Last week a client asked me, “Allison, how can I possibly position myself as an expert in my business when I know that there are people in the world who are more experienced and knowledgeable than I am?”
I love this question because many of us can relate to it: the feeling that you’re, well, kind of “faking it” in your business. Because, heck, I can do a Google search and find 10 other people who seem like they know more than I do in my field!
It’s the feeling of being a fraud.
A couple weeks ago I heard Amy Porterfield’s answer to this very question. Now, I’m paraphrasing, but she said something along the lines of this… “As long as there are others who don’t know as much as you do in this arena, you are qualified to teach them what you know.”
There will always, always be people who are smarter, better-looking, more successful and experienced than we are, that’s certain. But as long as there are also people who need help in the area in which you focus, you can have a wonderful business.
We Take Our Knowledge for Granted
In my work with clients, I’ve seen over and over again that we take our experience for granted. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten on the phone with a client who says, “I don’t have anything to say that people don’t already know.”
Well, with a little bit of prodding and questioning on my end, we quickly discover that actually, they know quite a lot about their niche that most people don’t!
We get so used to working in our little corner of the world that we forget that other people are busy working in their own little corners. Something I take for granted, like how to use key words with my blog post, may sound completely alien to a person who hasn’t ever written a blog post.
See where I’m going with this?
Feeling Like a Fraud Will Hold You Back in Your Business
Chances are, if you’re reading this post you’ve at one point or another felt like you’re “faking it” or like you’ve somehow tricked everyone into thinking that you actually know what you’re doing.
Pay attention to those feelings! They’re so important to notice, because guess what? When you feel like a fraud, you will unconsciously hold yourself back.
Here are some examples of what this might look like.
Example 1: When you know you should be blogging about your product or service but you feel like a fraud, you’ll put it off indefinitely or until you “feel like an expert.” When you don’t blog, you hold yourself back in a big way from connecting with potential clients.
Example 2: When you actually do get on the phone for a sales call, if you feel like a fraud you’ll speak to the potential client differently. You might subtly dismiss your abilities (“Well, it’s not that big of a deal…”) or undercut yourself on price.
Example 3: When you attend a networking event and meet people who could help you build your business, you will stay quiet instead of opening your mouth and sharing your work.
See how this works? When you feel like a fraud, your actions become closed off, sabotaging any chance you might have of growing your business and bringing in revenue.
Trust me, you’re not alone in this. I talk to business owners ALL THE TIME who feel this way, and I’ve also felt it myself. Anytime we step into a new arena these feelings might come up.
Your job is to notice the feelings, take a deep breath, and take your bold action anyway!
You can do it. I would love to hear about your experience in the comments area, below. 🙂