I often feel like a charlatan, a faker.
I’ve been writing more about business here on the blog, and talking more about business over on YouTube, but you might have noticed that I’ve yet to have any real business success of my own.
Okay, so that’s not entirely true. It’s been almost three years since I quit my last job, and I’m doing fine, so I must have figured out a few things. I was able to support myself pretty well doing freelance web design, until I gave it up to experiment with some other ideas.
But that was almost a year ago. I’ve started several things since, and nothing has taken off. Myself and a friend just launched a fun language learning project on Facebook that may or may not have earning potential. Time will tell. I’m throwing a lot of ideas against the wall right now and seeing what sticks.
But yeah, throughout this process, I often feel like a charlatan, a faker. Who am I to be writing and speaking about business, about success? I’ve barely done anything. Why would or should anyone listen to me?
That said, I’m not about to stop.
Even though the doubt clouds swirl relentlessly, I take solace in the fact that I’m sharing a journey here. When I do eventually break through — and I have no doubt that I will — and people ask me how it happened, it will be nice to have these posts, showing people the process, what I was thinking every step of the way.
You hear the overnight success stories, but those stories rarely mention all the false starts and the hard lessons and the self-doubt that had to be endured. If you ask me, those chapters are the most significant.
As Eric Ries puts it…
Only 5 percent of entrepreneurship is the big idea, the business model, the whiteboard strategizing, and the splitting up of the spoils. The other 95 percent is the gritty work [of] product prioritization decisions, deciding what customers to target or listen to, and having the courage to subject a grand vision to constant testing and feedback.
So I plan to keep on writing and talking about business. Not about the stuff I’ve yet to figure out, of course, because that would indeed be faking it.
No, I’ll keep on sharing the stuff I feel moves me closer to success, closer to the breakthrough. And I’ll keep on sharing solid advice from those who’ve already made it, advice that helps me along the way.
And I encourage you to do the same. Whether it be business or some other interest you’re still getting to grips with, don’t hold back on the sharing. Expertize is relative. You don’t have to be at the top of the ladder to help someone climb a rung or two.
Plus, one of the best ways to learn is to try teach. Throwing your ideas out there is a great way to determine whether you’re faking it or making it.
Let’s keep dropping those crumbs.