Go with the FlowI have a confession to make. I’m a bit of a perfectionist.

That shouldn’t come as any major surprise coming from an artist. Most people with artistic tendencies have inclinations towards perfectionism.

One of the most significant pitfalls of perfectionism is typically oversight. While it may be possible to get the desired result out of one area of pursuit, perfectionism can blind us to other equally important areas.

But sooner than later, it’s important to realize that something is better than nothing.

My Artist Website

I’ve been giving some thought to redesigning my artist website. I reworked the design only 5 or 6 months ago, and already I have a new picture forming in my mind.

The current design was intended to be simple enough that even the technologically impaired could figure it out. It’s rather interesting how that came about.

For a short while, I was unable to log in to the back end of my website so I used my FTP client to paste over a temporary version to keep my audience updated. I only included about 3 pages, and the result was that I saw an increase in music sales.

I was a little surprised by this result, but evidently having fewer choices (fewer things to click on) meant my visitors could only do so many things on my website and apparently many of them went straight for the digital downloads.

So, the new design – or the current design – was developed to utilize this concept. With so much content on my website, I couldn’t just throw it all away, but I did give more thought to the structure and took more time organizing the content in a meaningful way.

So, why am I considering another redesign?

Well, I’ve been thinking about consolidating a little. This certainly isn’t the first time my projects (particularly my web projects) have blown up in to more pieces than I could possibly manage on my own, but once again I find myself in a position where streamlining seems like the best thing I could do for my health and my work life.

I manage more Facebook pages than one person should ever manage, I have a couple of blogs, websites and businesses that I no longer have time for, I have four or five Twitter accounts, and I even have three YouTube channels that I attempt to keep updated.

So, it seems to me that consolidation is as good a time as any to refocus my branding.

My Newsletter

After letting it slide for well over a year (possibly even two years), I recently resurrected my newsletter. At one point it was a monthly endeavor in my life, but it ended up feeling like a hassle every time I had to do it.

Now I’m actually publishing it on a weekly basis. My rationale was that, as long as I’m paying for the service (I use iContact), I might as well be using it. Moreover, I’ve been making an effort to blog and podcast on a weekly basis, and I want to get the content out there.

I had heard that if your users don’t hear from you for over 30 days and then you send them a newsletter, you will inevitably have a guaranteed number of unsubscribes. Apparently I’m not immune to those statistics; I have had anywhere from 30 to 40 unsubscribes. My open rate has also dropped from about 30% to 15%.

The Best Possible

I have always wanted to offer the best I could possibly deliver, whether a single blog post, newsletter or podcast episode. But, I have had to admit to myself that, perhaps this is the best I can offer under current circumstances.

My attention is pulled in half a dozen – if not more – directions. Though it will take time, I know that I can renew my focus by streamlining. I can continue to eliminate physical, mental and emotional clutter in my life.

Better Than Nothing

After all is said and done, I have to admit that doing something is better than doing nothing. Even though I have the desire to improve the quality (and maybe even the quantity) of my output, there is a big difference between taking action and just talking about taking action.

Taking action has meant that I have had to relinquish a degree of perfectionism. You can attempt to achieve perfection, or you can be more prolific. Not that either is better or worse, but we do tend to sacrifice one or the other. If it’s going to be one way or the other, make sure that it is a conscious choice.

More importantly, the reward often goes to the bold, not the thinker who is paralyzed by analysis. Be prepared to step out, even knowing that all the puzzle pieces haven’t landed in place.

Go with the Flow

As you know, I grew up in a conservative Christian environment. While I would certainly still consider myself a Christian today, I no longer subscribe to my former limitations because I believe that Jesus was radical.

I often heard people say that you should move in the direction of grace. If that doesn’t make sense to you, it’s a bit like saying “go with the flow.” The idea is that there is favor in a particular area of your life. Paying attention to it and moving in that direction would prove beneficial.

Not that hard work isn’t a part of attaining anything worthwhile, but rather finding that flow and being in the midst of it is both ultimately fulfilling and rewarding.

The problem is that I couldn’t ever seem to find that flow!

Today, I feel like I know where that flow is, and I want to move in that direction.

Author: David Andrew Wiebe

David Andrew Wiebe has built an extensive career in songwriting, live performance, recording, session playing, production work, investing, and music instruction. In addition to helping musicians unlock their full potential, he also continues to maintain a touring schedule with multiple bands.

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