How to Stop Feeling Like a Fake and a Fraud in Your Business

I recently needed to buy a new pair of shoes. I'm not much of a shopper and I do most of my shopping online at sites like JustFab. But with Ohio winters staring me in the face, I had to buy a new pair of boots.  Fast. 

I decided I wanted to buy something that was kinda cute, totally unlike anything I had bought before. I usually buy conservative-type stuff but hey - I wanted to be cute. Because, you know, being cute in the snow is what it's all about.

Well, I ordered the boots (that pair you see below), got the boots, tried the boots on and - they were the worst-fitting boots I had ever bought! My feet felt like they were screaming, "Woman, get me out of here. What do you think you're doing? You're killin' me!" You see, I can't do cute shoes because I have feet as wide as Fred Flintstone's. I put those suckers back in the box and gave them to my 27-year-old daughter, who can totally do the cute shoe thang.

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So, it was back to the drawing board to find a new pair of boots, a pair that actually worked for me.

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And yes, I ordered the wide calf version because - well, in addition to wide feet, I've got wide calfs to match. But guess what?

My new boots are comfortable. They go on my feet with little effort. They are me. They fit me. And I can't wait to put them on.

Had I kept that first pair of boots and worn them, I might have been cute but I would have felt like a big, fat phony. With hurting feet to match.

Because those boots weren't me. They didn't fit me.

And that's what business is all about.

You've gotta do what fits you.  

Back in the summer, I realized there were some things in my business that just didn't fit me anymore. After ten years, it was time to let those things go. I went through a period of uncertainty, fear, beating myself up and a whole bunch of other emotions. Can I get an "Amen!" if you've ever felt like that? I know I'm not the only one!

Here's the deal - you're going to go through seasons in your business. And when you've gone through those changes and transformations, the end result may not resemble anything you started with. 

And that's okay.

Because your business is just that - your business. Your baby, your passion, the result of your hard work, sweat and tears.

Your business shouldn't look like anyone else's but yours. After a lot of soul-searching, I discovered I love teaching and creating. I love writing. I love keepin' it real with folks. 

So, how do you get out of the trap of feeling like a big fat phony?

Keep your eyes on your lane.  Getting inspiration from a business owner is one thing. Mimicking them is something totally different.  Learn from folks in the industry but put your spin on things.  Your business should represent your values. If what you're doing doesn't feel comfortable, then it might be time to do something different.

For example, I don't follow the "rule" of sending out a weekly newsletter to my subscribers. Why? It doesn't feel right to me to send something out just for the sake of sending something. Don't you have enough stuff in your inbox without me barging in there with some foolishness?

In 2018, we're going to talk a lot about being authentic and finding your voice and style in a sea of online business owners.  It's probably going to feel uncomfortable. You've got a voice, a unique brand that belongs only to you. It's time to tell the world exactly who you are and not just what you do or what service you offer.

It's time to do you, boo.

If you want to get on my newsletter list (hey, I don't promise to send it every week, just letting ya know!), I'd be honored to stop in your inbox and share more helpful tips.

Regina Lewis

Regina's passion is helping a new generation of virtual assistants launch their new business or take their business to the next level.  When she's not working at the local ministry, blogging or tinkering with Squarespace, she enjoys spending time with her family, watching "Downton Abbey" to the point that it irritates her boys and people-watching from her front porch.