It was a thrill to give my first Ted Talk at the TEDxPlano event in Texas! I will send out the video link in about a month when it posts to the TED site.

In the meantime, here’s a brief overview… I’ll try not to spoil any of the surprises (of which there were many in the 18-minute talk.) The title is:

The “Perfect” Excuse: Why High Achievers Fail To Hit Their Personal Goals

Some of you may have experienced this… you’re a high achiever who has done very well in your career, but maybe you’ve got a personal goal, like writing a book or doing a regular exercise program, which you haven’t made happen, yet. I could be the “poster child” for this.

In reflecting on what’s holding us back, and in doing research into the psychology behind the issue, I believe it has to do with our fear that the final outcome won’t be as “perfect” as we imagined. This is when we pull out the “perfect” excuse to not start the project OR to never finish it because we can’t stop improving it. The “perfect” excuse shows up on both big and little projects. I remember when my daughter was having her 6th birthday and I wanted to make the “perfect” cake. I started out with a good cake. Then I improved it with another layer. Then I made that even better with frosting and started adding decorations. By the 5th attempt to improve it, the cake collapsed under the weight of its own sweet “perfection!”

In my TED Talk I share some surprising lessons learned from tech start-ups that became game changers, some embarrassing personal experiences that shaped my life and the night that changed rock n’ roll forever. Audience members came up to me after to say the message hit dead center perfect on the issue that was holding them back… and it was interesting that many agreed the big take-away was when I advised that we can get out of being stuck and into achieving goals if we just do this one thing: