How New Small Business Owners Can Tackle the Imposter Syndrome : The Bridge
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How New Small Business Owners Can Tackle the Imposter Syndrome

by Dan Roberts on 04/16/18

You’ve been caught in the corporate hamster-wheel since graduating from college and now, you are about to take the big leap: business owner, entrepreneur. When you start mentioning your intention to family, friends and colleagues – that little thing called doubt starts to creep into the back of your head. But you ignore it, and press on, all the way to launching the business.

Then that negative voice, the lizard brain as Seth Godin likes to call it, starts to yell loudly in your head: “YOU’RE NOT A BUSINESS OWNER! YOU’RE NO EXPERT! DO YOU REALLY THINK YOU BELONG??!”

And Imposter Syndrome has solidly taken root in your brain. But there is way around this awful bout of bad juju …. And here are six ways you can combat it:


1.       Reframe your fear

Every time you hear that little voice tell you that you shouldn’t be doing this, adopt the mentality to prove that voice wrong. Get angry at it, be challenged by it – and work harder in the task at hand. By reframing your fear, you will quiet that voice in your head.

2.       Talk it out with a mentor/trusted colleague

Building a small business can be lonely at times (particularly if you are a sole proprietor/solopreneur), so it is essential to make sure you have a trusted network of professionals with whom to bounce around ideas. Even better, a mentor would help you process not only any doubts, but the challenges you face as a business as well.

3.       Remember your accomplishments

That’s right – your accomplishments! You were driven to launch a business by something, and more than likely have had some success before. Take a step back and look at your career thus far, and remember that this in just one more step in your professional journey. You have every right to be here and now, working in your small business.

4.       Provide value with every interaction

We love this one, because it is another way to get out of your head and get your hands into the work of being a business owner. Every discussion, task, networking or customer service encounter is an opportunity to focus on providing value, as opposed to listening to the little voice.

5.       Stop the Comparison Game

It’s an easy trap to fall into, particularly when competing for business or networking. Understand that you are on your own unique path. Believe in your value proposition or differentiating factor. When you do that, there’s no way you’ll fall into the comparison game.


And remember:


Fake It

…until you make it. This old nugget still holds true today. When all else fails, fake it. No one will know.

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