Several weeks ago, Wicked Sheets CEO Alli Truttmann was the keynote speaker of One Southern Indiana‘s Pearls of Wisdom event, sharing the experience of growing Wicked Sheets from a one-bedroom operation to combat night sweats to a nearly decade old company that ships worldwide. Below are her thoughts on the incredible experience. 

“Just be honest.”

“Be open about the struggles you have encountered when starting a business.”

“Tell your story.”

These were the bits of feedback I received when I asked the guests at the Pearls of Wisdom event what the most impactful “pearls” prior speakers had shared. Their feedback was spot on. If you know what catharsis is, you know what it feels like to have shared your story with a bunch of strangers who never judge, never question, but only support. That’s what this group did for me last week, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the experience!

When I’ve been fortunate enough to be asked to come and share my Wicked Sheets story, I’ve never been one to “prepare”. I don’t use notecards, I don’t use PowerPoints, and I certainly can’t memorize and expect myself to regurgitate what I studied; I’m too much of a competitive perfectionist for that.

What I mean by competitive perfectionist ties back into the story that I shared that morning with the wonderful women (and men) attending the breakfast. I compete with myself. For instance, think about the memorization theory of public speaking or acting. Rehearse, perform. Rehearse, perform. If I were to rehearse something and then not be able to say it exactly as I remembered it during the performance, I’d get so frustrated and beat myself up forgetting the lines and then the whole presentation would go down the tube!

The same rings true for me in my business. I am so concerned about the performance that I become a perfectionist about the product, the customers, my employee’s experience, etc. It’s amazingly productive to have that personality type when your business is small and nimble, but as we grow year to year, I’m learning that I need to give up some of those qualities and free up that energy for more productive work (Thanks for that, Freud!).

I only shared a little bit about my background as a former collegiate athlete and a psychologist, but I think the “competitive perfectionist” theme resounded during those times in my life. And, as you can see, I eventually had to give up those aspects of myself and begin focusing on Wicked Sheets full-time. I have been starting to see my life in a series of vignettes that are all governed by this series: Set the Goal. Practice. Perfect. Perform.

If there was one “Pearl of Wisdom” that I hope I left in the minds of the amazing attendees that morning, I hope it was that. Your life probably has a theme right now. You may or may not realize it yet, but when you do…IF it’s productive for you/your goal, stick with it. Keep using your method. No one strategy works best for everybody, but if you’ve identified yours…put the pedal to the metal!

Thanks, One Southern Indiana for the opportunity to share my story. Sleep well, sleep wicked!