As you may have read or know already, I quit my "traditional" job months ago to work for myself. To let go of the complacency, the familiar & accustomed.. the stifling. What I learned long before I quit however, is that small business owning, creating, making, putting your best self out there constantly.. is hard. I told myself when I quit that the up's and down's i'm fixing to tell you about would come and I would just need to let them pass. I began to realize that for this to work I would need to be an enthusiast. Not only in business, but in life. To embrace the curve balls, to expect them and to keep on keeping on regardless.
Let me tell you a few very real things small business owners feel..
Imposter syndrome by definition is a psychological pattern in which individuals doubts their accomplishments..etc.
The i'm not good enough. Am I worthy? Was I just lucky? Wow I suck. I don't belong here. This isn't working. I bring nothing to the table.
I've taken a giant leap this year - and its something I contemplated for awhile because well... was I worthy of it? I've known that it was possible, that I could do it.. but am I worthy? I am. I knew that what I dove head first into was something I am fully capable of doing but getting past that level of uncertainty still remains difficult sometimes.
The problem is, in my mind... will the number of people who see my work like it? Will this business grow, or be stifled by something I don't even know i'm doing? What am I even doing. That little nagging voice in the back of your head, I think it's something we all deal with on some level. It sneaks up on you. Not every day, not every month, but its there waiting for that moment of vulnerability to sneak up on you and bite you in the ass.
For me, its not that I don't really thing my work is good, I do, surface level anyway. Its that deep little nagging voice that surfaces to tell me that it'll never be good enough. I'm wasting my energy. My time. That voice speaks volumes when I make something that no one seems interested in buying. But I think its that way for all types of creators at some point or another. You put the time in, you love it, believe in it, all signs in every direction point to "YES, this is it" so you create this product your audience says they want from you only to find out they didn't want it enough to actually ever buy it.
Replacing imposter thoughts as a small business owner is, dare I say, MORE WORK.
But, here we are, always putting the work here. So repeat after me:
I belong here. My work is valid. My mission is exactly what someone needs. I inspire. I am always good enough. I've come so far. I work hard. I'm valuable. I am beyond worthy.
Failure is gonna happen
Failure is part of small business and much as success is. Everyone experiences it on some level. It can make owning a small business hard. Wanting to walk away & trade it in for a 9-5.
This is another place that enthusiast mindset has to come into play. Failure is not fatal, however. Letting go of your vision and not trusting the process, now thats fatal.
We all have different reasons for choosing to own a small business, to create, side hustle, blogging, etc.
For me, its more time with my family, not feeling overwhelmed trying to do it all in an office and at home (even though I still get overwhelmed doing that, what was I thinking?) Calling the shots, collaborating with other badass women, running a business on my own terms. Thats why I do it
The good does outweigh the bad, promise.
Yes, a non traditional job sometimes means MORE work put in, but completing a task is 100% more satisfying when its for yourself. The late nights, way too much social media, working every single day, wasting time on being so indecisive (that may just be me), making "product people won't buy" sometimes. Yeah its hard and defeating and can leave you drained, But when it was started and completed by you, for you its a 10/10. When you can drop what your doing without guilt and go have lunch with a friend, get your sick kid from daycare again, pick your own days off, make your own schedule. I could seriously go on and on and on about how the good does in fact outweigh the bad. Its freedom. Freedom that you get to set for yourself.
You get to work extremely hard, but you also get to binge watch netflix while doing a little work from your phone some days. Listen to an audible book while you take product photos. Take mental health days. The days are limitless, set by you, for you. I'm starting to sound like a sales pitch.
The possibilities are endless
No foolin. Whatever standard you have set for yourself, thats as far as you'll go. You are as capable as you make your mind up to be and that goes with the walls you build for your business.
I dwell in possibilities. As an enneagram 7, I'm all over the place with this anyway. Because I see the potential of doing it all. But I also get overwhelmed by wanting to do it all right now. *rolling my eyes at myself*. So I will sit on the possibilities for too long, dwelling because I am so so so indecisive on what direction to take my businesses. Then I realize I can take them any direction I want, all of the directions if I want.... but just one at a time.
Isn't that an empowering realization?
Don't lose sleep comparing and trying to one up someone. This is a big one for me. I've always been big on supporting others. Before I started any of my businesses I told myself I would not let competition get me down. I'm not interested in competing with anyone, I hope we all make it.
Small business owning can be lonely. There is already a lack of human interaction when your business is online focused or just minimal interaction in general.. so why seclude yourself to people who have so much in common? Who feel the same struggle you do? Getting caught up in the "how can I make more money like them", shifting to a mindset of '"how can I make people's life's a lot better" will bring in the money.
Embracing community fuels your creative fire more than competition ever will, sister. Promise. Because we truly do rise by lifting others.
- a successful woman.