I was talking with a client recently who was wondering out loud if she was really worth her salt. "What if I can't help this client? What if they realize I don't have an advanced degree? Do I really have something of value to offer? Why would anyone buy a book that I write? I've only been doing this a few years."
This woman had what I call "But It's Just Me" Syndrome. In other words, she was thinking: When will they find out I'm a fake - it's just little ole' me?
Of course, she isn't a fake. In fact, she's light years from it. But her comments stood out to me because it showed me that even a business owner who is closing in on doing a million dollars in business this year can struggle with the same self-doubt that others do who are not yet at that level. I see it over and over. Many of us share the same thoughts, feelings and internal chatter. I believe that we are all more alike than we are different. Our commonalities are so much greater than we know.
If you find yourself suffering from "But It's Just Me" Syndrome, here are some practical things that you can do to quickly distance yourself from energy-depleting thoughts and get you back on track so you can continue to serve the people you are meant to serve and enjoy your life:
1. Start hoarding: Keep every card, note, email and tweet that comes to you expressing gratitude. Post them on a bulletin board or somewhere you'll see them frequently. If you get too many to keep out in clear view, place them in a binder. The great thing about having a binder is that you can take it to trade shows to help showcase your brilliance or just read through it from time to time to give yourself a boost.
2. Fill in the blank: "The results I help my clients achieve are..." Make a list of 30-40 results you have helped your clients achieve. The more specific you can get with this, the better. Take it in and realize how much you have given those clients. Perhaps it's more organization, peace of mind, more money, clarity, focus, a strategy, a product they need, etc.
3. Read your testimonials: This is a very valuable tip, and it's reason enough to collect testimonials! Yes, you should use testimonials in your marketing, but when you start to question your value or if it's time to raise your rates, read through your testimonials and take note of how much you have helped others accomplish. It's a real eye-opener.
4. Tally up the numbers: Start looking at your numbers. For example, how many people have you helped in the last year? How many new subscribers joined your ezine list? How many referrals have you gotten? Remember that people will not pay money to work with you, read your ezine or put their own reputations on the line if you're not great at what you do. These statistics tell a compelling story about you and the value you bring to your community.
5. Pay it forward: Remember that most people you meet who are in business for themselves will struggle with "But It's Just Me" Syndrome from time-to-time. In other words, you're not the only one with occasional self doubt. Take a few minutes and write someone else a note or testimonial each month. Let them know how much you appreciate them. Specifically, tell them about the impact they have had on your life or business. Writing a letter like this does a couple of wonderful things. It allows you to feel and express gratitude while also lifting someone's spirits. It's a win/win!
These simple ideas can really give you a huge dose of motivation, remind you of how great you really are and add some pep to your step when you need it most.
By Meredith Liepelt
(c) 2009 Meredith Liepelt
Image by Lisa Mckown
Image by Lisa Mckown
© 2011 Meredith Liepelt, Rich Life Marketing Meredith Liepelt, President of Rich Life Marketing, offers a free report called "101 Ways to Attract Ideal Clients, Build Your List and Raise Your Profile," which can be downloaded immediately at RichLifeMarketing.com.