Retweet. Except the Taco Bell part. That just sounds like a week of pain and serious indigestion…
There are stories for another time that led me to start…restart?…my own business, but I think what has been—at times—the craziest part of this ride is the juggling act. I’ll admit, I’ve always been a pretty mean multi-tasker (yes, I am tooting my own horn but hang in there with me); but since becoming a full-time, self-employed hustler, there have been days where my juggling hands seem to seize up and fall off. I’m serious. I have no other explanation for the incredible amount of overwhelm on those days other than the fact that surely my hands must have fallen to the ground and they cannot get up. And then there’s Instagram! I mean, to add insult to injury, I’m over here with 13,000,000 tabs open on my computer, eye crusts still on my face from the day before, and I decide to open that tiny possessed app. Floop! All of these highly curated, perfectly staged, beautiful posts pop up on my feed, and what do I do? I crumble, people. I absolutely lose all sense of purpose. Because here’s the thing, I can paint a person, I can build a wooden structure with power tools, I can come up with a new business idea every five minutes, but create a half-decent Instagram post? Shut your fancy-face, no ma’am I cannot. At least, that’s what my seized-up-fallen-off-hands mentality is telling me. Don’t get me wrong, I am the biggest supporter of all my #bossbabe superstar entrepreneurs out there killing the game, but wowza! Am I the only one who feels like Instagram is making us all set standards for ourselves that no one else has?
Ok, that was a tangent. Really where I’m going with all of this is to say, being an entrepreneur is an incredibly exciting ride. It really is! Most days it is exhilarating, satisfying, and empowering; but every once in a while those days will creep up on you that are far from all those great things. I was telling a good friend of mine who just finished her graduate degree in psychology about this and to my sweet, sweet relief she confirmed this is in fact a scientific thing that happens. It’s called Imposter Syndrome.
Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon, impostorism, fraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a "fraud".
So there you have it! Maybe it’s not big news to any of you, but let me tell you what—I felt like a 6-year-old child just got off my back. (read: huge relief or weight lifted)
It’s silly isn’t it? We have been able to take the brave step to not have a guaranteed paycheck, we’ve put personal finances on the line, we’ve put ourselves out there creatively (which is highly vulnerable), and we’ve asked people to believe in us along the way; but somehow on those days we actually believe that we don’t have what it takes to go any farther. We completely neglect everything we have done to get ourselves to this point, and we say as surely as Chris Trager, “Nope! I literally do not have what it takes to build this brand.”
I get it. You have emails to reply to. You have books to reconcile. You have people to meet. You have events to attend. You have branding to do. You have people to train. You have Instagram pictures to post. You have a newsletter to write. You have a photoshoot to schedule. You have more emails to reply to. And did you forget you also have to create the content you’re actually selling? Oh, and have you eaten recently? How about shower? And workout? Sleep? Yea, me either. There’re too many things.
But you know what I’m going to tell you—and myself…and the person who is dreaming of starting their own company—that’s ok! No one feels like they have an Instagramable life or business all the time. And most certainly all of us have dropped the ball on an email response or two (or 20); but the fact that you’re doing it anyway — that’s big! That’s brave! That’s good. And on the days when that pesky little imposter rears its ugly head, pull up your socks a little bit higher and give it a swift kick in the noggin. You’ve got this.