5 Cures for Self Doubt & "The Little Ol' Me" Syndrome

How Great Are You?

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

© 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.


10 Ways to Gain Publicity for Your Design Firm

Top Ways to Gain Free Publicity

Get free publicity for your business using the ideas listed here. Refresh yourself with the knowledge that sometimes the best things in life really are free.

Release a new or improved product

Something that has legitimate value over competing products will make news and spread like wildfire. Innovation thrives on free publicity, so put on your thinking cap and make some groundbreaking discoveries.

Celebrate your anniversary

Milestones call for special recognition. Make a special anniversary logo for your business website, send out press releases and offer special promotions and the publicity will be yours for free. Get the word out when you have completed five years, ten years, twenty five years, etc. in business.

Bring on a new team member

Local newspapers often publish news about local businesses, so send in an announcement about your new hire. Highlight the special skills and experience that person brings to the table and include a photo. Additionally, have your new hire write a blog, email blast or business website column to get to know your customers.

Offer something worthwhile for free

Technically, this method is not really free, but the publicity you get is free. Service companies can offer a free consultation or inspection. Software companies can offer a free trial of their software. Restaurants can offer a free meal or dish. Buy one, get one free deals offer additional publicity. Also, a free and functional promotional item bearing the name of your company will get your business name exposed to the public for a long time.

Take a poll

Media outlets always look for surprising correlations or indications of new social trends. Even a survey that shows what people actually do with your products can make a newsworthy report.

Perform a stunt

You don't have to jump over school buses on a motorcycle to get attention. Camp on a billboard, eat doughnuts on a rooftop, or find another crazy thing to do that will get you and your business in the news.

Provide free knowledge

Those who have expertise in a particular business or industry can write free columns for the local newspaper. Radio and television stations also call upon subject matter experts to provide relevant commentary about a current event. Get your name out there along with your employees' so your business can demonstrate its expertise while the public is listening.

Get involved in charity

By giving and working with local and national organisations, you build community credibility. When they see your charitable activities listed on your business website, they know your company has more than just profits on their mind. Also, charities often list event sponsors in their advertising, providing even more free exposure.

By Ruth Williams
Photography by Navarone


IDRA Financing Quicktips!

Financing Quicktips:

Here are some creative business financing ideas that will help you get the money you want.

Savings Account: Here we are talking about your own savings account. Before you dip into your kitty of savings, consider the following: How much savings have you got in that account? Are you dependant on that money for your day to day expenses? How confident are you that your business venture will succeed? Be realistic while you make these considerations. If the savings account is not something you depend upon and you can afford to forget about the money you take from it should you incur a loss, then go ahead and take the money from it. The upside to this is that you are taking an interest free loan from yourself and saving quite a bit of money on that end. You can even repay this loan in variable installments, and not suffer penalties for it.

Family and Friends: This is also a good option for you to acquire funds for your business venture. Depending upon what you discuss with your friends and family members, you can choose the method of repayment and also if you are liable to pay interest. The downside to this is that if you cannot repay the money back in the time that you promised, you stand to lose a good relative or friend.

Partners: Another good manner of generating funding is to take on partners in your business. This is again a matter of choice. And your partner must have the money and the inclination to invest into your business.

Loans: This may not be a very creative idea, but some banks offer very interesting kind of personal and business loans. It is worth a shot to go have a look at these options. You may just strike a gold mine and find the perfect method of financing your business.

Sell the Junk: If you have any unused premises, or unused inventory lying around, or unused trademarks and licensing rights, it is a good idea to sell them to those who need them. This is a good method of recycling your own assets to create finance for your business. The downside is that this option cannot work for a new business venture.

Sell Shares: Selling the shares of your company is a time-honored method of creating finances for your company. If you have a new company, you can do it. You can also do it if you are an old company. You can also sell the shares to your employees. Talk to your CPA and get more details.

Advertise: This sounds silly, but sometimes an advertisement can also generate interested financers for your project. Putting word out there ensures that you generate interest from persons looking for a good investment opportunity. It also gives you a chance to advertise about your company along with it.

By Madhavi Ghare