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What is imposter syndrome?
How to defeat imposter syndrome is what you’ve come here to do! Before we learn how to defeat imposter syndrome, we have to know what it is. Imposter syndrome is the feeling of being inadequate despite evidence of past successes. It’s that nagging feeling of self-doubt that even the most successful people that we look up to can feel.
It’s a common feeling where people with imposter syndrome believe that they have over-estimated their talents and that any minute they’ll lose everything once people “find out” about them.
Is Imposter Syndrome suffered more by freelancers?
Having self-doubts seems to be a common trait among those that work as freelancers. Even myself! This is because oftentimes there is no structured way of measuring success. For those that work regular 9-5 jobs there is usually some type of measurement of performance and someone to answer to. For freelancers, you are often on your own and it’s up to you to measure your own success. This is especially difficult for those that work in creative industries where success and output is harder to measure. Suppose you digitally painted a cute unicorn for a client. How would one consistently measure the “success” and “output” of those commissions to someone other than the client? Pretty difficult!
Since there is no real clear measure of performance, it’s quite easy for a freelancer to spend more time than usual when it comes to their own decisions and the rate that their business is moving at. All of these things can culminate into having self-doubts and the feeling of imposter syndrome.
Freelancers often have to wear many hats at once. You may want to focus on just one thing like designing websites…. but you’ll end up having to do things like digital marketing, social media marketing, accounting, etc. It’s no wonder why a sense of unfamiliarity is bound to promote feelings of not being confident.
How does imposter syndrome affect your business?
Having imposter syndrome never feels great. In fact, it can have a huge impact on your day-to-day operations when running your business. If you lack confidence in yourself, you’re going to undervalue the services that you provide and your business will struggle to grow. When marketing your services, you’re going to need to be confident when pitching to potential clients.
Clients absolutely want to be reassured that their hard-earned money is going to the right person for the job. So it is imperative to learn how to defeat imposter syndrome since not doing so will cause a rift between you and your clients.
How to defeat imposter syndrome and overcome it?
The great news is that you most likely already have some confidence. Becoming a freelancer takes guts and is a huge step in building your financial independence. You have already studied endless hours to build up a skill set to give yourself a lucrative job which would allow you to work remotely. Did you know that most people are too scared and fearful to do what you are doing? You are already brave! You have already believed in yourself enough to become a freelancer and you need to tap into that feeling again.
Look at your rates
You’ll need to tackle the issue of what you’re charging your clients since this may be contributing to your imposter syndrome. Take a look at your rates and INCREASE them and don’t feel embarrassed about it. This is exactly what most freelancers that are successful are doing. In many cases, you are providing services that would be impossible for your clients to do on their own. Value your work! There are a few options that you can take if you are worried about telling your existing clients your new rates:
Tell your new clients the new rate
This means that the existing clients that you have now won’t be forced to pay the higher rates and you can just tell your new clients what your new rate is. This will ensure that everyone is happy but you’ll want to aim to eventually drop your lower paying clients for newer, higher paying ones. This is because your time is limited and valuable. Why would you want to do the same job for less money when you can do it for another at a higher price?
Explain your new rate change
You can just contact your existing clients and explain that your rate will be going up soon. Chances are that they’ll want to stick with you if they’re already happy because it’ll save them the hassle of finding someone else. If they do not want to continue working with you that’s fine too. There are plenty of people out there that will value the services that you provide so it’s a win-win situation!
Stop comparing yourself to others
When it comes to freelancing we all have different experiences and abilities which makes it harder to compare ourselves with others. Something that is successful for someone may not be the same for someone else.
Someone may make more money than you…but it could be that they just live in a metropolitan area that has wealthier clients. That same someone can also be paying higher rent or be more stressed out. So it’s important to stop comparing yourself to others.
If your business isn’t growing as fast as others it’s best not to worry. There could be many reasons for this and in the end, the success of others is not comparable to yours. Focus on yourself and create your own success.
Accept your weaknesses and focus on your skills
Not everyone is perfect and while freelancers are oftentimes expected to do everything themselves, this doesn’t have to be the case. If you have weaknesses in any kind of area, like social media marketing, you can always outsource. Focus on what you’re best at and save yourself from unnecessarily worrying and feeling bad about things that you can have someone else do for you. Just focus on your strengths, what will make you the most money to succeed, and taking care of your clients.
If you are curious and want to know how you can outsource to live a 4-hour workweek lifestyle, check out The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join The New Rich by Tim Ferriss. It’s a classic that will help you free up time to do the things that you love to do. Good luck and I hope you learned how to defeat imposter syndrome as a freelancer!