Shift Your Imposter Syndrome to Confidence With 3 Mindset Hacks for Small Business Owners

Mindset hacks for imposter syndrome?

We get it. As a small business owner, there are a lot of things we need to keep track of. Not only all the business tasks like:

  • Marketing
  • Visibility
  • Business growth
  • And sales

We also deal with all the mindset that comes with it. Things like:

  • Comparison
  • Jealousy
  • Unhealthy competition
  • And one of the biggest ones…


READ: Imposter Syndrome: I’m Scared I’m a Fraud

To confidently step into your CEO shoes, we’re sharing 3 mindset hacks to shift your imposter syndrome into confidence.

Mindset Hacks to Help with Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome, as everyone knows, is a nasty beast that holds us back from a lot of things.

We feel like a fake, a fraud, and are terrified that someone (anyone, really), will call us out on the phony we really are. And then we’ll feel embarrassed that all those thoughts we had about ourselves are actually true.

In the context of visibility and marketing, imposter syndrome holds us back because it pairs up with our fear of “what other people think”, which then stops us from actively putting our businesses out there. As a small business owner, we’ve seen this often with our clients. They feel a sense of anxiety around visibility and marketing, afraid to take up space because they’re afraid that someone will catch them in a lie.

If visibility and marketing are high on your business priorities and strategy – here are 3 shifts you can make now to help your imposter syndrome!

two copywriters sitting in a coffee shop writing in a journal
Photo by Laura Quintero Photography

3 Simple Mindset Hacks for Small Business Owners

One: Kind Words for Hard Days Folder

When we work with our clients on their visibility and marketing strategies – one of the biggest mindset blocks they deal with is imposter syndrome and not knowing if their work is valuable. An easy mindset hack to fix that is to gather all the good things people have said about and your work and keep it in one place!

It sounds simple, right? But most people will forget to round up all the testimonials they’ve received and keep it in one area!

We like to call this our: “Kind Words for Hard Days Folder“!

Some people will call it a:

  • Kind words folder
  • Testimonials folder
  • Nice words folder
"kind words for hard days" folder on desktop
Our folder on Cassandra’s desktop

But really, y’all, some days are just hard. So when they’re hard, we like to turn to our testimonials folder (aka Kind Words for Hard Days folder) and read through the great testimonials and comments we’ve received.

This folder doesn’t need to be reserved for ‘official’ testimonials. We like to keep ours with things like:

  • Screenshots of official testimonials on Facebook, LinkedIn, or our Google My Business Page
  • Screenshots of nice comments people have left in our Facebook group, Own Your Voice Movement
  • Photos of past events we hosted and felt good about
  • Any comments on our social media channels that reinforced that we’re doing a great job and making a difference

This is an easy mindset hack to shift any imposter syndrome you’re feeling. It’s also a great marketing tip to keep all of these snapshots of social proof, so you can plug these into your marketing and sales material!

READ: Why Your Business Needs a Story Toolkit for Efficient Marketing

wooden desk with a laptop, open journal, and a white mug on top

Two: A list of all your accomplishments

Similar to our Kind Words for Hard Days folder, keep a list of all your accomplishments. Keeping a list reminds us:

  1. We’ve done a lot more than we realize
  2. We aren’t ‘newbies’ at what we’re doing
  3. How far we’ve come from before to now
  4. We have been making progress!

You can write your own personal accomplishments as the CEO and Founder of your business, then write a separate list for all of the accomplishments your business has achieved thus far.

These don’t need to be monetary accomplishments or growth lists – this could be about the impact you’ve made on your clients’ lives and your community!

READ: 3 Ways Small Businesses Can Share your Social Impact

How does keeping a list of our accomplishments shift our imposter syndrome to confidence?

✅ We see our progress from the day we started to our current place

✅ It’s a reminder that we’ve been growing and learning

✅ We stop the comparison game because all of the things we’ve done is listed in front of us

copywriter journaling with a blue and white mug on a black desk with
Photo by Laura Quintero Photography

Three: Grouping your past experience and skills into responsibilities

Imposter syndrome kicks in when we feel like…

  • We are not experts in our field
  • Someone is better than us, thus taking away our experiences
  • We haven’t been doing this professionally for a long time
  • We’ve told ourselves the story that we are XYZ and by changing that, we are ‘not as good as we are’

To combat that, one of our more practical mindset hacks is to make a list (again) with all of your past experiences and skills and group them into different responsibilities. By doing this, we’re not seeing our work as simple tasks anymore that can be done by ‘whomever’. We’re not creating a list of responsibilities and experiences we’ve had that make us the BEST choice for the work we do.

An example of this can be grouping leadership experiences and skills into the responsibility of managing a team. It could look like:

  • Organizing your weekly meetings at your corporate job
  • Creating detailed meeting notes and outlines for various departments
  • That one experience you had with a club or in your university

All of those experiences and skills can now fall under “Team Management”, which takes away the feeling of imposter syndrome because you’re connecting the dots to your own story.

READ: The Power of Storytelling for Social Businesses

group of women with their arms intertwined on their backs looking out onto a city

Recap & TL;DR

Imposter syndrome is the friend that keeps you safe and comfortable in your bubble. It makes sure you don’t feel embarrassed, ridiculed, or lowers the threat of having someone call you out and thus dealing with confrontation.

But what imposter syndrome REALLY does is take away from our ability to get visible and market our businesses to the best of our abilities. It keeps us small and hiding, which then impacts who we reach and the change we can create.

So to quickly recap – here are 3 mindset hacks for small business owners to shift their imposter syndrome into confidence!

  1. Have a ‘Kind Words for Hard Days’ folder with all your testimonials, awesome comments, or even photos as a way to remember the amazing work you do
  2. Make a list of all your accomplishments, business and personal, to turn to when you feel comparison creeping in and to remind you of how far you’ve come
  3. Group your past experiences and skills into responsibilities, so you can tangibly see everything together and how your past experiences connect to your current business

What are other mindset hacks to help you shift from imposter syndrome to owning your voice and using it?

*Ready to work with a marketing team to help kick your confidence into gear and get you owning and using your voice for more visibility? Schedule a call with us to learn how we can work together!

Enjoyed this post? You might like these, too:
8 Ways to Simplify your Small Business Messaging
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Writing Heartfelt Copy that Resonates for Small Business Owners

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We’re a brand strategy & copywriting studio for mission-driven, BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and Feminist-run brands and businesses who want to increase their visibility and connect with their communities through the power of story and content. We share tips & advice on how to make marketing (and business) fun!

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