Impostor Syndrome

[Part 1 in the What Gets in The Way of Our True Work series]

“Who am I to do this?”
“I really don’t know enough yet”
“What are people going to think?”
“What if I don’t measure up?”

This is just a handful of the things that we may tell ourselves when we are looking to shift into our True Work – the highest expression of who we are through our business. Our gifts. Our values. Our passion and purpose.

When we start to explore and consider our true work it brings up ALLL of our stuff.

And if you are anything like me, impostor syndrome is one of the things that likes to rear its ugly head.

Although it commonly referred to in popular culture as impostor syndrome – it is not a diagnosable disorder or condition of any kind. The actual term, impostor phenomenon was first coined by psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes in the 70s and describes:

The belief shared by millions of people around the world that deep down we’re really not as intelligent, capable, qualified, or talented as everyone seems to THINK we are.

It’s an experience of deep internal self doubt. Worries that we aren’t good enough. We don’t know enough. That people are going to find out that we really aren’t as amazing as they might think we are.

And strangely enough, it mainly afflicts those of us who are high achievers. We are smart cookies who have already accomplished a lot, but despite evidence of past achievements and success – there is still that lingering fear that we really don’t have what it takes.

If you deal with impostor syndrome it’s important to understand how it might be showing up in your business and stifling your growth. Some of the most common ‘symptoms’ of impostor syndrome include:

  • Flying under the radar – we hold ourselves back from challenges or taking risks. We stay safe and hidden. If we don’t put ourselves out there we won’t get found out right?
  • Procrastination – we often think of procrastination as not taking action and yes that is one form of it. But what I see more commonly is waiting until the last minute to do something and not bringing our best to the table because we are rushed.
  • Over working or over preparing – ooooeee this is a biggie! Because we secretly feel like we aren’t good enough or don’t know enough, we will work extra hard to overcompensate for what we feel like are our shortcomings.

All of these are simply ways for us to cope with the uncertainty and fear that impostor syndrome brings up for us.

Curious if you relate to any of these? Do you feel like impostor syndrome is a challenge for you? Does it show up for you in any other ways?

Comment below and let me know.

PS – There are 2 ways for us to work together, as you feel called to do so:

A Half-Day Intensive where we work together on the most important next step of your True Work journey. Includes a 3 hour virtual intensive, plus an additional two 1-1 coaching calls to integrate and implement.

A 5-month, private 1:1 Coaching Experience to take you through the 5 stages of the True Work journey. Includes an initial strategy session, 10 bi-weekly hour-long coaching sessions, and Voxer messaging with me in-between calls.

You can learn more about these options on my coaching page.

It’s OK to offer more than one thing (breaking the rules)

Conventional business wisdom tells us to pick one thing and focus on doing just that. To go deep with that one thing and master it.

I get it – there is a lot of value in this model and many successful businesses have been built on this wisdom.

And like any “good” business owner, I’ve tried to do this in my own business. Believe me, I’ve tried hard!

But it truthfully doesn’t fit me. Every time I’ve tried to keep myself focused on just one thing I’ve become stifled. Bored. Frustrated.

It’s only recently that I’ve come to accept that I’m not wired to offer just one thing. I’m a multi-passionate entrepreneur, and I do my best work when I have more than one thing on the go.

Now I want to be clear here – there are challenges to this path that we want to be aware of.

First, we need to make sure that we aren’t subconsciously sabotaging our own success by constantly jumping to try new things. There is a big difference between tending to multiple plants in our garden at a time – which we can do as multi-passionate entrepreneurs – vs planting seeds and then abandoning them to focus on a more exciting seed, or when tending that seed becomes too hard. We still need to stay committed to the various things we are doing and not just jump from idea to idea as they arise.

Likewise we also want to make sure that we aren’t spreading ourselves too thin in the process. Juggling multiple things is part of what we love as multi-passionate entrepreneurs, but that doesn’t mean we can do ALL the things. In fact, the right support is even more important when we are multi-passionate so that we are able to spend our time doing what we love most in each of our projects.

We also want to consider the best structure for your multi-passionate business. You might be the type of person to have many individual businesses, each with it’s own specific offer/products for different markets. Or you might be like me, where I love to offer many different things to the same market. Either option requires you to be strategic and purposeful in your structure and marketing, so you don’t end up feeling pulled in too many different directions.

I’m curious if you consider yourself a multi-passionate entrepreneur?

If yes, is it something that you’ve embraced in your current business structure or is it something that you’ve tried to avoid? (Like I did for so many years, trying to fit myself into the box of doing just one thing.)

Sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to do things differently than what conventional business wisdom tells us to do… to take a different path than what others around us are doing or advising us to do. If you’ve been waiting for permission to embrace a multi-passionate journey, consider it given! I’m right here on the path with you.

PS – There are 2 ways for us to work together, as you feel called to do so:

A Half-Day Intensive where we work together on the most important next step of your True Work journey. Includes a 3 hour virtual intensive, plus an additional two 1-1 coaching calls to integrate and implement.

A 5-month, private 1:1 Coaching Experience to take you through the 5 stages of the True Work journey. Includes an initial strategy session, 10 bi-weekly hour-long coaching sessions, and Voxer messaging with me in-between calls.

You can learn more about these options on my coaching page.

Lessons from a surprisingly hard puzzle

This is my first time tackling a 2000 piece puzzle – and it’s intimidating!

I’ve been on a puzzle kick lately – it’s my morning meditation and end of day unwind time. 1000 piece puzzles have been my jam and I’ve found a great groove doing them. I can get a 1000 piece puzzle done in a couple of days.

But 2000 pieces? Yikes! Where to start? I opened up the box and was like “ooof, this is going to be much harder than what I’m used to”

Sorting is a whole other ballgame. I did what I usually do and started with the border. But after that I couldn’t do what I normally do and sort by color or by section – there are too many colors and sections! So I had to find a different strategy… I loosely sorted into 3 groups: top, bottom and “I don’t have any clue where this goes!”

Then from there I’ve started with the obvious. The girl with the red hair (red is easy to pick out in a pile) and some of the sea critters. The colorful scaly rooftops were next. And that brings me to where I am this morning – some progress made but still a very long way to go.

I’m not sure where I’ll go next, but I am at the point where I know I’ll continue. I’m past the point where I’m tempted to give up and go back to my easier 1000 piece puzzles.

I can’t help but see the lessons here that apply in so many other areas of life and business.

“I’ll just stick with what I know because it’s easier”

“My current way of doing things isn’t working here and I’m not sure what to do next?”

“Ugh. This is way harder than I thought it would be and I’m not sure if I want to continue…”

“Other people do puzzles this big and they make it look so easy!” (There is a woman in my puzzling group who got this one done in a day!)

“Maybe I’m just not wired to do big puzzles”

Oh the many reasons I could quit and go back to doing what is known and comfortable.

Amazing how our lives can so easily reflect the lessons of our business. 😉

I’m curious – when was the last time you did something for the first time? Something new and perhaps a bit intimidating? Hit reply and let me know!

PS – This puzzle is called If Fish Could Walk by artist Demelsa Haughton, Ravensburger brand. I love her work!

PPS – Yes, my cats like to ‘help’ when I’m working on puzzles…

5 Signs That It’s Time to Make a Change

Your True Work is the highest expression of who you are through your business. Your gifts. Your values. Your passion and purpose.

It’s the work you are meant to do in this world. The work that lights up your soul and allows you to step into the highest version of who you are meant to be. It’s also the work that will get you to your next level of desired income.

How do you know when it’s time to shift into your True Work? Here are a few common signs that my clients have experienced:

You feel like you are trapped in a box that no longer fits who you are and what you really want to do. The work that you once enjoyed doing now feels ‘meh’ or restrictive, and you secretly dream of doing something else.

You feel obligated to keep doing the things you no longer want to do (especially to clients & team or to family as your income is important to the household.) You have commitments to your clients and team – they are relying on you and you don’t want to let them down. Your income may be essential to your household. What if doing something new puts your income at risk? What will happen with your clients or team if you start to make some changes? Soooo many of my worst stuck moments have been because I was feeling obligated to others, and I had to learn how to balance my responsibilities with my desires.

You have become grumpy or even a bit snappy in your day to day (especially at home with your loved ones.) When we are feeling off about something in our businesses, it’s rare that we would show that to a client or a team member! Which is a good thing… but it may start “leaking out” in other ways. When I find myself being a little extra grumpy with my kids it’s often coming from something going on in my business. (Not all the time of course… sometimes I’m just grumpy because I have to keep asking them to do the dishes 😉

Your sales may be stalled or even going down as you really don’t want to do what you are doing right now. Oooooeee! This can be a sneaky one and I’ve seen it happen with so many people. You are doing what you’ve always done and suddenly clients are no longer saying yes to working with you – what’s up? There could be various reasons for this, but one of the first things I check in on here with clients is “do you really want them to say yes?” If you don’t really want to keep doing what you are doing, your prospects may pick up on this energy during the sales process.

You are starting to drop the ball or “phone it in” with your clients. You used to do such amazing work and give it your all, but it’s just not in you anymore. Your clients and/or team may even start to notice as well! And then you are beating yourself up because it is so out of character for you to be showing up this way. Try not to beat yourself up… this may just be a sign that something needs to change as it’s a disservice to both you and your clients to not bring your best to the table.

I’m curious if any of these ring true for you? Leave a comment below and let me know…

Scaling may not be the best way to grow… (a contrarian view)

Your business is full. You are making money. Your clients are happy. And you want to keep growing – to take your business to the next level.

What should you do?

Conventional wisdom will say “It’s time to scale!” To get the right structure and team in place to keep building upon what you’ve created already, so that you can expand your capacity to serve more clients.

Now don’t get me wrong… I’m a huge fan of scaling BUT there is one thing you need to check on first before you invest the time, energy and money into scaling (and believe me – scaling requires a HUGE investment of time, energy and money).

If we don’t check in first on this one thing, all of your scaling efforts could be for naught… and may end up causing you more headaches and challenges than you have now.

Before you start scaling your business – you need to make sure you are building the business you actually want to have!

Let me give you an example.

My services were in high demand when I was working as an OBM. Folks were sending me referrals and I had prospects lining up to work with me. My business was full and I couldn’t take more people on, but I also hated to keep turning people away when I knew they really wanted to hire an OBM.

Folks around me were saying “You should start an agency Tina! Build a team of OBMs so you can serve more clients and make more money.”

Makes sense right? Seems the obvious choice.. but I didn’t want to build an agency. I’d had a VA agency years before and it wasn’t a business model that I enjoyed running.

As I sat with it I came to realize – I was much more interested in helping others become OBMs. To help people like me create their livelihood doing this work, and giving them the same opportunities to work from home, with awesome clients and make a good living.

I also knew that I loved writing and I loved teaching. I wrote my Becoming an OBM book and shortly after that the OBM Certification training and Certified OBM Association was born.

It was an elegant solution that covered all bases – allowed me to do what I love, empowered folks to start their own OBM business and gave businesses a plethora of OBMs to hire.

It was also a very scalable business that we’ve since built a solid structure around with an amazing team. I spend only a handful of hours a week on this business now as it’s built to run without me. ← That’s the ultimate goal of scaling.

Before you scale, make sure you are building the business you really want!

Make sure you are building a business that allows you to do your true work. To show up in all of your brilliance. That feeds your soul and lights you up. The kind of business where you think “I can’t believe I get paid to do this.”

Then – as you land in this space feeling clear and aligned – you can scale with confidence and faith, knowing that the immense investment you will be pouring into your business will be more than worth it.

I’m curious… if you are in the space of wanting to grow your business, how confident do you feel that your current business model is the right one for you to scale?

Is your current business aligned with the work you know you are meant to do in this world? Or is something missing… are you feeling like there is something more or different you could be doing.

If you are interested in exploring this further hit reply and let me know. I’d love to hear more about it and explore what is possible for you.

Have you created your own ‘way’ of doing things?

My business growth has followed a pretty consistent cycle now for over 13 years.

A cycle of developing my own unique way of doing things, and then teaching others how to use that methodology in their own business.

I did this with the Certified Online Business Manager program – after working as an OBM for years, I took what I learned about being a successful OBM and started to train and certify others back in 2009… and we continue to do this today!

I did it again with my CEO Business School, where I worked with early 6-figure business owners to teach them my process for how to shift from doer to leader in their own business.

I created my Hire Up program to give business owners a step-by-step process for how to hire and lead the best virtual team.

And a couple years ago I created my Certification Accelerator to help businesses owners develop, structure and launch their own certification or licensing program.

My business success has largely been the result of developing my own way of doings things – my own intellectual property (IP) – and then creating revenue streams to share these proven processes with others. I’ve written books, created training programs, group coaching programs and high-end consulting gigs based on the IP I’ve created over the years.

How did I create my methodologies? How did I go from being a service provider to a trainer and coach? How did I turn my IP into a series of revenue streams that have made me multiple millions over the years?

I’m doing a half-day intensive in July where I’m going to pull back the curtain and show you exactly how I did it. So that perhaps you can do the same!

This intensive may be especially timely for you if:

  • You’ve been ‘doing what you do’ now for a while with clients and know that it works
  • You know you have a unique approach or way of doing things that others could benefit from
  • You are itching to get out of the work you are doing now and want to find a way to up level your services or offerings

If you are interested in learning more about the intensive comment below.