As women, we often question our worth, qualifications, or our ability to accomplish our goals. We've been conditioned from childhood to play small, so embarking on this scary yet rewarding entrepreneurial journey can be overwhelming and discouraging...
For instance, when I first started Everything She Is Co., a community-driven platform for young women and girls that aims to help them navigate their self-discovery journey, I was beyond terrified. Thoughts like “you don’t know what you’re doing” and the classic “who do you think you are” played so loud in my head. To be honest, those thoughts and feelings still creep in from time to time, but I've developed ways to quiet and even challenge these self deprecating thoughts with the tips below.
Tip #1: Separate Your Self-Worth from Your Business Success
My love for styling my natural curls opened up the door for me to work full time as a content creator and while I will always be thankful to the community that bonded with me through that content, I had to allow myself to evolve. For that reason, when I started Everything She Is Co., I didn’t know how my followers would react because it pivoted from my traditional content. With this shift, I’ve lost some audience within my community, but I also gained new members of my community that align with my direction as a business-woman, self-love advocate, and lifestyle content creator. Even as I lost some engagement and interest on social media platforms, I don’t let that determine my trajectory personally or professionally. You shouldn’t let your business define you as a person or deter you. A part of entrepreneurship is trial and error, you can not let defeat take over your well-being. The ability to separate your business success from your self-worth will allow you to enjoy the entrepreneurial journey and look at your business in a more objective framework.
Tip #2: Resilience is Key
As cliche as this may sound, having resilience while running a business is mandatory. As a woman, you are guaranteed to hear no’s, but sometimes all you need is one yes. So, don’t let negative and intrusive thoughts keep you stagnant in the mobility of your business. When you normalize responding to your negative thoughts with the truth, the discomfort that comes with rejection subsides. Instead of viewing rejection as a mistake, or failure on your part, look at it as a saving grace. Some things are not meant to work out, and it also means you are one step closer to the answer you desire. Running a business isn’t a linear, uphill trajectory; you will have your ups and downs. The important thing is to learn from the mistakes you make, take in criticism, and align yourself and your business with people that fit in your plans for long-term success.
Tip #3: Lean On Your Community
As a business owner, you can find yourself constantly worrying about the next step; what’s next on my to-do list, what can I push off for tomorrow, how can I maximize my time most efficiently. Yes, your action items are essential but so is taking time for yourself to connect with others. Spending time with your friends and family can help you put things into perspective and also help you when it comes to prioritization. For me, it’s always heart-warming to hear the most important people in my life tell me how proud they are of me and the work I’m doing. Being an entrepreneur can get lonely but, you’re never actually alone so, make time to call your friends, family, or mentor to help you recharge, reassess and refocus.
Tip #4: Practice Boundary Setting
It's important to set boundaries for others but also for yourself. For example, I dedicate my mornings to pouring into myself. Whether it's dancing in the mirror, stretching, meditating, or reading, that's my "me" time. It's crucial to carve out this time for yourself, especially in the early stages, as a lot of times, it's a one-man show. So, hold yourself accountable and try your best to stick to a schedule that allows you to eat well, pour back into yourself, spend time with others, and have a night of adequate sleep. When you set those clear boundaries with yourself, it will positively impact your business.
Tip #5: Celebrate Your Wins. Big or Small.
The entrepreneur lifestyle isn’t easy, which is why it’s important to celebrate your wins, big or small. Running a business is a marathon, not a sprint so take some time to pat yourself on the back for all you’ve accomplished. It’s easy to get caught up with what didn’t work out or your future goals but remembering to celebrate helps you remain present and really optimize your time. Also, when you get into the practice of appreciating everything, your perspective shifts. So when those big wins come, you embrace the moment, and you can see how far you’ve come with a clear perspective.
Women business owners are faced with many barriers because of the effects of gender inequality personally and professionally. However, the most important thing to remember is to take care of yourself. That’s really the only way to successfully combat imposter syndrome and be the best person for yourself and your business. Always question and respond to those self-deprecating thoughts as they are not your truths. The more you separate feelings of imposter syndrome from who you are as a woman and business owner, you will thrive in more ways than one.
About the author
Candice Jones, entrepreneur and content creator, has garnered attention with her expertise in all pillars of self: self-love, self-care, and self-confidence. Her self-love journey birthed her community-driven lifestyle platform, Everything She Is Co, to help young girls and women explore their womanhood. She hopes to inspire young women to unlearn concepts that don’t align with their beliefs and the importance of forgiveness and gratitude to break the barriers that keep them from being authentic selves.
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