I’ve been suffering from some MAJOR imposter syndrome lately.

I know we all get this. I also know that I am going to work my ass off until my business is successful because I’m just that gosh darn stubborn.

But… how do I know when it’s okay to stop working my ass off? I currently measure my success based on what other creatives online appear to be… with the massive followings, with people knowing who they are, with all of the happy perfect instagram posts… but because we don’t get to see what’s going on behind the online world, we don’t know if they actually are successful. Are they satisfied with their businesses and lives? Are they happy? Do they make enough money that their businesses will be afloat in five years?

I need to stop comparing my measure of success to theirs, because it’s never going to be the same.

At this point, a few things that I want to accomplish in order to feel successful are:

  • Making enough money in my business to be able to buy a house.
  • Being able to attend in-person networking events and having people recognize me as a local business owner.
  • Having 100 business owners on my mailing list that I send communications out to on a regular basis.

Today was the first Bravo Call for Social Glue Sessions Round 2, and in it Reina was talking about Visibility. This is something that I’ve been trying to wrap my head around for a month or so. What I know is this:

  • my target owns a small to medium sized businesses in the local area.
  • my target uses LinkedIn, and sometimes uses Facebook & Twitter.
  • my target reads traditional media.

I was hoping to focus on Facebook this year for doing the online marketing thing. But now I’m not sure that it’s not wasted effort. I’m also wondering if I should be attempting to get into traditional media somehow – whether that’s through advertising, advertorials, sponsored columns, etc.

Argh, this building a reputation is hard and I question myself way too much about everything.

Also, this stream of consciousness is a bit rambling.

I’m quite anxious about the small groups for social glue sessions – it’ll either help ease my imposter syndrome or it’ll make it worse.

Also, I need to be more mindful this year on marketing, client relations and building my business. I want to make each step forward deliberately so I can be sure that my business succeeds.

One way to look at it is that it’s an absolute blessing that I now run my own business. I can’t imagine how I would be able to handle this if I were still working full-time for another company. I have to keep reminding myself that.

You see, the past few months have been a little crazy.

About a year and a half ago, my doctor ordered some blood tests for me as part of my annual checkup. One of the tests was to check my ferritin levels, and at that point in time my levels were high. Quite high. Since then, they’ve been increasing. I’ve been having regular blood tests, ultrasounds, appointments with specialists, and a long waiting period.

A couple of weeks ago, I got the diagnosis of hemochromatosis – a genetic disease where a person accumulates too much iron in their body, and (if left untreated) could lead to bad organ issues. And the treatment is regular phlebotomies… which means once a week, until my ferritin levels are under control, I get to spend some time at the hospital while they take 500ml of blood from me. Once a week.

I have appointments booked until late January.

And I DO NOT like needles or hospitals and I am extremely anxious about this.

It’s fortunate that I can make my own schedule. I know that. It’s fortunate that I can take my work wherever I want. It’s fortunate that they found this when they did and will be able to manage it.

Having flexible time so I could deal with other health issues. It’s a reason I wanted to work for myself.

… but that doesn’t mean I’m ecstatic about the fact that I’m needing to drive to the hospital every week for this, or how much time it’s going to take away from my clients. I’m going to need to spend some time over the next few weeks trying to balance out my calendar to take this into account.

Photo by Samuel Zeller