the lively show: optimizing perfectionism with erin gates

TheLivelyShowWithErinGatesToday’s show is a huge honor for me!

I’ve been a big fan of Erin Gates of Elements Of Style for many years and I have loved reading her blog and learning from her as a designer and following her life and career.

In this episode we talk about her exceptional career path and book deal.

But our main topic is perfectionism (starting at 18:30) – how Erin has learned to make the most out of it and appreciate it for what it is, rather than fighting to change herself.

This episode is perfect for bloggers, designers, aspiring authors, and anyone who struggles with perfectionism. 





  • How a variety of jobs – creative and not creative – led to Erin getting into interior design.
  • What Erin did once she quit her day job (before her business was a smashing success) to grow her business and blog into a lucrative full-time career.
  • How Erin and her husband, Andrew, communicate about her success and income in their marriage.
  • How Erin’s incredible book deal came about (and why she believes it was so well received).
  • Erin’s struggle with perfectionism and how she handles it.
  • How to kindly say no to projects you don’t want to do.
  • Why Erin believes her perfectionism isn’t something to fight or change about herself, but something to accept and manage.
  • What Erin would tell someone just starting out on this journey.




Elements of Style – Erin Gate’s new book

Marie Forleo video about saying no

Clara Artschwager’s Lively Show episode about following your intuition




Want more? Check out past Lively Show episodes here.


PS – If you find this podcast helpful and would like to share, please leave a review on iTunes. Thank you so much!


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  1. I’m so looking forward to listening to this on my drive home, Jess! Erin is one of my favorite bloggers, not only because of her impeccable design taste, but also because of her refreshing honesty about her personal life.

    I’m sure this will be another amazing show. 🙂

  2. thelittlekicks

    I really enjoyed listening to Erin’s interview. It resonated with me. And I love when people bypass a formal education and do what they love anyway. Looking forward to her new book!

  3. Victoria Larson

    Fantastic show! Erin’s honesty is refreshing and inspirational.

  4. Maryn

    I have to say I was blown away by Erin’s honesty and sage advice! I’ve visited her blog over the years and can really identify with her struggles with perfection. Will definitely check out her new book!

  5. I just finished listening to your latest podcast and no one’s words have ever resonated as much with me as Erin’s. I actually found myself laughing out loud on the street when Erin mentioned taking 10 minutes to decide on what to drink with dinner – not necessarily because it’s funny, but because I could have been listening to someone describe ME. As someone who overthinks, regrets and struggles with a touch of anxiety on most decisions this was an incredible podcast to listen to!! Here’s hoping my perfectionism also pays off in the end. Keep these podcasts coming!!

    1. I’m so happy to hear you resonated with Erin, Lindsey! I will keep them coming for sure. : )

  6. Ali Manning

    Wow – this was an awesome show. Erin was so brave to talk about her struggles with perfectionism and anxiety. It took real courage for her to share her experiences in such an honest and open way. It’s so hard to be vulnerable in this ‘pinterest perfect’ world. She will help many many people with this podcast – thank you 🙂

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Ali! : ) Agreed on all you shared about Erin, her courage connects and inspires.

  7. Becky Stickley

    I listen to the podcast every week as I mow the lawn (we have a little over an acre so the podcasts are the perfect length!). All of them are great in their own way, but this one was amazing. I really appreciate the frank discussion on both dealing with perfectionism and anxiety as well as really embracing the positives aspects. Thanks so much for this one!

  8. Jennifer Durham

    This was by far my favorite episode, I love Erin so much! I appreciate her honesty and openness. Keeping this one on my ipod so I can listen to again and again!

    1. That’s so great to hear, Jennifer. : ) I’m glad you loved it – and I agree, Erin is amazing.

  9. Dawnavette

    I just discovered this site from another recommendation on a great blog I follow… it was like falling down a dope rabbit hole of inspirational content! Thanks for the share and further inspiring me to continue working the vision. There are so many distractions and failures along the path to achieving… I’m learning to enjoy the journey and continuing to work hard while I “wait” for the ultimate breakthrough. My favorite gem, “It doesn’t happen overnight… it took a LONG time!” Amen. 🙂 Thanks – and have an awesome New Year!

    1. Jess Lively

      Amazing! I’m so glad you found the show and are getting so much out of this episode and others as well. : )

      Have a great New Year as well!

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