The other day I was with a stone mason—UM, HIS HANDS ARE HUGE—chatting about business.
Stone mason: This one guy doesn’t even get out of his truck for less than $1500 a day.
Me: So, why don’t you do that?
Stone mason: I don’t have as much experience.
Me: How long you been doing this?
Stone mason: Twenty years.
And all I could think was: imposter syndrome is robbing the fuck out of us all.
Case in point: you’re probably excellent at your craft. In fact, you’re probably better than most people, and definitely better than you give yourself credit for. But, you aren’t charging what you should because of one million reasons that have nothing to do with your actual skill set.
LET’S LIST A FEW, SHALL WE?
- Not experienced enough (apparently you need to be 65 years old before you consider yourself worthy)
- Not unique enough (lots of people can do what you do—why would anyone pick you?)
- Not big enough (why would anyone pay a premium to work with you??? you’re small potatoes)
- Not professional enough (you don’t have a fancy website and therefore you are TRASH)
- Not recognized enough (you don’t have raving testimonials or case studies from celebrities so you might as well just throw in the towel)
- Not impressive enough (there are people out there doing way cooler stuff—you don’t stand a chance)
We won’t even talk about the fact that you’re feeling plump right now and don’t want to get headshots. ?
But, for real: the reason why you’re scared to charge a healthy, happy rate for your most excellent work has nothing to do with the quality of your work itself, and everything to do with the mental narrative around your work.
If you tell yourself that you’re an asswipe, you’re going to charge like an asswipe.
Should that be on a greeting card?!
Instead of focusing on yourself and all of your (natural) insecurities around business (especially when you’re new), let’s try something new and focus on the work product, instead.
Ask yourself one question:
What’s your signature move???
Maybe you go to weddings and paint the scene, instead of photograph it.
Maybe you write the world’s funniest Airbnb descriptions.
Maybe you find jobs for single moms in your hometown.
Maybe you build fireplaces out of stones exclusively from client’s ancestral lands.
One of the BEST ways to overcome imposter syndrome is by engineering yourself a hella cool competitive advantage.
Because, sure, lots of people can mow lawns. But not many people have enough strategic foresight to create an all-female lawn-mowing operation.
One blends into Google results as “just another lawn mowing company.” (How to choose?!) The other gives people a definitive, clear, exciting reason to pick you. (I’m an 80-year-old widow and I’d feel more comfortable with women on my property—plus, how cool!)
Most businesses sell a product.
The best businesses sell a perspective.
Here’s how we see the world and here’s why it matters. If you agree, call us.
Because then it doesn’t matter whether you’ve got twenty years of experience. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a team of thirty. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got the world’s fanciest website. It doesn’t matter if Oprah’s never called.
Greatness doesn’t come from bullshit.
Greatness comes when you decide to build something great.
Focus on that, and the only ones that’ll have imposter syndrome this year?
Are your competitors.
…and every other person who ever doubted you in the first place. ?