It needs to be understood that there is no firm definition of perfection. Perfection is more so a concept that we strive for. The phrase “in a perfect world” is used as an exaggeration, not as a factual statement. Become comfortable with the idea of pursuing perfection. I had to come to these realizations and train my brain to focus on constant improvement rather than action-less theory.
Many successful people are perfectionists. At the same time, they have the ability to say “Done is Better Than Perfect” and just complete and wrap up a project. What is the best way to overcome the stalling and procrastination that perfectionism causes? How does one overcome the fear of potential critique or the fear of not being successful? In this interview series, called How To Get Past Your Perfectionism And ‘Just Do It’, we are interviewing successful leaders who can share stories and lessons from their experience about “how to overcome the hesitation caused by perfectionism.
As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Isaac Mashman.
Isaac Mashman is a business owner, podcast host, private investor, and public speaker. After trying over half a dozen business ventures, including multiple network marketing companies, artist management, a record label, drop-shipping, and an apparel line, it was in early 2020 he finally understood he had a passion for personal branding and had seen some success with his own up to that point.
On April 17th, 2020 Isaac launched his public relations firm Mashman Ventures and has built his brand with no paid PR and limited advertising. He says that his company takes an untraditional approach to PR and emphasizes the importance of building one’s personal brand organically.
At the time of publication, he has a team of over a dozen people and is nearly 70 episodes into his podcast Chase the Vision with Isaac Mashman in which he uses to talk about his experiences and knowledge in life, business, and personal growth.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
Thank you again for the opportunity to share my story and knowledge! The honor is mine.
I come from a lower-middle-class family in Jacksonville, Florida. Nobody in my life was entrepreneurial, and although I had much of what I needed, my mom and grandparents made just enough to get by, without much room for anything else. Don’t get me wrong, I had clothes, and I had food in my belly, but there were times where the dentist was out of the budget, or I had to wear hand-me-downs. This led me to understand how the lack of money could influence one’s life. It was during my senior year of high school when I turned away from the idea of going to college like I and my mom had been planning for my entire life. Instead, I like to say I “fell” into business.
Within the last several years I have been fortunate enough to travel, be the first person in my immediate family to fly to Europe, and overall accumulate experiences some may think are out of reach, but really aren’t.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
One of my favorite quotes is by the great industrialist John D. Rockefeller. It is “Don’t be afraid to give up the good, to go for the great”. This quote is actually what I put in the yearbook my senior year and try to remind myself of frequently. There have been multiple times where I was in what I would call a decent situation, but I also knew that in order to be great and change, I’d have to get away from comfort.
I could talk about one-way trips overseas, moving away from home across the states, or even taking the leap from being a sole-proprietor to developing a team.
In order to receive greatness, you have to make sacrifices.
Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
Although they can be political, abrasive, and “socially incorrect” at times, Andy Frisella’s podcasts have helped give me permission to be psychotic about my goals and success. Previously known as The MFCEO Project, and later relaunched as Real AF with Andy Frisella, the shows are hosted by a real dude who started from the ground up. 1st Phorm today is worth multiple 9-figures, so I am confident in who I am learning from.
When I used to work overnight shifts at a grocery store (my second and last job) I would always bring my Bluetooth earbuds and listen to the podcast for hours on end. Our world today is full of a lot of fluff, and feel-good content so getting the harsh reality on what it takes to become a high achiever was and is today, refreshing.
You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?
For the most part, I’m a teachable guy. If you have more success than I do in a particular area, I am going to shut up and take notes. When I was in network marketing I always looked to the people making 6-figures a month to learn from, and that in of itself shaved off decades of learning time.
I try my best to be creative. Not so much in an artistic sense, but in a problem-solving and research kind of way. When I am faced with a problem, I want to find a creative way to find a resolution. Building successful personal brands organically and without paying one’s way to the top has required an immense amount of creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.
Being a person of persistence is vital. Sometimes your numbers won’t be where you want. A prospect tells you no again, or maybe you’re faced with a situation that requires more effort than you originally thought. Success comes to those who persist. This comes down to how bad do you really want it and are you willing to make the decision to go all in. Looking back I see how it really boils down to work ethic and persistence.
Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. Let’s begin with a definition of terms so that each of us and our readers are on the same page. What exactly is a perfectionist? Can you explain?
A perfectionist according to Oxford Languages is a person who refuses to accept any standard short of perfection. Yes, I agree with that, but let us look even further into it. A perfectionist is a person who has an unrealistic perception of reality and expects future results to be without flaw and error.
The premise of this interview series is making the assumption that being a perfectionist is not a positive thing. But presumably, seeking perfection can’t be entirely bad. What are the positive aspects of being a perfectionist? Can you give a story or example to explain what you mean?
Now, based on the definition I gave earlier, I have to admit it does sound rather “bad” but is being unrealistic truly a negative thing? Perfectionism has its benefits most definitely. For one, you never have to worry about having low standards or providing a low-quality service or product. Perfectionists have a tendency of ensuring that what they’re delivering is up to par with their expectations, or close to.
There’s also the benefit of maintaining a high-quality network, both in and out of your company. I can assure you when I say a person who has low expectations will not surround him or herself with a perfectionist. It will make them uncomfortable and threatened.
What are the negative aspects of being a perfectionist? Can you give a story or example to explain what you mean?
Being a perfectionist oftentimes will lead you to procrastination. This is why I am so passionate about this subject because I too have been faced with this. With this idea of perfection, we’re striving for more and want more. When we don’t have it, we drive ourselves nuts trying to figure out how to get it. Make sense?
There is also a less common drawback that comes in the form of outlandish expectations for clients, contractors, children, employees, and even significant others. Just because you have an ideal outcome, doesn’t always mean it matches the other person’s. I’ve personally found myself disappointed in the past over clients because their work ethic wasn’t meeting my expectations. I had to learn how to get past that as well and make updates to my training styles.
By no means am I talking about them in a demeaning way, but a large part of our business model is training, and it requires homework on their end. If the homework isn’t done to par, it can affect our curriculum moving forward. I had to adapt.
From your experience or perspective, what are some of the common reasons that cause a perfectionist to “get stuck” and not move forward? Can you explain?
I remember when I was in the early stages of working on Mashman Ventures, I’d spend hours thinking. Brainstorming constantly trying to figure out the direction I was going, what I was offering, who I was working with, the next company I’d launch, and this idea of a utopianistic life. Although there are no innate drawbacks to this, I put myself into a serious pattern of rumination with very little action. As soon as I broke the cycle and took action was as soon as I got results.
Perfectionists tend to think too dang much.
Here is the central question of our discussion. What are the five things a perfectionist needs to know to get past their perfectionism and “just do it?” Please share a story or example for each.
- It needs to be understood that there is no firm definition of perfection. Perfection is more so a concept that we strive for. The phrase “in a perfect world” is used as an exaggeration, not as a factual statement. Become comfortable with the idea of pursuing perfection. I had to come to these realizations and train my brain to focus on constant improvement rather than actionless theory.
- The longer you wait, the farther away from perfection you will be, as well as more depressed. The periods in which I was “ruminating my way to perfection” were also the periods my results lacked the most. Take action today.
- Try and turn the pursuit into a mental game of Me vs. Me. I know that whenever I played video games as a kid I’d always work to beat my high score. To learn the combinations. To win the match. Become focused on gamifying your success. It’s a unique approach not many people know about.
- Lawyer and author Mel Robbins came up with the 5-Second Rule. No, not the rule about food being safe to eat if you pick it up quick enough. Her rule is a mental play that is to be used when you are procrastinating or not doing what you know you should be doing. Count down from 5. It goes 5–4–3–2–1 GO! On GO you get up and start. This was especially helpful during my times of rumination from overthinking my way to perfection.
- Finally, if you are serious about the idea of perfection, you need to start with your own growth first. You can not expect the outward world nor your results to be perfect if you yourself aren’t striving for it within your own life. NOW, this doesn’t mean go and dig yourself into a hole with obnoxious standards, but personal development will save time and make results much easier to obtain.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I’m working towards getting more people to value the concept of personal development. I have a quote that says “At the center of all achievement is personal growth” and I stand by that wholeheartedly. I believe if humans as a whole put emphasis on fixing themselves and increasing their knowledge, many of the world’s issues would naturally be resolved.
Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!
Although my first choices are all long and gone today such as Napoleon Hill, Andrew Carnegie, and the Rockefellers, I would absolutely love to talk to Sir. Richard Branson. The way he has formulated the Virgin brand and built his own personal brand is ingenious and I believe he is often overlooked by people who are big into business studies.
How can our readers follow you online?
Thanks again for the opportunity and I can be found across all socials at @isaacmashman, at my website https://isaacmashman.com and by listening to my podcast Chase the Vision with Isaac Mashman.
Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!