Let me know if you’re with me on this: entrepreneurship is equal parts bursting-at-the-seams exciting and downright terrifying. I see you nodding your head. I know you agree because we’re in the same boat. My emotions can go from delighted to dejected in all of five minutes.
In the first months of starting my business, I frequently doubted my abilities and ideas and compared myself to others. Imposter syndrome, anyone?
Slowly, I realized 3 business secrets that truly set me free.
Listen, I’m not saying that I still don’t feel overwhelmed, frustrated, joyful, excited, anxious, and all the things. I think as hard as it is, we need to experience all the emotions to grow. But by realizing a few fundamental truths about the world of entrepreneurship, I feel less overwhelmed and freer to take risks and trust myself.
I want you to feel that way, too. So today, I’m sharing 3 business secrets that will set you free from the common productivity-killing thoughts many entrepreneurs battle.
I’m so excited at the chance to relieve you of the unnecessary pressure and misconceptions that may be weighing you down. Changing your mindset can be a catalyst to your growth.
Here we go.
Business Secret #1: There are no new ideas
There are no new ideas. You may disagree with me entirely on this, especially all the insanely creative brains out there, but hear me out. So many entrepreneurs fail to progress because they think what they want to do has been done before.
How can I write a blog on digital marketing when there are hundreds of thousands of them by more established bloggers?
There are a million career coaches out there. Why would someone choose me?
How am I qualified to create and teach a course on meal planning? I’m not a registered dietician.
The answer is that while there may be a million digital marketers, career coaches or meal planners, there is only one you. Your story, your experiences and your way of providing insight is unique to you.
Don’t believe me? Take it from Smart Blogger creator Jon Morrow, one of the world’s most successful bloggers and an inspirational human being. He says, “the writers who make it in this business … watch what is working for everyone else and then creatively adapt it for their purposes”.
Likewise, mega-successful course creator Amy Porterfield (and one of my mentors) teaches that no one is doing the work like you, no one has your results, stories, or experiences.
Once I realized that even though the topics I’m covering are the same as others, the way I communicate that information based on my writing style and professional experiences is my own, I felt like a weight lifted.
Who has the time to reinvent the wheel? Find solace in the idea your purpose is to add value to what already works and improve it.
Business Secret #2: Everyone starts at zero
Guess what? Your mentors started at zero. It’s true, and you know it to be accurate, even if it’s hard to imagine when you see their name in lights on IG. And if you research their journeys, many of them admittedly made significant mistakes, failed, started again, felt humiliation and finally succeeded. And not that long ago, I may add.
Imposter syndrome is one of the most lethal afflictions entrepreneurs suffer. And the world of social media only makes it worse.
Here’s what worked for me. Remind yourself that your journey and goals are your own. Recognize your achievements and the value you provide. Most importantly, know that you are not alone.
Here’s a fact that may come as a surprise to you: multimillionaire marketers still fall victim to fear, imposter syndrome and doubt.
If they can push through, you can, too!
Business Secret #3: It’s OK to break the rules
You know how I said there is no point in reinventing the wheel? Well, I’m going to backtrack just a bit to make a point.
When I started blogging, it was a major shock to the system. My background is in corporate writing (press releases, bios, briefing documents, backgrounders, etc.) and editorial.
Blogging is a whole different style of writing. The masters of the blogging world dictate paragraphs should be 1-3 sentences long, full of ellipsis, broken sentences, and transition words at every turn.
This style of writing not only felt foreign to me but wrong. I struggled to write a blog post because I was trying to fit into the mould of someone else’s writing. I soon realized that I would never get my thoughts out by sticking strictly to the template.
Over time, I’ve adapted my writing style to be SEO and reader-friendly in a way that’s true to my writing and teaching style. Does Yoast sometimes flag my posts with that mad little face for readability? Sometimes, but sometimes there’s just no need for yet another H2.
I might not go viral, but my readers respond well to my writing because they’re invested in learning and engaged. If your content provides value, entertains, brings joy or teaches people something, you will attract readers.
The lesson: don’t put too much pressure on yourself to conform because it can lead to paralysis. Rule breakers and those that test convention can also see great results.
Set Yourself Free!
We are so hard on ourselves, especially as results-driven people with goals and dreams. But I would encourage you to remind yourself of the 3 business secrets above and take stock in the fact that while there are no new ideas, it’s ok to break the mould sometimes.
I know you likely started on this journey for a reason. And even if you’re not yet 100% clear on where you’re going and how you’ll get there, our minds are powerful things, capable of being trained to see think positively versus negatively. Allow your drive to guide you through the doubtful times.
Let’s get it!