I am contemplating a massive site overhaul. It is based on the fact that I do not feel clear about my offering. This means my core message, what value I want to provide. It feels messy and confused, a bit like my life right now.

What I really want to do is help and inspire people to unleash their potential. I want to help them live the life of their dreams, whether that be taking steps to starting their own company or embarking on that first travelling adventure. You get the picture.

My immediate thoughts are:

What do I actually know?

Who am I to be providing advice here?

What have I done in my life that puts me in a position to help people?

I am 27, currently staying at home with my folks in a little cottage. I am working part time at a winery. Really what the fuck?

This people, is what is known as impostor syndrome , which in a nutshell is the fear of being perceived as a phony, the fear that someone is going to come knocking at your door and tell you that they have found out and are now going to take it all away.

And then I remembered an article that I read a long time ago. I revisited it (Because what I am really looking for here is some comfort, some guidance, some help. Because we all need that every now and again). The article is entitled “Who the Fuck am I?” by Emilie Wapnick. The following stood out for me:

1. Expertise is highly overrated.
2. You know more than you think. Don’t undervalue yourself.

Here are two passages that I took from the article:

“If you’ve learned even a little beyond what the average person knows on a given topic, then you have wisdom to share. Don’t undervalue yourself. “ – Emilie Wapnick

“Most people spend their entire lives trying to live up to a benchmark that is one step beyond what they’re able to achieve. Don’t live like this. Instead, take the opposite approach.

Tell everyone that you’ve blown your own benchmark out of the water. Create a product around how you got your first true fan, and sell it for $10 for a day. Maybe you’ll sell ten copies, cool!

Then, write a blog post about how your $100 in a day success story came into practice.

The next thing you’ll know, you’ll be having $1000 a day success stories. A story about tiny success is a big story to the people who aren’t successful at all in the area you’re trying to be successful in. The first few steps of success are also one of the least represented areas of interest to most people. We hear every day about how a huge software company built an empire, but we don’t hear about how you sold your first consulting session.

Present every moment of every day as a success story, and you’ll start to see that every moment really is. – Everret Bogue

I continued doing some digging on Google, because the phony inside of me was still alive. I found the article 21 Proven Ways to Overcome Impostor Syndrome by Kyle Eschenroeder of Startup Bros and here were some things that really stood out for me:

Keep a file of people saying nice things about you.

When you help someone, and that person gives you positive feedback, whether it by e-mail or any other form of communication, store it, save it. And when you start feeling like a phony refer back to it.

Stop comparing yourself to that person (particularly people higher up on the so called ‘expert ladder’).

By doing this we set unrealistic benchmarks as outlined before. Sure there are plenty of people out there who are way more experienced in providing personal development advice and ways to help people unleash their potential.

But you have something to offer and a person who is below you on the expert ladder might well relate to that a lot better than to someone higher up on the ladder.

You’re going to die.

Don’t lie on your death bed knowing that this fear of being a phony stopped you from doing anything.

Say what you can

You can’t know everything about anything

Realise nobody knows what they are doing.

Yes people, people do actually make shit up as they go along. Is this not what life is about?

I also came across an article entitled “Afraid of Being “Found out”? How to Overcome Impostor Syndrome by Margie Warell that mentions writing down all your accomplishments over the past five years to help you realise that you have actually achieved a lot more than you think.

Even better yet, why not write down all that you know about a topic and look at the actual value you can provide to someone who knows nothing, nothing at all. Again avoid the pitfall of setting unrealistic benchmarks and comparing yourself against people who are higher in the ‘so called’ expert ladder.

With all the above in mind, I returned back to those questions of self-doubt and feelings of being a phony, an impostor.

What do I actually know?

Who am I to be providing advice here?

What have I done in my life that puts me in a position to help people?

I looked at the value I can give people now, based on my experience over the past years. And this is what I arrived at:

Giving advice on overcoming fear and uncertainty

I ventured to Germany, Mexico, USA, Thailand, New Zealand and Samoa.The majority of this was backpacking on my own. I worked on a dairy farm in New Zealand.I then am in the perfect position to give advice on getting out of your comfort zone, overcome doubt and uncertainty, to pursue the life you want, based on the above.

Help people launch a blog so that they can focus on creating awesome content

I learnt the ins and outs of setting it up. This involved working in WordPress, Domain registration, Hosting, design and plenty of other technical aspects that I just figured out as I went along. There is plenty of advice I can give people in setting up a blog.

I can help with crafting an offer that you can release into the world

I also created an offer with the help of the Renaissance Business and other resources.

Help with landing a guest post

I landed my first guest post last year with the Daily Zen, shortly after launching this site. I can help people who need advice on how to land their first guest post and grow their online business.

I have a ton of personal development advice to give:

I grew immensely in the last year in getting to know who am I, what I want, what I am good at and the life I want to create. For example discovering I am a multipotentilaite and that I thrive in dynamic, ever-changing environments, means that I need to stay true to myself. I need to continuously be involved in a broad array of projects. And if I am working for someone, the Startup scene is the perfect fit.

Advice to entrepreneurs looking to start out

I started taking steps to starting my own company. I attended Startup Grind Events, started writing down all my ideas on notebooks (I have developed an obsession with notebooks in fact). I partnered with a friend who I met through another friend and we are registering a company, under which we want to launch app based business. We have had several business meetings, with developers to discuss our idea. Again I am in the perfect position to help people who are also thinking about just starting out and are struggling to connect the dots.

Share books I have read and other resources that have helped me.

I am in the process of reading several books that relate to Startups and sharing this information with people i.e. giving a book review is another way I can directly impact on people’s lives.

Advice on following your heart

I have great advice to give in terms of following your heart. This urge I had was the driving force behind my desire to travel.

Confession: Feeling like a phony might well be holding me back on elaborating on this list. But writing it down helps. It’s a starting point. It makes you realise that you have a lot to offer and that you should never let that stop you from pursuing your dreams.

In summary, it  easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to other people. Stop that. Look at what value you can provide now. Don’t undervalue yourself.

Use what you know and find the people who look up to you and see you as an expert. Reach out to them. Create a product that speaks directly to them. And celebrate those small successes.

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