self-employment

6 silly myths about being an entrepreneur

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Whether you are just beginning your self-employment journey full-time or you’ve been playing this game for a while, it’s safe to say that you have definitely come across friends and family who (while we love them dearly) automatically assume that your career is all sunshine and flowers. They imagine us sitting in coffee shops everyday, having time during the day to clean our house and run errands, choosing some days to just not work at all and taking vacation whenever our little hearts desire!

And, while being an entrepreneur can have its dreamy aspects (after all, isn’t that why you became one?) — and by dreamy, I mean freedom that we can create for ourselves that we don’t necessarily get working in an office for someone else — we also know that it’s more work and stress than most can imagine. We love what we do and we work hard so that one day we can work less and delegate our work to other systems and platforms that we eventually put in place. We also charge what we want, with the intention of providing more value to our clients and in turn, making more money. But, we also hustle and put in more than 40 hours a week most weeks. If any of the following false assumptions have been made about you, raise your hand! And, let your anger and frustration go — because as entrepreneurs, we also know that you just can’t fully understand how this whole “running a business” thing works unless you’re actually doing it.

1) “You have so much more free time now…”
That’s funny. While I’m the boss and no one is sitting here, watching me, telling me that I can’t do something, I still have the self-discipline needed when working alone and respect for my business and clients to put in the right amount of hours everyday, to get the job done. If I’m not working, I’m not making money. Period. You can still find me Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to at least 5 p.m., sitting at my computer. Whether I’m in my home office or posted up on the couch, trust me, I’m getting sh*t done. 

2) “You don’t really work…”
Let me repeat my very valid point from #1. If I’m not working, I’m not making money. As a designer, I’m a service provider. I’m not at the point in my business where I’m making all of my profit from selling e-courses or digital products. I crank out monthly projects for clients on retainer and I create visual brands for my other clients. I have to put money every week into my bank account. I am physically at my computer, playing the role of designer + business owner. So, if I’m not working on a client project at any given moment, I am most definitely answering an email, writing my next blog post, crafting the next email to my list, engaging in Facebook groups being of service, invoicing, tracking expenses, emailing my accountant about taxes, updating my website or on a call with a client. Shall I go on?  

3) “You must have financial backing…”
Not true at all. While some business owners absolutely have family members who might be helping them, larger companies have investors, or they started with a large savings account — it’s not like that for most. Most of us are regular people with regular banking accounts that aren’t busting at the seams and we started with a small amount in them. Because many businesses like mine can be run online, I honestly don’t have a ton of out-of-pocket expenses each month. My money is spent on some printing, buying fonts, paying monthly subscriptions for my design and accounting software or association memberships. It’s different for makers who sell physical products and deal with more overhead, but still, don’t let someone tell you that you need a lot of money to start a business. It CERTAINLY HELPS, but it’s not necessary. You can jump in, do a few important things really well and start generating income fairly quickly. It all depends on what you’re selling, how you’re selling it and to whom you’re selling it. Anything is possible! Just work really hard.

4) “You have to do it all yourself…”
This is so far from the truth. Yes, as an entrepreneur starting out, you’re going to be wearing a lot of hats. Most days, I’m a designer, a secretary, an accountant, (and trust me, I’m terrible at math!) a social media assistant and a writer. But, design is what I’m REALLY good at and meant to do. When you can get to a point in your business where you can afford to delegate and outsource, do it! Hire a virtual assistant (VA) to handle your email, blogging and social media management. Hire a copywriter to write your blogs and website/sales copy. Hire an accountant or bookkeeping pro to handle all of your financials. Don’t feel that you have to do it all. You will get burned out and there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done, client work and business management-wise. Do what you want to do and do it well. Leave the rest to someone else that you trust to do a good job! 

5) “You don’t have to answer to anyone…”
True, I’m my own boss, but I do have people to answer to. A lot of people. My clients depend on me day in and day out to handle precious and important parts of their business. When they email or call, I answer. When they need something designed, I do it. They’re my bread and butter and what keep my business afloat. Without my clients, I don’t make money. I respect them too much to not answer them.

6) “It’s so easy, anyone can do it!”
Sure, being an entrepreneur is not the worst thing in the world. If you’re one, you chose to be one. And, don’t get me wrong, we are so lucky. We get to be our own bosses, do what we love and can give ourselves the freedom and flexibility that we don’t always get with working for someone else. However, this game is not for everyone to play. If someone chooses to start a business because they think it’s going to be fun and easy, they are dead wrong. You have to have self-discipline and know how to wear many hats. You have to be professional, keep clients happy and keep money in the bank. There are countless aspects of being a business owner that I love, but there are many parts that are far from dreamy. It’s all about finding a balance with it. As I always say, this game is not meant for just anyone to play. And, if it is “so easy” – then everyone would be doing it! Just like they would be movie stars, singers and professional athletes.   


Branding 101 - Free Downloadable Guide
How has 2017 been treating you and your business? Are you ready for 2018? Do you have a logo, website and more that you absolutely love…or…not so much? If you’re not a design professional, branding might be something that you don’t love to do for your business or you simply don’t have time for, so let someone else take over! Sign-up below to receive the link to download my new and free PDF tool “Branding 101: What it is, what it isn’t and why you need it” — right now! This quick and simple guide will walk you through why it’s important to establish consistent and memorable branding within your biz — and if you can DIY some of it or if you should hire that professional. If you have any questions after going through it, let’s connect and chat some more!

4 steps to help you believe in yourself and your business

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It’s something that is constantly following us around, knocking on our doors, pounding in our heads, fluttering in our hearts — and not in a good way. Self-doubt. I define self-doubt as a state of mind that can truly make or break your business because it can mentally drain you in so many negative ways and leave you feeling everything but confident.

Notice that I called it a state of mind, though. It’s an emotion, feeling and sense as well and although it’s much easier said than done — you CAN control it. You can change it. You can make it so that you never have to feel it or sense it ever again (or at least that often.) Although for some it’s a daily struggle and for others it’s a creeping, but, fleeting moment that finds its way in even just once or twice a year, it’s something that every business owner has to face and deal with at one point or another. Today, I want to talk about how to do just that – deal with it – and kick it to the curb because I promise you, it has NO place anywhere near you or your business.

Self-doubt is defined, as a lack of confidence in one’s self or one’s abilities. Yep, that sounds about right. So how do we alter our mindset, our perspective and make it go away? I don’t know that we can make it go away entirely forever, but we can control it so that it doesn’t affect our daily routines or suck up the precious and limited time that we’re given each day to get work done. Think of it like a break-up. When you finally recognize that you are no longer in a healthy relationship with someone, whether it’s friendship or love, you have to take the right steps to remove the negativity from your life — something that literally does not bring you joy or serve you anymore. When you do this, you make room for the positive. In the case of self-doubt, you make room for a stronger mind, better work ethic and more confidence. Here are a few steps to help you along the way:

1) Really think about why you run a business and love what you do

Of course these businesses are our livelihoods and we need them to make money to pay bills, but just remember where you started and how you much you have grown. You’re not doing it for just the fame or to just make an insane amount of money (hopefully that does happen for you!) but you first and foremost do it to help others and it makes you truly happy. You will instantly feel proud of yourself and confident again when you see how far you’ve come, maybe in even just 6 months or a year or ten years. Even if you’re not noticing it on a daily basis, you are constantly improving your biz and people do see it and will want to hire you.

2) Find the RIGHT audience or client base

It’s easy to get discouraged with a lack of sales or even client inquiries — because we all know that the worst sound in the world is hearing crickets. Are you putting yourself in front of the right people, though? The dream clients for you will be the ones who see the value in your work and will pay the price for it. Even if you think you’re charging too much and people won’t buy from you, “those people” who will never buy from you are not your people! You MUST, MUST, MUST position yourself as the expert that you are, who deserves to charge what you want, in front of the people who will love what you have to offer. You may not see or hear them right now, but they ARE out there. Trust that.

3) Avoid burnout – step away from the work for a bit

Something else that works for me is to take a day or two off when you’re feeling low. You’re not going to be producing your best and highest quality of work for your current clients, which is not fair to them or you. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and not know what to do next – and when this happens – just stop. Literally. Stay out of the office for a day or a week (however long you need) and recharge your mind. Get outside, eat well, exercise, participate in a hobby that you enjoy, read a book and find some balance. When we step away from everything that is bogging us down at the moment, we can find some clarity and gain fresh perspective. Again, this will help with discovering some new confidence and excitement when you go back to work. And, to go back to Step #2, if you’re doing work for the RIGHT clients, you will naturally enjoy the work more, be happier and in turn, feel great about what you’re doing overall!    

4) Remember that you ARE worth it

Whenever I think that I’m charging too much for my services or that no one is going to buy from me, I also remember that I have put way too much schooling, post-college continuing education/professional development opportunities and money into myself and my business to not be charging enough. I am a PROFESSIONAL. I’m no longer a college student or someone who has picked up design as a fun hobby to do on the side just for friends and family. I also keep in mind that I have many expenses around running my biz, including my accounting and design software, which costs me a certain amount each month to maintain. Aside from your time, you also have a lot of money invested in your business and that should be considered when you’re figuring out proper amounts to charge clients.    

Once you’re confident in yourself and your business, it might be time to take another step forward and make one of the most important and necessary investments – branding. Have you thought about a new logo or website to help you look more legit to your customers? Branding is one of the biggest secrets to a business attracting followers and paying clients — and achieving overall success. Sign-up below to receive the link to download my new and free PDF tool “Branding 101: What it is, what it isn’t and why you need it” — right now! This quick and simple guide will walk you through why it’s important to establish consistent and memorable branding within your biz — and ultimately help you to decide if you can DIY it all or if you need to hire a professional (like me!) If you have any questions after going through it, let’s connect and chat some more! 

4 simple ways to get clients

It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting to freelance on the side, you’ve moved your business into the full-time spectrum or you’ve been a business owner for a few years. As entrepreneurs, it’s smart to always be open to new client-getting activities. It’s ideal to get to the point where you can be booked out months in advance and even the simplest of strategies can help.

1. Tell family and friends (who will tell their friends…)

Word of mouth referrals are the best. I’ve had them from the time that I started freelancing and now, as a full-time business owner, I still do work for some of those original referrals. Referrals lead to more referrals. As soon as you get connected to someone and do a great job, they will hire you for more work OR at least tell others about you. It’s a sweet cycle — as one of my former bosses used to say, “good work begets more good work.” To break it down even more, you can just send short and sweet emails to let people know what you’re up to and what work you’re available for. Ask that if they wouldn’t mind, to please forward your info onto someone who might need it. You will be surprised at the positive responses! And, you’re not losing out on anything by taking 5 minutes to write and send an email. You never know whose inbox it might get forwarded to!

2. Check Craigslist, local job boards, LinkedIn + setup profiles on freelance sites

You never know what opportunity can lead to the next. I once got a job through LinkedIn because I had a profile setup and it fit the description of what a local agency was looking for at the time. That original email led to a phone call, which led to an in-person interview. The rest is history. As crazy as it sounds, I’ve even searched Craigslist for design postings, as long as they seemed legit. If you’re a member of a local chapter of a national organization that pertains to your career field/area of expertise, you should be able to have access to a job board where they will often host listings (and not just for full-time opportunities, but also remote/contract ones.) Other freelance sites like Upwork are great ways to connect with companies needing your services. 

3. Make it easy for people to find you  

Have a nice and visually pleasing website that is easy to navigate — and social media platforms in place. Show up consistently and grow a following. Have a blog setup on your site and post regularly. You will eventually form a community that visits your site and reads your blog frequently — and who also follows you on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Have your email address or a contact form readily accessible for inquiries. Interested parties should be able to quickly find you, if they need you.   

4. Engage in Facebook groups

This wasn’t something that I did even two years ago, but now, it’s all the rage. It’s free, easy and should only take a few minutes of your time each day. You will make connections, build relationships, offer free help and collaborate with others. Someone will need your services and in time, they’ll already know, like and trust you enough to hire you. Request to join private groups that pertain to your field — whether that’s female entrepreneurs in general, health and wellness coaches, Etsy shop owners, jewelry makers, web designers, online business strategists, etc. And, don’t be “sales-y.” Get in the groups, participate, be of service and offer genuine value. Connect with people who can benefit from what you offer, as well as those who can be of service to you. Build others up! Spend a few minutes each day doing this — not a large amount of time. (You have other things to do, of course.) And again, you never know who you will meet! 


Branding 101 - Free Downloadable Guide
I got a question for ya. How is your branding looking? Do you have a logo, website and more that you absolutely love…or…not so much? If you’re not a design professional, branding might be something that you don’t love to do for your business or you simply don’t have time for, so let someone else take over! Sign-up below to receive the link to download my new and free PDF tool “Branding 101: What it is, what it isn’t and why you need it” — right now! This quick and simple guide will walk you through why it’s important to establish consistent and memorable branding within your biz — and if you can DIY some of it or if you should hire that professional. If you have any questions after going through it, let’s connect and chat some more!

4 big changes I made in 2016, to help shape my 2017

Happiest of new years to you! If you’re an entrepreneur like me, you’re constantly planning, setting goals, dreaming up your next offering or service, the next best way to generate some cash flow and hoping to double your income from the previous year. You’re thinking of the best ways to do all of the above, while still doing what you love, being authentic and providing your clients with the best value possible, with everything that you deliver to them.

I started 2015 still working for an agency full-time, but freelancing on the side. I started 2016 having just left that beloved agency, my fabulous boss and co-workers (who I still miss dearly) – and preparing for the transition to working for myself full-time. Now, here we are in 2017 – and I’ve been working solely for myself for exactly 12 months. With every twist and turn, pro and con and up and down that I faced in 2016, I learned many invaluable lessons in not only business, but also in life. In order to grow, we can’t just dream, think or plan. We have to physically take action and DO. For this to happen for me, some changes had to be made, so that I could work quicker, more efficiently and serve my clients better, without feeling complete burnout. If you’re in the same boat that I was a year ago, try out one (or all) of the big changes that I made, which not only impacted my 2016, but will also continue to benefit me in 2017. You will definitely see results. Happy change making!

1) I hired a business coach.

In March of 2016, I came across Jenny Shih, an uncompromising business coach who believes in “success on your terms.” Jenny emphasizes that you can do what you love, while also living a life that you love. I came across her name somewhere along the line of following Kendrick Shope’s emails. (I heard about Kendrick through the Being Boss podcast.) She came highly recommended, so I made contact with her assistant, originally interested in one-on-one private coaching. Instead, I came to learn that she was actually getting ready to open a group-coaching program called “Make $10K [Every Dang Month.]” It was exclusive to just a small group of female entrepreneurs who had been making a consistent amount of money each month, but were ready to double it — and learn the ways to work towards that. I applied and was accepted! I was involved with this coaching from May-October, learned how to look at my business differently and put better systems in place to run it. Hiring a coach and joining this program was the biggest financial investment that I made in my business to date, but you have to spend money to make money. When you are ready to take that next step and make more, you need counsel outside of family and friends. You need to learn from someone who has been there and knows how to grow an audience. Even with very simple ideas and strategies, Jenny helped me to see things more clearly and instilled a new confidence that I could do what I wanted, charge what I wanted and still be of good service to my clients. Every business owner will reach a point sooner or later when they are ready to hire a professional to help them grow their business and I’m so glad that I found Jenny. I also became good friends with the five other fabulous women in the group, which segues into the next big (and best) change that I made in my business. 

2) I joined a mastermind.
Thanks to “Make $10K” and Jenny, I was able to form a mastermind group with the rest of the ladies in the group. I feel very fortunate because a lot of entrepreneurs pay to be in high-level groups like this, which meet weekly. While I made a big investment initially with “Make $10K” and got to join this group as part of it, the ladies and I still meet weekly, even though the group coaching ended last year. We all wanted to stay connected and still meet for two hours every Monday, so, we do! It’s inspiring, emotional, educational and full of friendship and fellowship. We all do different things for a living and are spread out throughout the U.S., but we all have bonded, bounced around great ideas, built each other up when needed and learned how to grow our businesses. We’ve gone through not only professional changes, but also personal ones — and been there 100% for each other along the way. I’m so grateful for this group — they are my go-to when I need help brainstorming the next big thing that I want to do.   

3) I put new systems in place for more efficient workflows.
Thanks to Jenny’s (and the group’s) help, I learned about (new to me) platforms to use in my business, so that I could work smarter and not harder. I work hard enough in my business and enjoy it, but now, I can automate a few things a little easier, so that I get some time back in my day to focus on more important things – like client work. I started working more in Google Docs, so that I could keep my client and income tracking, website copy, goals, service/offer outlines and other necessary items all in one place for better organization and easier editing. I started using Asana as a way to manage and keep track of my client projects. I also setup an account with Buffer, so that I could upload and schedule my social media posts for each week. These are all simple tools to use, but they really help me to stay a little more organized and on schedule. 

4) I packaged my services + updated my pricing.
I always read that in order to serve clients better and to make more money, you need to package your services. I used to give custom quotes to potential clients and I started experimenting with branding packages in 2015, but it wasn’t until the “Make $10K” group coaching that I learned to really dive in, figure out what I wanted to do (and didn’t want to do) and add more value to my services. While you can always revisit your offerings and change things up, I learned how to increase my prices so that I could focus on 2-3 branding clients a month, make a little more money — but most importantly, give more to my clients. Not only can I carve out more of my time for them, but I can deliver more tangible results, give them continued support even after the logo is designed, the website is live and the business cards are printed. I can provide more strategy and deliver to them much quicker. I also transitioned a lot of the one-off services that I was doing consistently for some regular clients to monthly retainer models. These work out great, because I can invoice one time, the client pays one time, they know exactly how many projects I will complete each month for them and I can plan my month better. Again, it’s simply better organization and clearer expectations that are met all the way around. I will again be making some new changes to my services for 2017, so check back here to my site in the next couple of weeks. A lot will stay the same, as I liked the way things worked overall in 2016, but I’m adding a few more bells and whistles that I know will benefit my clients and what they need for their businesses even more.    

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Branding 101 - Free Downloadable Guide
It's a new year! Are you ready for 2017? Do you have a logo, website and more that you absolutely love…or…not so much? If you’re not a design professional, branding might be something that you don’t love to do for your business or you simply don’t have time for, so let someone else take over! Sign-up below to receive the link to download my new and free PDF tool “Branding 101: What it is, what it isn’t and why you need it” — right now! This quick and simple guide will walk you through why it’s important to establish consistent and memorable branding within your biz — and if you can DIY some of it or if you should hire that professional. If you have any questions after going through it, let’s connect and chat some more! 

6 silly myths about being an entrepreneur

Whether you are just beginning your self-employment journey full-time or you’ve been playing this game for a while, it’s safe to say that you have definitely come across friends and family who (while we love them dearly) automatically assume that your career is all sunshine and flowers. They imagine us sitting in coffee shops everyday, having time during the day to clean our house and run errands, choosing some days to just not work at all and taking vacation whenever our little hearts desire!

And, while being an entrepreneur can have its dreamy aspects (after all, isn’t that why you became one?) — and by dreamy, I mean freedom that we can create for ourselves that we don’t necessarily get working in an office for someone else — we also know that it’s more work and stress than most can imagine. We love what we do and we work hard so that one day we can work less and delegate our work to other systems and platforms that we eventually put in place. We also charge what we want, with the intention of providing more value to our clients and in turn, making more money. But, we also hustle and put in more than 40 hours a week most weeks. If any of the following false assumptions have been made about you, raise your hand! And, let your anger and frustration go — because as entrepreneurs, we also know that you just can’t fully understand how this whole “running a business” thing works unless you’re actually doing it.

1) “You have so much more free time now…”
That’s funny. While I’m the boss and no one is sitting here, watching me, telling me that I can’t do something, I still have the self-discipline needed when working alone and respect for my business and clients to put in the right amount of hours everyday, to get the job done. If I’m not working, I’m not making money. Period. You can still find me Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to at least 5 p.m., sitting at my computer. Whether I’m in my home office or posted up on the couch, trust me, I’m getting sh*t done. 

2) “You don’t really work…”
Let me repeat my very valid point from #1. If I’m not working, I’m not making money. As a designer, I’m a service provider. I’m not at the point in my business where I’m making all of my profit from selling e-courses or digital products. I crank out monthly projects for clients on retainer and I create visual brands for my other clients. I have to put money every week into my bank account. I am physically at my computer, playing the role of designer + business owner. So, if I’m not working on a client project at any given moment, I am most definitely answering an email, writing my next blog post, crafting the next email to my list, engaging in Facebook groups being of service, invoicing, tracking expenses, emailing my accountant about taxes, updating my website or on a call with a client. Shall I go on?  

3) “You must have financial backing…”
Not true at all. While some business owners absolutely have family members who might be helping them, larger companies have investors, or they started with a large savings account — it’s not like that for most. Most of us are regular people with regular banking accounts that aren’t busting at the seams and we started with a small amount in them. Because many businesses like mine can be run online, I honestly don’t have a ton of out-of-pocket expenses each month. My money is spent on some printing, buying fonts, paying monthly subscriptions for my design and accounting software or association memberships. It’s different for makers who sell physical products and deal with more overhead, but still, don’t let someone tell you that you need a lot of money to start a business. It CERTAINLY HELPS, but it’s not necessary. You can jump in, do a few important things really well and start generating income fairly quickly. It all depends on what you’re selling, how you’re selling it and to whom you’re selling it. Anything is possible! Just work really hard.

4) “You have to do it all yourself…”
This is so far from the truth. Yes, as an entrepreneur starting out, you’re going to be wearing a lot of hats. Most days, I’m a designer, a secretary, an accountant, (and trust me, I’m terrible at math!) a social media assistant and a writer. But, design is what I’m REALLY good at and meant to do. When you can get to a point in your business where you can afford to delegate and outsource, do it! Hire a virtual assistant (VA) to handle your email, blogging and social media management. Hire a copywriter to write your blogs and website/sales copy. Hire an accountant or bookkeeping pro to handle all of your financials. Don’t feel that you have to do it all. You will get burned out and there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done, client work and business management-wise. Do what you want to do and do it well. Leave the rest to someone else that you trust to do a good job! 

5) “You don’t have to answer to anyone…”
True, I’m my own boss, but I do have people to answer to. A lot of people. My clients depend on me day in and day out to handle precious and important parts of their business. When they email or call, I answer. When they need something designed, I do it. They’re my bread and butter and what keep my business afloat. Without my clients, I don’t make money. I respect them too much to not answer them.

6) “It’s so easy, anyone can do it!”
Sure, being an entrepreneur is not the worst thing in the world. If you’re one, you chose to be one. And, don’t get me wrong, we are so lucky. We get to be our own bosses, do what we love and can give ourselves the freedom and flexibility that we don’t always get with working for someone else. However, this game is not for everyone to play. If someone chooses to start a business because they think it’s going to be fun and easy, they are dead wrong. You have to have self-discipline and know how to wear many hats. You have to be professional, keep clients happy and keep money in the bank. There are countless aspects of being a business owner that I love, but there are many parts that are far from dreamy. It’s all about finding a balance with it. As I always say, this game is not meant for just anyone to play. And, if it is “so easy” – then everyone would be doing it! Just like they would be movie stars, singers and professional athletes.   


Branding 101 - Free Downloadable Guide
It’s hard to believe that we are nearing the end of another business year! Are you ready for 2017? Do you have a logo, website and more that you absolutely love…or…not so much? If you’re not a design professional, branding might be something that you don’t love to do for your business or you simply don’t have time for, so let someone else take over! Sign-up below to receive the link to download my new and free PDF tool “Branding 101: What it is, what it isn’t and why you need it” — right now! This quick and simple guide will walk you through why it’s important to establish consistent and memorable branding within your biz — and if you can DIY some of it or if you should hire that professional. If you have any questions after going through it, let’s connect and chat some more!

4 steps to help you believe in yourself and your business

It’s something that is constantly following us around, knocking on our doors, pounding in our heads, fluttering in our hearts — and not in a good way. Self-doubt. I define self-doubt as a state of mind that can truly make or break your business because it can mentally drain you in so many negative ways and leave you feeling everything but confident.

Notice that I called it a state of mind, though. It’s an emotion, feeling and sense as well and although it’s much easier said than done — you CAN control it. You can change it. You can make it so that you never have to feel it or sense it ever again (or at least that often.) Although for some it’s a daily struggle and for others it’s a creeping, but, fleeting moment that finds its way in even just once or twice a year, it’s something that every business owner has to face and deal with at one point or another. Today, I want to talk about how to do just that – deal with it – and kick it to the curb because I promise you, it has NO place anywhere near you or your business.

Self-doubt is defined, as a lack of confidence in one’s self or one’s abilities. Yep, that sounds about right. So how do we alter our mindset, our perspective and make it go away? I don’t know that we can make it go away entirely forever, but we can control it so that it doesn’t affect our daily routines or suck up the precious and limited time that we’re given each day to get work done. Think of it like a break-up. When you finally recognize that you are no longer in a healthy relationship with someone, whether it’s friendship or love, you have to take the right steps to remove the negativity from your life — something that literally does not bring you joy or serve you anymore. When you do this, you make room for the positive. In the case of self-doubt, you make room for a stronger mind, better work ethic and more confidence. Here are a few steps to help you along the way:

1) Really think about why you run a business and love what you do

Of course these businesses are our livelihoods and we need them to make money to pay bills, but just remember where you started and how you much you have grown. You’re not doing it for just the fame or to just make an insane amount of money (hopefully that does happen for you!) but you first and foremost do it to help others and it makes you truly happy. You will instantly feel proud of yourself and confident again when you see how far you’ve come, maybe in even just 6 months or a year or ten years. Even if you’re not noticing it on a daily basis, you are constantly improving your biz and people do see it and will want to hire you.

2) Find the RIGHT audience or client base

It’s easy to get discouraged with a lack of sales or even client inquiries — because we all know that the worst sound in the world is hearing crickets. Are you putting yourself in front of the right people, though? The dream clients for you will be the ones who see the value in your work and will pay the price for it. Even if you think you’re charging too much and people won’t buy from you, “those people” who will never buy from you are not your people! You MUST, MUST, MUST position yourself as the expert that you are, who deserves to charge what you want, in front of the people who will love what you have to offer. You may not see or hear them right now, but they ARE out there. Trust that.

3) Avoid burnout – step away from the work for a bit

Something else that works for me is to take a day or two off when you’re feeling low. You’re not going to be producing your best and highest quality of work for your current clients, which is not fair to them or you. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and not know what to do next – and when this happens – just stop. Literally. Stay out of the office for a day or a week (however long you need) and recharge your mind. Get outside, eat well, exercise, participate in a hobby that you enjoy, read a book and find some balance. When we step away from everything that is bogging us down at the moment, we can find some clarity and gain fresh perspective. Again, this will help with discovering some new confidence and excitement when you go back to work. And, to go back to Step #2, if you’re doing work for the RIGHT clients, you will naturally enjoy the work more, be happier and in turn, feel great about what you’re doing overall!    

4) Remember that you ARE worth it

Whenever I think that I’m charging too much for my services or that no one is going to buy from me, I also remember that I have put way too much schooling, post-college continuing education/professional development opportunities and money into myself and my business to not be charging enough. I am a PROFESSIONAL. I’m no longer a college student or someone who has picked up design as a fun hobby to do on the side just for friends and family. I also keep in mind that I have many expenses around running my biz, including my accounting and design software, which costs me a certain amount each month to maintain. Aside from your time, you also have a lot of money invested in your business and that should be considered when you’re figuring out proper amounts to charge clients.    

Once you’re confident in yourself and your business, it might be time to take another step forward and make one of the most important and necessary investments – branding. Have you thought about a new logo or website to help you look more legit to your customers? Branding is one of the biggest secrets to a business attracting followers and paying clients — and achieving overall success. Sign-up below to receive the link to download my new and free PDF tool “Branding 101: What it is, what it isn’t and why you need it” — right now! This quick and simple guide will walk you through why it’s important to establish consistent and memorable branding within your biz — and ultimately help you to decide if you can DIY it all or if you need to hire a professional (like me!) If you have any questions after going through it, let’s connect and chat some more!