Feeling Like a Fraud: Small Business Owner Impostor Syndrome

After celebrating the three year anniversary of my company, I was definitely floating on a cloud of happiness. But being a small business owner and entrepreneur has a way of always giving you the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Moments where you feel like a fraud...like maybe you don't really know anything about what you are actually doing (except you probably do- but who can be sure?). 

I saw this cartoon recently while reading an article on impostor syndrome, which Wikipedia describes as: high-achieving individuals marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud. 

It's a strange feeling for me because at the end of the day I know that I have a lot of advanced skills compared to many other agencies. I gained a lot of skills during my time at Facebook, I've taken hundreds of hours of AdWords courses and I'm deeply dedicated to learning about my industry. So why do I feel like a fraud sometimes? 

The only thing I can come up with is that owning your own business uncovers the deepest insecurities about yourself. Once they are uncovered, running your own business then magnifies these insecurities. Top that off with a business that focuses on client service, where you are constantly being given feedback and where clients come and go as the please...it's a recipe for exposing these feelings. 

I've been working at trying to recognize these feelings and move on quickly by getting back to work. I'm reading this book about feedback and planning a weekend getaway to try and relax a little. 

While I was planning our upcoming weekend trip to Santa Fe, I found this quote by Georgia O'Keefe and I think it fits just right. 

Feel like a fraud sometimes? Me too, but I am quite free.