Blockers to Finishing Your Online Course

#5 Perfectionism

Not the most surprising inclusion on the list of blockers for sure, but perfectionism is definitely something I have suffered from in building online courses! I wouldn’t even go so far as to say I have fully conquered this one either, but I am so much better than I used to be. It’s certainly no longer a blocker for me to publishing.

That insistent desire to tweak just one more time, coupled with the fear of seeing the typo the very second you press ‘publish’ can add up to a whole lot of resistance to getting that online course finished! Perfectionism can also strike when we’re unsure of our steps in creating our course – are we doing the right thing at the right time?

Anne challenge inspired meWhat I have also noticed is that this blocker has become something of a ‘trendy fault’ – there’s even a Facebook group for recovering perfectionists! A little part of me wants to resist that though. Having high standards to want something to be the best it can be isn’t a bad thing – it’s only when we let it stop us from moving forward that it becomes a problem.

Which is the most important part of recognising and dealing with perfectionism – not letting it stop us from moving forward. In the case of online courses, this means letting go of something that we know could be better (e.g. video, content included, automation of offer etc.), in favour of getting something published.

This is partly because there’s always going to be something that could be that little bit better. So accept that the very first version of anything you create is always going to be the worst version. Therefore, getting it out of the way as quickly as possible, is actually the sensible option!

Here are some more tips for beating perfectionism:


Repeat after me: “done is better than perfect”. You can’t sell something that isn’t finished, but you can definitely sell something that isn’t perfect (people are doing it every minute of every day!). Now repeat that phrase again and again until you believe it!


Write out the bare minimum you need to do to have someone be able to buy and consume your course and get ONE piece of wisdom from it. Plan out how much time every element beyond your list of minimum is going to take – and how many extra sales you need to make to cover this off. It’s surprising how much less important things become when we do this calculation!


Make sure you have access to a good step by step guide, so that you don’t get caught up wondering if you are doing the right thing at the right time. If you sign up for my weekly best practice emails, you get access to one I have for you.


Set up a proportional reward for yourself, which you only get when you finish and publish. The reward must be desirable enough to be more important than getting that colour just right, or that bulleted list aligned perfectly.


Get some accountability – this is covered more wholly in another post, but being answerable to others can sometimes be a good spur to avoiding perfectionism, because you need to get it done otherwise questions will be asked!


Are you a perfectionist? (Recovering or otherwise!) Or perhaps you’re wondering how anyone gets caught up in such things? Let me know in the comments!