5 Steps To Overcoming Imposter Syndrome As An eCommerce Entrepreneur
Whether you’re just starting out as an entrepreneur or you’ve already had a wealth of success, you’ve probably experienced feelings of self-doubt at various stages throughout your journey.
Imposter syndrome is a phenomenon that affects us all, and can lead us to doubt our expertise, ideas, and even feel as though we’ve not earned what we’ve achieved.
It’s especially common in entrepreneurs, who are naturally analytical, reflective, and driven. While these traits are what allow us to move ahead of the pack in a competitive world, there’s a flip side that can lead us to overanalysing ourselves.
It can often result in us feeling like a fraud, even when it’s not the case.
Elements of imposter syndrome can also be found in individuals that work in high-responsibility roles, such as teaching, medicine, and military.
The good news is that imposter syndrome is a trick of the mind, rather than a reality. There’s plenty of tactics you can use to rationalise how you’re feeling and redistribute your mental resources into what matters; achieving your goals.
With that in mind, here’s 5 steps to overcoming imposter syndrome as an eCommerce entrepreneur!
Keep track of your success
Leaving a paper trail of evidence of every time you’ve achieved a major (or minor, if you really want to) goal or milestone is a surefire way to remind yourself that you’ve earned your achievements.
While to some this might feel a little self-indulgent at first, it’s a great way to help cure those feelings of self-doubt, keep yourself aligned with your goals, and reinforce the truth that you’re on the right track.
There are many ways of doing this, both publicly and privately.
Privately, you may want to journal your achievements and reflect on them in whatever way you see fit. Or, you could create a physical file of every highlight of your journey so far, whether that be awards you’ve picked up, newspaper cut outs, company logos, or whatever else you’re proud of.
There’s multiple ways to chronicle your achievements publicly, too. This might take the form of an online blog, some personal branding on your social media accounts, or even displaying your accomplishments around your office or home.
Surround yourself with positive people
Surrounding yourself with positive people who will not only celebrate your successes but also their own achievements can go a long way in creating a motivational, successful, and reassuring work environment.
That doesn’t mean getting people on board who are only there to tell you ‘yes’ and inflate your ego, but rather those who are aligned with your goals and worldview.
The people we interact with on a day-to-day basis rub off on us – that’s a fact. While you should always stay true to yourself and not allow the personalities of others to detract from your goals, a good team will make achieving your goals more likely and at greater speed.
A crowd of aligned individuals are less likely to get the feelings of imposter syndrome because they’re in it together. If you’re ever in doubt of yourself or the amazing path you’re on, the people around you can help you to regain perspective.
Be a life-long learner
Sometimes, imposter syndrome strikes when we feel less informed than our peers about a particular subject, or we’re early on in the process of doing something new.
That’s why it’s especially common to experience imposter syndrome when you’re working a new job, as it feels like everyone around you is and always has been an expert, while you’re sitting there out of your depth.
That’s why, as an entrepreneur, it’s important to be constantly learning if you want to beat the feelings of imposter syndrome. Not only does life-long learning have a positive impact on your mental wellbeing, but also paves the way for you overtaking competitors as natural curiosity will naturally keep you a step ahead of the competition.
Life-long learning isn’t about sitting down with a dusty old tome every night before you go to sleep, and making notes with your ink and parchment.
It’s a mindset; a recognition that you’ll never know everything there is to know about the world, and an ambition to learn everything you can about all manners of things before you hang up the mantle.
Alter your mindset
On the topic of mindset, imposter syndrome can be cured altogether by changing the way you perceive the world around you.
Often, the actualities of reality are very different to the way we perceive them, and thanks to the way our brains are wired, it’s easy to think about these actualities in a negative way.
Imagine two entrepreneurs living out the exact same life in parallel universes. They’ve founded the same company, faced the same challenges, achieved the same goals, driven the same cars, and have led identical lives up to this point.
One entrepreneur feels anxious about their success, questioning whether they should have done things differently, and if the credit should be given to those around him. The other is thankful for the people around him who’ve helped him achieve his goals, and doesn’t see his past failures as bad things, but rather learning opportunities.
This simple thought exercise shows us that it’s the way we perceive things around us that can cause us to feel a certain way, rather than the things themselves.
Only we have the power to change our perception of the world, but with awareness and meditation, we have the power to change our mindset and help fix imposter syndrome.
Fake it ‘till you make it!
When we look at the people around us day-to-day, it can sometimes feel as though they’ve got everything together, and know exactly what they’re doing.
But here’s a secret; that probably isn’t the case. While on the surface they might look like a swan gliding over the water, what you don’t see are the legs kicking below the surface to keep them afloat and propel them forward.
This isn’t to say that all entrepreneurs are constantly fighting to stay afloat. Confidence and competence improves organically, but it takes time.
That being said, even inexperienced entrepreneurs can seem to ooze confidence and optimism even if they’ve not reached the stage in their life when it comes naturally.
Even the most successful business people in the world would have had to sit in front of a panel of investors at some time in their lives and pretend they knew more than they did.
In other words, contrary to the topic of this article, everyone has been somewhat of an imposter at many times in their life, and that’s completely normal. The trick is to pretend that you aren’t, and before you know it, the law of attraction will do its thing.
Have you experienced imposter syndrome?
eCommerce entrepreneurs often need to wear a variety of hats, and there comes a time when we’d prefer to lay down the less glamorous ones.
Some of the latter might include everything related to order fulfilment, whether that’s tediously picking and packing orders, constantly shipping items to your customers, regularly dealing with returns requests, or trying to find extra space in your building to store inventory.
If that sounds like you, James and James Fulfilment can help.
As one of the first digital-native fulfilment partners in the UK, we know a thing or two about speedy, accurate fulfilment and fantastic customer experiences. With fulfilment centres across the world, we make it easy for our clients to sell their products anywhere, and get them delivered fast.
We’ve also got a custom-built inventory management platform available as standard for all our clients. If data analysis and stock management has had you feeling like a bit of an imposter lately, our award-winning platform can help.
Learn more about how your eCommerce business could benefit from our industry-leading fulfilment service by chatting with one of our experts.
To arrange a call, simply pop your details into this form and click the big pink button. We don’t bite!
James and James Fulfilment
It all began in 2010, when James Hyde and James Strachan couldn’t find a modern shipping service for the eCommerce business they ran. Faced with messy warehouses based on out-dated systems, they decided to build their own.
We’ve not stood still since, helping hundreds of online brands scale up – and scaling with them.
Stay up to date with insights & advice to help you build a bigger eCommerce brand
Subscribe to receive our latest updates in your inbox.