Imposter Syndrome – Flip the Script!

Feel Like a Fraud? It Happens to the Best of Us.

 

When I start working with clients, one of the first subjects we deal with is mindset. One of the topics that always, always comes up for the female entrepreneur is “Who am I to think I can do this?” …or teach this, or provide this service, or whatever. The fear is all the same. And, if you let that fear run your show, it will keep you from reaching for your dreams.

Here is the Definition:

Wikipedia: Impostor Syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenonfraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a psychosomatic pattern in which people doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent, often internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.

The truth is, the further you go in your business or career, the more risks you may have to take, and the more likely it is that Imposter Syndrome will show up. If you have experienced feeling like a fraud at any point in your life or career, chances are you have chalked up your accomplishments to luck, charm, connections, or some other external factor.

Psychologists tell us that the personality types most likely to have Imposter Syndrome are perfectionists and overachievers That’s right: The superwomen. That sounds like most entrepreneurs to me!

So let’s talk about how to break through it.

Identify what is shaking your confidence. The more you can pinpoint and define the issue, the more able you are to confront it head on with some actionable solutions.

Remember your real life value and all that you have achieved. I’ve started a “Look back 2018” document where I record everything that I have accomplished, big or little, biz or personal. I add to it on an ongoing basis. It builds confidence!

Stop comparing yourself to others. I know, easier said than done. There will always be someone else that is farther along than you are, so what’s the point? Stay focused on your own path and capacities. You may need to opt out of newsletters, and curtail your social media habit to keep your eyes on the prize.

Look at your own language, both internal and external. “I think, I feel, it may just be me, but….” Stop right there. Consciously upgrade your language with more confident, assertive phrases and you will reframe your own self-image. “In my opinion,” “I have a question, and I’m sure I’m not the only one,” are examples that communicate much more strength. Be on the lookout for words and phrases you can eliminate or tweak.

Understand that there is no “right way.” I’m sure there are multiple techniques for conducting specific surgeries! If you perceive that someone has “cracked the code,” or are the ultimate expert, try looking to them for guidance and influence, rather than making yourself wrong.

Take a calculated risk. What would you do if you were not afraid or insecure? Write it down, tell someone else, and take even a small step in a new direction. If you don’t succeed, so what? Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Don’t let Imposter Syndrome rob you of your own progress and ultimate success.

Everyone starts somewhere. Your perspective and point of view will be unique and will resonate with just the right people. If it doesn’t, then they are not the right client or customer for you.

Think you are the only one? Famous actors, artists, CEO’s and the most successful people are the most likely to experience Imposter Syndrome. Consider it a symptom of success. You are in good company! But manage it so it is only a tiny voice that does not cripple your progress. Assume the power pose! You got this!

Are you Charging What You’re Worth?

3 Mindsets that Are Holding You Back

Let’s just say it: Most women entrepreneurs struggle with pricing. We adore helping others, but when it comes to asking for compensation for that help? We fumble.

Sometimes we charge too little out of fear, sometimes we position ourselves in a way that doesn’t show our true value, and sometimes we accidentally trap ourselves in a not-so-profitable business model.

Does this sound familiar? Most of the women I’ve worked with over the years are undercharging when we first start working together. I’ve found that we as women tend to default to being the helper and the nurturer. We undervalue ourselves and this leads to under charging. Let’s work on that!

Here are 3 mindset solutions that will give you the tools to start charging what you are worth:

#1: Watch your language.

Women entrepreneurs are just as susceptible as their clients when it comes to those persistent yet subtle mindset issues and traps. Time to do some house-cleaning and find the thoughts that are holding you back.

First of all, make sure you own a growth mindset rather than one that is fixed and set. Be aware of the possibility for growth in every area – especially those you consider yourself already an expert in, as well as the areas where you’re sure you will never be able to grow.

Dr. Carol Dweck talks about the importance of having a growth mindset in her powerful, ten-minute TED talk, “The Power of Believing That You Can Improve”.

She is applying it to the area of teaching children, but her observations and examples of the effect of changing negative messages with the two little words, “not yet,” is a potent reminder of the power of words.

You can apply a similar strategy to banish stubborn thoughts that keep you stuck by reframing negative self-talk that begins with statements like “I can never,” “I can’t,” “I’m no good at, etcetera, to: “How can I do this?”

In fact, you may have even given your own clients similar exercises! Now it’s time to sit down and do those exercises for yourself.

A growth mindset sees problems as challenges, where a fixed mindset sees them as the end of the road. Failure.

  • Where in your own thinking, have you sabotaged yourself with fixed-mindset thinking?
  • What fixed thoughts do you need to change back to a growth model?
  • What do you find yourself still saying, “I can’t” to?
  • Your answers will act as indicators to tell you where you need to do mindset work next.

#2: Own your expertise.

Imposter Syndrome (feeling like a fraud) is common for everyone once they step outside of their comfort zone. If you feel like a fraud, how can you even begin to charge higher prices?

If you find yourself regularly comparing yourself to others in your field, and coming up short, then the odds are good that you are letting Imposter Syndrome run your self-image. No wonder you are under charging!

Tackle this problem by becoming aware of self-talk that sneaks in to tell you that you are “less than” those around you. When you notice those thoughts, replace them with positive and true statements about your unique strengths. You know why you got into this business, so take time every day to remind yourself of those qualities.

#3: Shed your embarrassment about earning good money.

Somewhere along the line, we may have gotten the message that nice people don’t earn money. Or, are not rich. Or, should not ask to be paid. It’s usually one of those issues that you may have picked up in childhood which can be difficult to drop.

Some of us go so far as to impose our own money anxiety on our clients.

For example, you may be assuming that your prospect can’t possibly afford to pay the fees you would like to be charging. So you don’t charge that much in hopes of getting a “yes.” But really, you’re not a mind reader. You can’t possibly know what your prospect can afford, or is willing to pay, for your services. Don’t assume.

In fact, what your client can or can’t afford, is really none of your business. If you are providing value for your services, then price them accordingly. The right clients will say yes. The ones who don’t see and respect your value, won’t. It’s really that simple.

New Class on Money Mastery

Is Money Holding Your Business Hostage?Time to Escape the Money Scarcity Trap

Is money, or the lack of it, keeping you from growing your business? There may be reasons other than cold hard cash that are holding you back. Join me for a class in Money Mastery to learn how to conquer the money issue.

But I can’t afford it!

It’s too expensive!

Maybe next year…

Sound familiar? I hear it all the time. In fact, it is one of the most common issues that female entrepreneurs face after finally getting their business off the ground. The transition from start-up to success means understanding this vital principle in business:

You can’t afford NOT to invest in your business.

If you are not investing money into your business, the fact is that money is holding you hostage. If you want to break free, you need to be ready to face the obstacles in your path between where you are now, and where you want to be.

Join me for a class on MONEY MASTERY

$49

Think you don’t have enough?

Does money work for you or do you work for money?

Do you see present expenditures as a value-add for your future business?

Do you spend money with purpose?

We will explore:

The 7 money blocks that are keeping you from growing and how to eliminate them.

How to start charging what you are worth.

How to get comfortable with sales.

Sources of money – It’s out there!

In the long run, it is costing you more to put off investing in your Biz. And, it isn’t just costing you dollars, it’s costing you peace of mind and freedom from the hamster wheel.

In other words, by missing opportunities to invest in your business now, your Biz is holding you hostage. Time to break free.

I have found that there are three major types of obstacles that hold many small business owners back from their true potential: Mindset, Resources, and Sales.

Mindset Obstacles

In order to thrive in business, you have to identify the mindset obstacles that are between you and success. This is true when it comes to money as well.

Risk Aversion: Does it feel like too much of a risk to invest in your business? You are not alone. Becoming comfortable with taking some risk is critical to identifying and taking advantage of great opportunities to grow your Biz.

Imposter Syndrome: It is very common for female entrepreneurs to harbor the deep-seated idea that they just aren’t good enough. As a result, they undervalue their services and are less likely to invest in themselves and their Biz.

Fear of Failure: Fear-based decision-making of any kind is a big mistake. The ultimate irony is that when we make decisions based on fear, we almost always create the very thing we are most afraid of in our lives and our business.

Ready to conquer your Money Mindset issues? Sign up for my Mastering Money class today.

Resource Obstacles

Resource obstacles come down to two basic questions: Where and How.

Where? The money is out there, you just need to know where to look. Once you make the decision to invest in your business so that you can achieve success and personal freedom from the daily grind, finding the money isn’t actually all that hard.

How? Of course, you also want to make sure you get the most bang for your buck. Knowing where to best invest your resources is the second resource obstacle that many new Biz owners struggle with.

Ready to put money to work for your Biz, but aren’t sure how or where to start? My Mastering Money class is for you.

Sales Obstacles

Sales is the heart of generating revenue for your business whether you sell a product or provide valuable services. Getting comfortable with sales is an obstacle that many entrepreneurs don’t really want to face, but it is critical to growing any Biz.

My Mastering Money class will address why it is that sales can seem like the hardest part of growing your Biz, and what to do to get past this major block to growth.

Join Money Mastery Class 

What is a 4 Letter Word that Starts with F?

Don't let Fear hold you back

You have refined your product or services. You have built up your customer or client base. You’re past the “start-up” phase, and well beyond the “break-even” point. You did it all by yourself.

Congratulations, your an amazing Solopreneur!

Meanwhile, you’re working a 60 hour work week. There is always MORE work to do. You can’t scale your biz because you can’t take on any more work. You haven’t had a vacation in over a year. And yet, your afraid to do anything differently, after all, everything you’re doing got you this far.

If something got you this far, then continuing to do something the same way is playing it safe… right?

In practice, giving in to your fear often feels like “playing it safe” and avoiding risk, but really this isn’t true. There is risk in fear-based decision making – the very real risk that you end up staying a Worker Bee forever.

Here’s the thing – Playing it safe feels like it is protecting you from failure, but in reality, it can actually cause failure.

Too many entrepreneurs, women, in particular, are letting fear cost them, big time. I see it all the time. And, it doesn’t have to be that way.

If you want to go from Solopreneuring to becoming a true CEO, it’s time to take a good hard look to see if fear-based decision making is standing between you and your entrepreneurial dreams.

Here’s what to look for:

Fear of Judgement

When you look at others in your sector, you have a tendency to compare yourself to them, and always seem to come up short. You sometimes feel like a fraud, and worse, you’re convinced that is what everyone else sees too.

Here’s what it looks like:

You were invited to showcase your wares at a local art show, but felt that the work of the other artists was much better than yours, so you declined.

You got a hot lead for a consulting job with a Fortune 500 company through a close contact but decided not to follow up on it because you were intimidated by the prestige of the client.

You have been charging the same rates for your coaching services for the last 3 years. You have so many clients that your schedule is constantly overbooked. Yet, you refuse to raise your rates because you feel like you might be “ripping off” your clients.

Here’s what it’s costing you:

Fear of judgement, a.k.a. Imposter Syndrome keeps you from reaching your full potential. It creates a sense of “less than” which translates into missed opportunities, undervaluing your work, and ultimately, a business model that flatlines.

Fear of Letting Go

This fear often takes the form of “No one else can do it as well as I can.” If you experience anxiety when it comes to delegating, outsourcing, or hiring decisions, then be on the lookout for this one.

Here’s what it looks like:

Your work week has become a never-ending daily grind. Most of the tasks you do are repetitive and monotonous. You’re starting to wonder if entrepreneurship is really that much different than a job.

You tried hiring a freelancer once, but she didn’t do the tasks in the same order as you did. You decided that only you can really do the data entry for your weekly sales, so now that three hours of weekly work is back on your schedule.

You haven’t had a real vacation since you started your business. You dream about a week at the beach, and the money is in the bank for the trip. But you fear that if you walk away from the day to day operations your biz will fall apart.

Here’s what it’s costing you:

Fear of letting go, a.k.a. Worker Bee Syndrome keeps you from scaling your business. You get trapped working in your business, not on your business. As long as you assign yourself the menial labor involved in running your business, you won’t be able to put the energy into growing your business.

And, fear of letting go means you don’t make the needed time for yourself to rest. You will eventually lose the passion that you brought to your biz in the first place. Burn out is coming if you don’t learn to let go.

Fear of Failure

When you are afraid of failure, you miss so many opportunities to invest in your business – critical for growth.

Here’s what it looks like:

You have done some research on small business loans, but refuse to pull the trigger even though the numbers look good. Meanwhile, your biz lacks the capital to make the jump to the next level.

You’re introduced to a business coach at a local lunch n’ learn for female entrepreneurs. You definitely hit it off and felt that she had something to offer you in terms of growing your business. Yet, you fail to follow up with her because you’re convinced your business isn’t ready to grow yet. Maybe next year…

Here’s what it’s costing you:

When fear of failure is holding you back, it usually shows up as a lack of willingness to invest in your business. It also keeps you from taking the risks you need to scale. In the end, fear of failure might seem like it is keeping you safe, but what it is really doing is keeping you stuck.

The Root Cause: Fear of Change

I have spent decades building successful businesses and helping others do the same. Many of my clients come to me as successful Solopreneurs. They have great ideas, plenty of vision, and a ton of work to do.

But, they are often afraid of change. They got this far with hard work, determination, and plenty of missed vacations. It must be working right?

Um, no. Just because it got you off the ground doesn’t mean it will take your business to the next level.

In order to go from Solo to CEO, you have to be ready to identify fear-based decision making, and decide to make a change – even if you think you’re not ready. It’s a mindset thing.

Solo2CEO Online Course

Move from Solopreneur to CEO and Finally Grow Your Business in 6 Weeks or Less
(Without breaking the bank, or losing control)

COMING MARCH 2019

Why should I sign up?

To break out of the TRAP of being a one-woman band, and plan for growth in 2019

What’s it all about?

Learn how to create a plan for strategic and successful growth

Most women solopreneurs start their business because they have a passion. They absolutely LOVE what they do. But at some point, they realize that their passion will only take them so far.

They work ridiculous hours, are so overwhelmed with the day-to-day details that they can’t see how they will ever get off of their hamster wheel. They just feel like everything is bursting at the seams.

After much trial and error, I have devised a simple but crucial 6-step system for shifting from Solopreneur to being the true CEO of your business and poised for growth. This is the method I give to my clients and they use it to jumpstart their growth almost immediately. In this course, I’ll be sharing solutions to some of the toughest issues in a growing business.

JOIN ELYSE FOR THIS ONLINE COURSE

You Will Learn

How to recognize Imposter Syndrome and calm your inner self-doubt.

  • My 6-step system for growing a profitable business.
  • How to get out of your own way and conquer the mindset issues that are keeping you stuck.
  • What you need to start and grow a team, WITHOUT breaking the bank!
  • How to create a work-life balance that works for YOU.

This course is for you if:

  • You are too afraid to spend money on additional help because cash is ALWAYS tight.
  • Exhausted by a never-ending to-do list and wearing too many hats.
  • If you desire a business that fits your life, not a life that has to work around your business
  • If you have struggled with never being able to take a vacation or real time off.
  • f you have said “no” to a new opportunity because you couldn’t handle the additional work.
  • The passion with which you started your businesses is a faint memory, now that you are up to your ears in the details of running your business.
  • You know where you want to go with your business but can’t figure out how to get there.

Here is what’s included:

  • 6 video modules (Watch at your own pace.)
  • Tools, worksheets, resources and downloads to make it easy for you to make the transition from solopreneur to CEO
  • Weekly group coaching calls with me so you can ask questions and get the help you need to get real results

Module 1: Mindset, Fears and Vision

Identify mindset issues and obstacles, create a vision of your future company

Module 2: Time Management Like a Boss

Taking control of your day, week month for maximum productivity

Module 3: How to Think Like a CEO

Understand the difference between working ON your biz and instead of IN it. Learn to shift your thinking to that of the leader you need to become.

Module 4 Building Your Team Without Breaking the Bank

The 4 stages of team building. Solutions to fear of delegation, control issues. Learning how to outsource strategically and at a minimal cost to begin to build a team.

Module 5 – Mo’ Money, Mo’ Money

Don’t let a lack of capital for marketing or team keep you from growing. Learn to work through the ebbs and flows of cash. Where to find additional capital.

Module 6 –  Systems, Software Tools and Templates for Growth

Create the systems and tools in your business to allow you to step away from being the worker bee and building a team to help you be the true CEO of your business. With a little upfront planning, you will position you and your business to soar.

Once you purchase, you’ll gain immediate access to all the training modules as instant access to our private Facebook group. 


COMING IN MARCH 2019

Get Out of Your Own Way – Pt. 2

Obstacles to Business Growth

Part 2 of 2.

Last week I covered 4 obstacles that can get in your way. This week, I’m finishing up with the final 4.

5. “I have a good sense of where I want my business to go, but can’t figure out how to get there”

This is when growth and transition are the hardest. The processes, procedures and structures you carefully put in place for the first stage of your business may not be right for your next stage of growth.

This is THE time to look outside of yourself for support, direction and new ideas. You can’t possibly know everything! Join a Mastermind or Group Coaching program. Seek one that is a paid program (skin in the game creates a more focused result). If you can, find one that has several members that are more advanced in their business than you are. Be sure you are a bit outside your comfort zone so that you have to stretch to participate. You will grow and your business will thrive as a result.

Find a Business Coach, even for a short period of time (3-6 months is the shortest I would recommend) to help you see beyond your own walls. Others have been where you are.

6. Who am I to….

 Imposter Syndrome rears its ugly head at every stage of business, no matter how successful you are. If you feel you need more courses, training, certifications, degrees etc to establish your credibility, spend some time documenting the experience you DO have that create your expertise.

What jobs, clients, life experiences have you had that add up to true expertise? You are valued by the results you produce, not for the certifications and degrees that you have.

7. I don’t have any MONEY!

 It takes some money to start a business. Start with what you can afford, and grow from there.

Seek out Free resources first. There hundreds of podcasts, blogs, free courses, and apps and tools available online. There are groups like the SBDC, and SCORE who offer free counseling. Take advantage of those!

Source for money. There are ways to get money when you need it. The SBA offers loans at a very reasonable rate. Some banks are more small business friendly than others. Friends and family (although those choices can be fraught with issues), or your own credit cards are potential sources for start-up costs.

You can always find a part-time job or start contracting with your area of expertise until your cash flow crunch is behind you. I’ve done it – It’s not the end of the world. It’s a transitional solution to a short-term problem.

8. I’m too late to the party. (It’s all been done before.)

 It has all been done before, but not by you. It’s VERY rare that a business concept will be a one and only. You will always have competition. But you will have your own spin on your niche too. Let your personality shine, develop your own methodology and framework to the services that you provide, and stand out from the crowd.

Each one of these obstacles can be overcome with mindset shifts or changes in your approach to your business. I’m always here to help you figure out how to overcome your obstacles and create and grow a profitable business. Contact me for a free call, and let’s discuss.