Hello everyone! 

I would love some input on how best to deal with "imposter syndrome".  The business venture I've been trying hasn't been particularly successful (people love what I do, but I'm not making a profit with my nature photography), and I'm thinking about trying to build something with another passion of mine (health & nutrition).  Both photography and health/nutrition are not things I was directly "schooled" in (I am an optometrist by trade).  I've always felt you'll be most successful in things that you are most educated in, so as much as I want these ventures to work, I feel like I'm holding myself back and not working to the best of my potential because I have this little voice in the back of my head that asks:

"Who do you think you are?  You aren't qualified to be seen as an expert in these areas.  You don't have any credentials or certifications for this.  Why should someone trust you in these areas?"

Has anyone else dealt with this when trying to start something new?  How did you get past it and become successful? 

Thank you so much!


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I think almost everyone who sets out to become an "expert" in their chosen industry feels that way. I am a Medical lab scientist, yet I coach people on how to start an online business, use social media, and make money online. These are not things I went to school for, and yet I felt drawn to them. 

I had to just start and share my talents with people. I remember my first paid coaching session. It was such an amazing feeling. I couldn't believe people would actually pay me to tell them how to use facebook and twitter. I have grown some brand awareness and helped others achieve their start. I am excited to be doing this, even though I don't have a single business or social media class under my belt. 

In today's world you don't always need to be schooled. Like Dan says a lot on his podcast. He is looking for someone who can produce results, not someone who is schooled in a specific subject. 

I think if it is something that makes you smile, and you think about it often, you can definitely find success and become an expert. 


Thanks Allan, I appreciate your reply.  In your second paragraph you say, "I had to just start and share my talents with people."  How did you "start"?  I think because of my "schooling" mentality, I spend a lot of time researching, and researching, and researching....you get the picture.  Because I'm not feeling "ready", I'm not sure exactly how to start.  How did you do that, and how did you find your first paying clients?

I know what you mean about the research, and research, and research, and........! 

The great thing about being new to a field is that no one really knows you. I know a lot of my clients want to grow into overnight successes. I tell them to enjoy the anonymity while they can. I started by blogging. At first i think it was me, my mom, and my best friend who read the articles I wrote. LOL

I was definitely not a writer. I went into this because I wanted to increase my public speaking, something I am really comfortable doing. My first few posts were nothing fantastic. But little by little I was able to increase my writing ability. I have a long way to go as a writer, but I feel a lot more comfortable taking on that title.

I launched a podcast a year ago and it was going great. I had a lot of downloads without much promotion. I was getting emails and requests etc. I had no idea what I was doing. My wife was diagnosed with cancer so I couldn't keep up with it. She is fine now, and we are finally getting our life back to some semblance of normalcy. I am going to be launching a new podcast soon.

Taking that leap with the first podcast definitely makes me a lot more comfortable doing this next one.

As far as gaining clients, I did a lot of sharing. I helped, and continue to help here on 48days.net. I share my knowledge freely and try to pop in and answer questions much like this. I also do it with a giving heart, and not expecting anyone to hire me as a coach. As backwards as this sounds, this has kept me fairly busy.

I am trying to teach some of my business friends how to market online, and using this sharing mentality. They are baffled by the concept. The ones who have embraced this, are seeing success. The ones using the old models are struggling a little more.

I would love to help you get started.  I love your pictures on http://www.lesleysobeckgallery.com/ it is really cool. 

Zenfolio is a good way to get started. I still would recommend a wordpress site with information that will make you stand out. What is your story. Why should I like your pretty pictures vs. all the other ones I can find? this isn't meant to discourage, I blog about social media and leadership. There are so many blogs dedicated to this topic, yet I still have a faithful readership that is growing. 

Some of my friends also love smugmug and a couple other site. Depending on what you hope to accomplish, will dictate how you need to market yourself. Feel free to shoot me an email: duboncourses@gmail.com

I still struggle with some of this. I have a product I have been doing research on for a few months now. I just need to pull the trigger and get it going. I have some of the content written, but need to break out of the "scientist"mode, and allow this product to be released. 

I wish you the best, and please get a hold of me if you want to chat. 


I, too, appreciate your words of wisdom. Thank you for sharing with Lesley. You also helped encourage me. I have been stuck on the road of, "I can't do this! I'm not qualified!" Simply because I don't have a piece of paper for that specific ability/skill. I am currently setting up my own freelance editing website while writing and publishing my stories. I love to read, write and help others. I want to be able to offer my editing services to others who write books, but also for those who write blogs, research papers, etc. I also want to become a published author and get out of my current elementary job. My goals for 2013 were to publish my first book, make a plan for getting into the editing/writing field, be more consistent writing in my blog post each week, and find a new career challenge outside of education. I have successfully completed three of those four goals and it feels really good! Of course, my version is more broken down, but that's the overview. Anyway, I appreciate your sharing. :) 

Becky that's awesome!

I am glad people really like that kind of stuff. I love reading, but sometimes my editing sucks! LOL. Do you have a page? Let me know if you would like me to help you set something up. I can definitely guide you in the right direction. You can also email me at duboncourses@gmail.com

If I can write and have an audience, someone who actually knows how to write can definitely do better! Sometimes I feel like a monkey pounding at the keyboard. LOL

Here is one of my latest posts. It definitely needs some refinement, but my audience gets my intent, and they are glad to have the content.  

I love helping people get started. 

Let me know what I can do to help!

Much success


Thank you for the support Allan!!

I always appreciate assistance and feedback. I am actually still putting my website together. It's through weebly. I love what they have to offer. I am stuck on prices for services. I'm one of those people that doesn't want to charge too much. I enjoy helping others, but know I have to "run a business" at the same time. Do you have any suggestions for pricing? I can try to send you a link to my site (it's not published yet) and would love any feedback you may have. 

I think I missed what your business is? I would love to support your work as well. If you'd like any editing assistance at any time, just let me know! I would love to check out your new post! Thanks for the link!



P.S. I am now checking out your blog site and saving it. I see here what your work is. That's awesome! How is the coaching part of your work going? Are you on FB? I would love to befriend you or share your work there. :)

Hi Becky, Mark Silver has great pricing exercise that I've used both myself and with clients. Here goes:

You write down on a piece of paper the lowest number that you could imagine charging. Then you write down the upper end of what you could imagine charging. Then you write down all the numbers in between.

So if you for example start at $50 you write €50, $55, $60 etc. Then you go through each number that you've written down and notice how you feel about that number.

You typically just feel it in your body - is the feeling heavy or light? But you could also ask yourself, if a client would pay me this, would I feel resentful or happy? Or would I feel like it's so much that I start to worry that I will not deliver?

There will be some numbers in the middle that you're comfortable with. So then you just pick the upper end of those. :)

Also, remember that even if you pick a number and run with it, you can always change it in the future.

I think there is a lot of pressure on us who are relatively new in our businesses to charge "competitive rates" (that's an advice I hear a lot). But I know that for me, and for my friends and clients, starting out at a high "industry standard" rate can feel too high, and when it feels too high we tend to hold back.

In other words, I wouldn't worry about the fact that you don't want to charge too much. That can all change six months from now. Just don't make it so low that it puts people off ("she cannot be very good or she would charge more"). :)

Thank you Anna! I appreciate you sharing your knowledge with me. I will check out Mark Silver's site and pricing exercise. Does he have a website or is he a member on 48 Days?

I also appreciate your examples of how to feel what pricing would be the best. Thank you for sharing with me!! It really has helped!! :)

I'm glad that it helped Becky. :)

Mark Silver's website is heartofbusiness.com

If you're a podcast junkie like me, you could also search for "Mark Silver pricing" in iTunes and find some interviews with him where he talks about it. I remember that Pamela Slim with Escape from Cubicle Nation had a good interview with him. (Oh, by the way, she had a whole pricing series of which he was one part. So the other episodes might be interesting to you too. :))

Becky - what's your secret for balancing a full time job with working on your dream on the side?  I think fatigue at the end of the day is another "excuse" I'm running into for not going full force like I should be.  Congratulations to you for making it so far on your goals so far!

Thank you for your congrats Lesley! I appreciate it!

Well, I am exhausted all the time (lol). It is really hard. Each week, I work an equivalent of 60-80+ hours as an educator. I'm an elementary teacher, and my passion for it has faded even though I still love it. I don't know if that makes sense? 

So, I have had to take things into my own hands this year. Although I have battled the same schedule, I am now making myself not go in on Saturdays (I used to go every week). I give myself permission to go home early some nights through the week and not grade every single paper. I give my students the responsibility of checking their work and grading some of their own papers. Basically, I'm trying to minimize all the hours I spend at school so that I have some time through the week and weekend to focus on my goals. 

You have to make time. It is really hard. I am easily sidetracked at times. TV, FB, emails, and more distract me. Let's not even talk about family time, lol. Being tired is an excuse I utilize as well. It's a legitimate one. We run until we're on empty, and then we crash. I won't even begin to tell you the other 20 goals I haven't met yet. However, if you can space out chunks of time throughout the week and weekend, it will help! Write a schedule or have a friend text or call to cheer you on. My writer friend and I do that. It keeps what you want to do in the forefront of your mind and lends a little accountability. Having a friend to work with you is great. I have friends I meet with one Saturday a month to do nothing but write! We share first, but then we get down to business. If you can make small amounts of time any where you can, it will help. Before you know it, you'll be catching one a week, then three, all week; It will grow and so will you. I am no where near what I want to be, but I am so thankful I am not where I used to be. 

Remember to take care of yourself too! I know mentioned nutrition above so you probably think about that already. I just want to remind you to workout, take more beautiful pictures, eat out with friends, etc. once in a while. Give yourself permission to go to bed early. Whatever ways you can find to stay healthy and take time out from the stress of everything will also gear you more toward accomplishing your goals. You'll feel better, and it will give your mind a rest to get back in the game the next day you work on it. 

I'm not sure if that helped you at all, but I hope so! I would be happy to answer further or chitchat on more questions you might have. I'll be cheering you on from my corner of the world! :)

Also, have you considered being a cover designer with you pictures? I don't know if that's something you'd be interested in, but I'm sure there has to be a market for people who want a nature inspired book cover for their work. I hear from authors who are always wanting a cover designer. It's a suggestion to mull over. :)

Thanks again Becky!  I'll try to incorporate some of those suggestions into my life now.


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