall Receive

Independence can be a fabulous trait, however just like like being a perfectionist, it can also work against you.  Trying to do everything on your own can slow you down, make things more difficult and hinder your level of success.  Whereas asking for help, getting others involved and collaborating can push you forward and allow you to realise your ambitions much faster.   It’s also quite amazing how much you can achieve when you simply ‘ask’ – a very underused tactic that I’m a firm believer needs to be made fashionable again!

My Tip For You: Don’t try and do everything yourself, or shy away from asking people for help and advice.  Regardless of whether you’re building a business, looking for a new job, trying to lose weight or carving out a new career for yourself there are people around you that can help you achieve your objectives much more quickly.  There are no prizes for going it alone but there are definitely hefty rewards available for reaching your biggest goals!

Do you do any of these things?  How have they impacted your goals?   Post a comment and let me know!

Written by Faye Hollands – Director at Outshine Consulting.  Faye is an accomplished Career Coach and Time Management Specialist who has successfully coached countless clients on how to create a career they love, get more done in less time, and achieve personal and professional success.  You can contact Faye on +61 2 8323 4335 or email

Faye Hollands

About Faye Hollands

Faye is an accomplished Career Coach, Small Business Coach and Productivity Specialist who has successfully coached countless clients on how to create a career they love, get more done in less time, and achieve personal and professional success. To receive weekly articles to improve your career, business and time management skills click here or book your Free Focus Session here.

You can contact Faye on +61 2 8323 4335 or email

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17 Responses to The 5 Biggest Mistakes I've Made (and how you can avoid them!)

  1. Emily

    Nice article, thanks very much! Liked reading through this one …

  2. Thanks so much Emily, really appreciate your feedback!

  3. Sammy Evans

    Great article Faye, sometimes we need reminding that we are human.

  4. Wow – can’t believe it’s been 3 years! This is a great article and one I wish I’d read 3 years ago when I started the GetMe journey. Mind you, I was an impatient, self-reliant, self-doubting perfectionist back then so probably wouldn’t have believed you 😉

  5. Thanks for sharing these gems with us Faye, I can totally relate and have made some of those mistakes myself. It’s all part of the journey really…and what I love most is that we are all in the same boat to some degree. The good news is: we are all 100% responsible and accountable for our actions and for our results.

    Thanks again,

  6. Fabulous Article Faye, all your points are so so true. The toughest is staying on track and not slipping back into these mistakes. Making the important effort to recognise your triumphs and give yourself a pat on the back is a must. Thanks for sharing!

    Shares smiles

  7. That was good! I especially liked point 2 and 5! So very true!
    Thanks for sharing!
    p.s. I am in year 1 of my creations, with another arm of it being birthed at the end of August, hopefully! 🙂

  8. Lyn Gerbich

    Great article. I can see so much of me in that – it’s nice to see others make the same mistakes. I will have to remember to try and be patient and learn to ask for help. Valuable points, thanks for the tips.

  9. Thanks for the reminder to celebrate the little achievements. And good to have a reason to stop thinking like a perfectionist!
    Julissa, New Work Photography

  10. Donal

    Great piece of writing – thoroughly enjoyed the wise words
    Keep on reminding us!

    Many thanks

  11. Thanks Faye, your words inspire us all to look beyond what we can see, into the realm of the uncomfortable, big challenges. We have some days where we think we are invincible, and others that we are not. It’s what we do on the ones we are not, that proves our character, and grows our personality.
    Thanks for your great tips, I’ll be back for more!

  12. I enjoyed your article. I especially appreciated the tips about perfectionism. Not only is it a good reminder to myself (I lean heavily in this direction!), but it offers one more way I can explain the problem of perfectionism to others. In particular, I speak to parents and teachers about helping their students overcome the perfectionism that leads to writer’s block. Your simple statement that perfectionists really don’t have any standards is truly an eye-opener.

    Kim Kautzer
    WriteShop, Inc.

  13. Pingback: Why Imperfection Is Important - Career Coaching - Small Business Coaching — Outshine Consulting

  14. Charlotte R. VanHagen

    It was a painful process to go from perfectionism to imperfection. I slipped in the dew of the grass and ran my foot into a railroad tie. Trying to be SUPERMOM, I didn’t take care of myself qand attempted to get my youngest daughter back from CO to KS for a 4-H meeting. I ended up with a neurological disorder (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) that put me in a wheelchair for my efforts! This caused me to learn imperfection as there is a LOT that can’t be accomplished from a sitting position! Now, I can walk for a while, but activity is limited. I’m looking for an Information Technology job that can be done from home. Would appreciate any leads!!

  15. Pingback: Why Imperfect Is Important | Busy Working Mumma

  16. Pingback: 7 Years Of Prickles And Pleasure | Outshine Consulting


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