I thought we’d shake things up a little and tackle a topic close to my heart this week: drop kicking those pesky insecurities and neuroses, common to dream-chasers, straight out the door.
Because as exciting and exhilarating as it can be to run your own business and launch your dream, it’s important to remember that it’s not all peaches, cream + unicorns.
Being a soulpreneur* is also terrifying as all heck and I know first hand how easily your ego can systematically dismantle your confidence if you allow it to. So to help (lovingly) tell your ego where it can put all that negative self-talk and bitchiness, here are the four common insecurities of soulpreneurs and what you can do to send them packing:
1. I’ll have what she’s having
Just when we thought that the comparison monster couldn’t rear its nasty, green little noggin into our lives any longer, in pops business envy. It’s a petty little beast and its modus operandi is to tell you, point blank, that you’re not (and never will be) as good as Jane Doe who runs that awesome business, travels to exotic locations, is invited to all of the A-list events and looks perfectly coiffed even when she’s doing burpees. And did you see her interior decorating skills? Cripes. How can you even compete?
And that’s the key word: compete. Because even though you’re a fabulous, amazing, kick-ass earthling that brings light and love to all those around you, it still boils down to one thing: is you, your life, your business, as good as such-and-such’s?
But does it really matter? You define your own success. And even if you both started your business at the same time, you’re on completely different journeys. You can’t compare, or compete, because there’s nothing to compete with.
And you know what else?
There are enough people in the world that make snap judgments. About brands, businesses, products, even your body + appearance. We don’t need any more judgey mcjudgers. Leave that crap to someone who isn’t as delightfully magical as you.
2. I’m going to be broke forever
Starting, launching and building a business isn’t easy on the hip pocket. And for a while, maybe even a long while, it can feel like you’ll never achieve monetary success and reach your financial goals.
And while I can’t promise you that you’ll be Beyonce-ing all over town within 12 months, I want you to know that at some point or another, all soulpreneurs feel this way.
The founder of Red Balloon had to return her wedding presents to stay afloat and Abraham Lincoln (yep the dude on the American penny) once had his horse and surveying gear repossessed to pay off his debts. Not to mention that Walt Disney’s studio went bankrupt in the early 1920’s and Milton Hershey (of Hershey’s kisses) had a massive business failure before going on to achieve financial success.
We all go through it, and although you might become an instant success (here’s hoping!), if you’re not, you shouldn’t lose faith. Keep trying. Keep innovating. And never give up.
3. I’m not pretty enough
Okay, so this might seem like an odd insecurity to put on the soulpreneur list, but the reality is that with the growing popularity of social media for businesses and the rise of sharing your personal life online, insecurities over body image and appearance are running rampant.
It can seem like it’s not enough anymore to have a brilliant brand, a magical logo and a creative content strategy up your sleeve. On top of all that, you’re expected to be gorgeous, fit + stylish to boot.
Well, ptooey to that, my friend.
Firstly, you are not required to share your personal life on your business account. Sure, there are definite examples of people who have and as a result have boosted their brand, but it is absolutely not a requirement. You want to stay anonymous? Cool. Just look at Frank Body (@frank_bod). Their social media is jaw-droppingly fabulous. But they don’t share personal images. They’re all about the branding, baby.
And secondly, YOU ARE PRETTY ENOUGH. You are gorgeous! Haters are gonna hate, but likers are gonna like. How people respond to your personal photos is a better indication of their self-confidence than anything to do with you.
4. Generic Business does it better
It’s a big, beautiful world out there and even though we’d love to be the ones that come up with that awesome never-before-seen business idea and product, the chances are that someone else has probably already come up with it. And even if they haven’t and you get there first, I guarantee that within a few months, someone else will be mimicking your awesomeness and creating a similar product.
But that doesn’t mean you should lose hope and lust over other businesses’ products and style. Instead, create your own. Carve your own niche. Inject your individuality into your work and creations. Nobody can do it the way that you can – remember that!
And finally, ‘better’ is in the eye of the beholder. Just do the best you can, be original (i.e. don’t just copy what everyone else is doing) and build a brand you’re proud of.
All the other shit? Meh. Shouldn’t even register on your radar. Because you’re not running a race against all of your perceived competitors. Nope, you’re singlehandedly climbing your Mount Everest. And when you reach the top of that sucker, you’ll realize that it was you and you alone the whole time. The rest of the race are just specks on the horizon.