I've been a business owner for nearly 7 years now, and one big lesson I've learned is that no one really has it all figured out. Many will pretend that they do, and some might even claim they're the only ones who should be trusted in their industry.
Yet, this kind of a person is usually more of a charlatan than an actual expert. They use fear or the desire for an easy button to motivate people to buy into their program, product or mindset rather than educating and providing value.
When I became an owner at 25, I dealt with imposter syndrome and often felt that my age was a disadvantage. This added to my anxiety and eagerness to overwork myself because I felt like I had something to prove.
As the years have gone by, I realized that I actually had an advantage starting my entrepreneurial journey so young, boundaries are an essential part of building a business, and that most people are also learning as they go!
Happiness is Accepting That You Won't Figure It All Out & Being Okay With It
As a kid, I remember looking at adults and thinking they had it all figured out. It's a funny idea when you think about it - you reach a certain age and magically know how to adult and run a business.
Yet, as you get older (and start the journey of having a kid of your own), you realize that everyone is doing the best they can with the resources they have. "We'll figure it out" is our family motto because we trust that our future selves will know what to do.
Just because someone went to a good college or comes from a family of business owners doesn't mean they know what they're doing any better than you do. We've seen many entrepreneurs and business owners who have the confidence in their idea, yet they lack the strategy and follow through to make it a reality.
Charlatan vs Actual Expert
You've probably seen the charlatan type on social media or at a networking event standing in front of a crowd proclaiming that they've figured it all out, but what's missing is them talking about the actual work that's involved.
If it sounds super easy and too good to be true, it probably is - otherwise, everyone would be doing it!
When challenged, the charlatan (or even their community of followers) tells you to "do your own research," or "don't trust them, trust me" instead of providing a real path forward or concrete case studies. They gloss over the time and resources involved and solely focus on the pain point + future state. This gives their audience a false sense of ease and urgency that if they just invest a little bit of time and money upfront, they'll be destined for success.
But this isn't the truth.
An actual expert knows and shares that the journey from pain point to future state is a marathon not sprint. It takes resources (time & money) + follow through (actually implementing what's learned & working on it consistently) to make a meaningful change. They are also willing to acknowledge that they too are still learning and growing, and they aren't the only expert out there.
What to Look for in an Expert?
With so many influencers and online courses available now, it can be overwhelming finding an expert who can actually help get you to where you want to be.
Here are a few tips on what to look for in an expert:
Case studies of businesses/clients similar to you
Clear process for how they plan to get you from point A to point B
Years of experience, certifications, awards won, etc.
Encourages you to learn and consider options (rather than making you feel like they're the only option)
Is their personality a fit - does their lifestyle and how they present themselves online vibe with you
Mindset focused on growth in their own life and how they do things
Focus on Making Progress
A philosophy we talk about often is the importance of making progress rather than focusing on chasing perfection.
We've talked about how no one has it all figured out, and the same can be said when it comes to mistakes - everyone makes them.
Mistakes will happen whether you stress yourself out and overwork yourself or not.
So, instead, we believe it's better to focus on taking small steps each day that bring you closer to your goal. This way, you'll have the foundation, data and momentum to continue making progress, rather than putting off a task because it still isn't "just right."
The key takeaway is that no one has it all figured out and we're all going to make mistakes, so cut yourself some slack and make time for more joy in your life!