It’s a common struggle and we probably don’t talk about it as much as we should. Imposter Syndrome affects individuals from all walks of life, including business owners. It’s characterised by a persistent feeling of inadequacy, despite evidence of your competence and accomplishments.

A Harvard Business Review study found that nearly 70% of entrepreneurs have experienced imposter syndrome at some point in their careers. This self-doubt can be particularly debilitating for business owners, as they navigate the multiple challenges of running a businesses. Understanding and addressing this issue is crucial for personal and professional growth.

Many business owners, despite their achievements, constantly question their abilities and attribute their success to luck or external factors. This mindset can hinder their progress, hinder decision-making, and lead to burnout. So how do you overcome it?

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

While conquering imposter syndrome is a personal journey, there are practical steps that business owners can take to manage it effectively:

1. Acknowledge and Normalise

First, it is important to understand that imposter syndrome is common and experienced by many, if not most, successful individuals. Normalise these feelings as a part of the entrepreneurial journey.

2. Track Achievements

Second, try to maintain a record of your accomplishments, no matter how small they seem. Regularly reviewing these achievements can help boost confidence and counteract self-doubt. When thoughts of inadequacy come flooding in, it will be helpful to remind yourself just how far your business has come, and how much ground you have already covered. 

3. Seek Support and Talk to Others

Talk to your business advisor, a mentor, and others in similar roles. Sharing your fears and concerns with someone you trust can provide valuable insights and strategies for overcoming imposter syndrome.

You might also find talking to other business owners refreshing! Sometimes, the self-employed journey can feel like a long, lonely ride. But, something powerful happens when we exchange experiences and learn that our struggles aren’t always as isolated as we assume they are. In fact, in 2022, Geoff briefly shared about the challenges of building SME Financial in the 90s. You might find his experience and subsequent views on economic downturns insightful. You can read that article here

4. Set Realistic Goals

Break your long-term goals into smaller, achievable milestones. This can help you see your progress more clearly and reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed. One step forward can make a huge difference.

5. Embrace Failure

Understand that failure is a part of entrepreneurship. Instead of seeing it as a reflection of your worth, view it as a valuable learning experience. We are all on a path of continuous learning.

6. Practice Self-Compassion

Finally, be kind to yourself. Focus on your strengths and abilities. You may not have all the answers today but that’s entirely normal.

How we can help

Imposter syndrome is a common challenge faced by many business owners. It can hinder personal growth, decision-making, and overall well-being. 

Remember, you are not alone in this struggle, and your achievements are a testament to your capabilities and hard work. Our team of business advisors have many years of experience assisting other business owners just like you. We can help you create a plan for your business that removes the uncertainty and builds on your strengths. Reach out today if you would like to schedule a coffee.

Together we can achieve more. 

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