As you strive to elevate your business, do you ever feel like you’re fighting an uphill battle that you can’t possibly win? Or worry that you’re just not cut out for entrepreneurship? It’s not uncommon to be apprehensive and maybe even a little sceptical of what the future holds. But, as Samantha Hearne explains in this episode of the podcast, you can’t afford to allow fear to keep you from taking action.
Listen now to find out what she says about entrepreneurial anxiety and impostor syndrome.
Samantha Hearne is a UK-based anxiety and startup business coach, and also the creator of A Happy Mind. When she’s not busy wrangling a new puppy, she splits her time between two activities:
First, she goes to corporations, schools and events to talk about mindset, work-life balance and anxiety. It was actually at one of these events (Lee Jackson’s Agency Transformation Live) where she met Troy earlier in the year.
Second, she spends a lot of time with her online communities, with a special focus on helping female entrepreneurs grow their brands organically.
Sam tells the story of her battle with anxiety; of how the loss of her dad and the upheaval that occurred within her family afterwards deeply affected her. And it was all of this unexpected and uncontrolled change that brought anxiety to the forefront of her life.
She worried about what others thought about her and what would happen if she didn’t always say “yes” to everything. She worried about the people in her life abandoning her, which led to a lot of insecurity and anxiety-driven decisions.
As she began to look around for help, she realised there weren’t that many people having frank discussions about anxiety or providing real solutions to the problem.
Rather than continue to seek out answers where there didn’t seem to be many, Sam did as many entrepreneurs do and set out to provide those answers for herself and for others. This is why she started the Instagram page and Facebook community for A Happy Mind.
While Sam worked on gaining back control of her mind and her life, she discovered three things to help her along:
It was the book, in particular, that she really credits with turning things around because it explained how her brain works and was able to give her real answers.
Sam uses the metaphor of a ladder to explain why impostor syndrome happens and how to effectively beat it.
First, she suggests picturing a ladder with people on different rungs. At the very top are the role models you aspire to be.
Then, she asks you to recognise that the people on the top rungs didn’t start there, that there was a time when they were closer to the bottom as you are.
“That impostor syndrome will be there whether you take a step on the ladder or you don’t. So, surely, it would be better to have done something to at least try to create a reality around it than to not do anything.”
Finally, she says that it’s natural to be worried about no one showing up to your event, signing up for your services or watching your videos. However, if you don’t show up yourself, there’s no way you can change your standing on that ladder.
And if you fail while attempting to take a step up the ladder? Sam says it’s okay. Inaction is what causes feelings of impostor syndrome. Action is what gives you clarity on what you’re doing, even if it’s a step in the wrong direction. At least then you have feedback to direct your next steps.
What’s particularly inspiring about Sam’s story is to see how she emerged from her own battle with anxiety and turned it into something positive for others. And when you hear or see her speak, you’ll quickly notice how much of that positivity she’s adopted into her brand.
The colour yellow is something that particularly stands out to those who meet her, too. Though, contrary to what some might believe, she didn’t choose to infuse her brand (and wardrobe) with yellow because it’s a “happy” colour. It simply had positive connotations for her as it reminded her of warmth, security and comfort.
It’s an interesting thing to think about as you emerge from your own anxiety or impostor syndrome as a confident entrepreneur. How do you brand yourself and what sort of message do you want it to send to others?
Impostor syndrome will always be there, but you can dampen the effects of it by making smarter choices for your business. Like learning how to charge higher fees and work with better clients with this free webinar.
It’s been three years since Sam launched A Happy Mind. What began with an Instagram page and a regular habit of hanging out on Facebook has now become a thriving multi-layer platform for Sam.
In addition to speaking engagements, she also teaches courses, provides one-on-one coaching for clients and runs online groups and memberships. But whatever she’s working on at the moment, her goal for 2019 is to take bigger risks and enjoy bigger rewards. Which is something we should all aspire to.