Next time you feel incompetent, a fraud, a failure or like you’re not achieving what you should… read this and remember you’re not alone and you’re not any of those things.
Since taking my business in a new direction there’s not a day goes by that I don’t feel like a failure and that sh*t sucks.
Also, every task seems to involve new technology, new challenges or new risks. I’m getting used to feeling completely incompetent, out of my depth and overwhelmed on a daily basis. Yippee for me!
Even the smallest of tasks can take forever and going home at the end of the day when all you’ve ‘achieved’ is posting on instagram… it makes you question if you’re cut out for this world.
Right now technology is not my friend.
I’ve been getting to grips with editing websites, building landing pages and the such like for a decade now but it’s only recently I’ve attempted to take my knowledge and skill to a whole new level. I’m entering the world of keywords, SEO, traffic generation and it’s not my jam. BUT, without a pot of gold (who are these individuals with tens of thousands to throw around on ads and tech support?!) I don’t have the luxury of just hiring a team of techies to take this pain away.
I’ve become somewhat of an expert at building my business on a minuscule budget because I’ve had to.
I invest what I do have and I resign myself to being the eternal student. Ugh. Grueling.
I’ve built up a huge wealth of knowledge and experience being a continuous student and of course I want to share that so visibility is of course on my agenda. And, let’s be truthful, visibility is not as easy as it appears especially for introverts.
It makes me feel exceptionally old that I don’t want to post my breakfast, my breakups and my entire living life on Facebook or instagram (or snapchat which apparently is where it’s at these days). I don’t get it. I’ll never be that.
Being visible online for me takes courage. Big brass balls. And it comes with big boundaries. If I’m going to share my work (and thereby myself) with the world I’m going to do it in a way that doesn’t feel like selling my soul.
I do have to overcome my natural instinct to stay in my PJs all day, eat Snickers and hide from the world.
Once I step out into the world though, how I’m visible is up to me. I don’t have to force myself to dress, look or sound like someone I’m not.
I don’t have the personality or the desire to be BIG, bright and bubbly on video like everyone else seems to be. But I do want to be visible in a way that’s real. The result is, I’m still finding my feet with this video stuff. Finding a way to do it that feels like me and doesn’t become draining.
I’m also finding new ways to embrace writing because that is 100% me. I love it. So… balance is where it’s at.
Video when it feels right and easy. Words when I feel like writing will be more powerful than speech. And I write as many words as I please because I don’t and won’t follow any rules about how short or long my posts should be. You can just jog right on with your marketing dos and don’ts thank you very much.
I’m going to listen to myself, my gut, first and foremost.
Of course working on your own can suck. It’s lonely. Like really lonely. Especially when the bulk of your work and interaction happens online. I imagine it’s similar to how a full time mum feels when they’re home alone all day every day with the baby. You love that it’s your role and at the same time it drives you a little bit insane. Starbucks is my refuge when I need energy and the sounds of conversation and life but most days I wish I felt like part of a team like I did in my early career. Colleagues can piss you off but you miss them when they’re gone.
I’ve tried working from home, working in co-working buildings, working mainly from my client’s offices. Nothing really gives you that sense of ‘team’ that you get in a job.
Anyway, back to business.
I know what I need to do but I don’t know how to do it (without messing up). Annnnnnd there’s the problem right there. Trying to do it without getting anything wrong. Trying to do it without making mistakes. Trying to do it whilst also protecting myself from feelings of failure or embarrassment.
Impossible goals that create the kind of pressure that makes your brain explode.
What can I/we do?
Reach out to business owner friends for no other purpose than to connect.
Spend what money there is rather than hoarding it.
Know it will likely go wrong and do it anyway. Permission to f*ck up, it’s a powerful thing.
Remember the journey to this point and how amazing this place right here is. It’s pretty god damn special. Keep sight of that.
Discipline. Find the smallest action and take it.
Perspective. We’re all just bumbling around in the dark trying to create something that matters. Trying to have purpose. Taking risks bigger than we’re comfortable with and praying it works out. Trying to live a life we love. Nobody has it all figured out but the happy ones are the ones that understand that and don’t beat themselves up for it.
Own all the feelings. Bring them out into the light of day. Then feed the faith and squash the doubts.
Courage. That’s all we need. All we ever need.
And deep breaths.
Here we go, another day in the crazy life as a business owner.