I’ve found myself struggling yet again with something that drives me nuts. SELF-DOUBT. While this piece focuses on the self-doubt I deal with as an entrepreneur, it unfortunately creeps in to so many areas of our lives (don’t even get me started on motherhood!) Whether you are a friend, family member or customer of mine, I’m hoping you read this, as I’m revealing something about what goes on behind the scenes with Arrow It Forward that I think is important to share.
When something is bothering me do I clam up? No, thank goodness….I talk. Talking things out helps to normalize icky feelings because we realize others are going through the EXACT SAME THING. These other people can be surprising at first, because I would never have thought THEY would be going through something like self-doubt, THEY seem to have it all together and to be confident in their approach, their business. Funny thing is just because you think someone is amazing and totally on the ball, doesn’t mean that they believe that! That is why talking and sharing is SO important.
In chatting with other entrepreneurs recently about what they find is their biggest challenge in keeping their creativity and motivation going, the recurring theme is, you guessed it, self-doubt. Initially I was expecting the focus to be on busy lives, kids, binge-watching Netflix….but I should have known it went deeper than that, because it does for me.
For me self-doubt is like a roller-coaster. The rational side of my brain knows what I have accomplished in one year of making candles is pretty kickass, but then something triggers those thoughts to come back to the surface and I start to question everything. I wanted to write this piece and share my experience with this because someone out there may think that I am NOT struggling! I’ve even had people say to me that anything I touch turns to gold!
What they are seeing: “new stockist alert” posts on Instagram.
What they are not seeing: the crazy amount of time I spend taking the best pictures I can of my product myself because I can’t afford a photographer, piecing together a brochure to send out to potential stores, the hours I spend researching new locations, sending out TONS of messages and emails which MOSTLY result in no reply. It’s not luck, it’s hard…and often emotional, work.
I try not to take the non-replies personally, but it adds up. I actually think this is the HARDEST thing for me as an entrepreneur. When people don’t reply. Do I assume that they may already have a candle company they are happy with? Or that they don’t have the budget to order at this point? No. All I feel is: THEY DON’T WANT ME.
Yes, maybe they have other candles in stock…. but now that they’ve seen MY candles, why do they like THEIRS over mine?? Is it the labels? Have I priced things wrong? Does my Instagram feed not look pretty enough?? Ughhh! I literally annoy myself with these questions.
It makes me wonder, does it ever stop? How “successful” do you have to be before you stop with the doubt? But who defines “successful”? If you are currently going through this with your business, share below, or just comment with an emoji if you prefer! I’m hoping this will help someone feel a little less alone, to take a deep breath and say “I got this”….myself included.