Don’t let imposter syndrome keep you from following your passion

7 min read
Quentin Aisbett

According to Asanas' 2022 annual Australia Anatomy of Work Index report, 54% of Australian workers reported having impostor syndrome.

Imposter syndrome is the sneaking suspicion that you don't deserve the job you have.

If you're one of them, your lack of confidence could be keeping you from the career of your dreams.

GoDaddy survey reveals what Aussies really want

GoDaddy recently conducted a survey in order to better understand the level of interest in starting businesses among Australians.

The survey found that:

“One in four Australians has a dream of a side hustle that they haven’t started.“

It also found that the second biggest barrier behind finances is confidence.

How do you find the confidence to launch that side hustle?

I’m a huge advocate of preparation breeds confidence.

So let’s step through a few ways you can get the confidence you need to get started.

5 steps to preparing your side hustle (and building confidence)

The web abounds with inspiring and motivational quotes, but if that’s all you needed to build the confidence to get your side hustle started, you’d be well under way by now.

So let’s look at a few steps to planning your side hustle, which will not only help to build your confidence but put you in good stead to actually succeed.

1. Understand your end goal

The first thing I would recommend is to understand why you’ve been dreaming of beginning a side hustle.

Is it because you hate your full-time job, or your boss? And you want to quit?

Do you want to work less so you can spend more time with your family?

Visualise having crazy success in the first two years and how that might look. How does it change your life? Is that something you really want? Does it satisfy why you wanted to do this in the first place?

Man working a food counter
Dreaming of opening a food truck? You owe it to yourself to try.
Photo: Jesson Mata on Unsplash

If it does, then be confident knowing that you are heading in the right direction.

2. Learn everything you can about the problem you’re solving

Other concerns raised from GoDaddy’s survey were that people ‘were not sure about their business idea’ or they worried ‘they weren’t experts.’

These are both valid concerns — but concerns that can be addressed.

Become an expert in the problem you’re wanting to solve and you will find out if your business idea is strong.

For example, if you want to start an online store selling luxury hampers, don’t concern yourself necessarily with your lack of eCommerce knowledge. What you want to do is become an expert in the problem you’re wanting to solve. In this hypothetical example, it may be a lack of quality gift hampers.

Ask around — online and off

Start by talking to people. Talk to anyone you can who may be experiencing the problem you’re looking to solve.

You want to identify a number of things:

  • Is it a problem they’re actively looking to solve?
  • Are they using another solution that you aren’t aware of?
  • How would your solution change their day-to-day life?
  • Is it something that they’re willing to pay for?

If you get through this process and the opportunity is clear, then use that confidence and knowledge to take the next step.

For start-to-finish guidance on how to do product research that leads to a successful startup, read The smart entrepreneur’s guide to product design. It covers everything from how to hold online focus groups with potential customers to building a prototype of your product.

3. Plan your resources

You should keep your day job to begin with, if possible.

This will ensure the need to pay rent or mortgage and put food on the family table doesn’t slow the progress of your side hustle.

But keeping a full-time job leaves little time to dedicate to your side hustle, so you should have a plan.

Treat this like any other job

Understand what spare time you will have and create a work schedule. Talk to your loved ones about the schedule and get their feedback. Spending every waking moment (outside of the full time job) on a side hustle can put pressure on your family.

Likewise, plan for what finances you will contribute to your side hustle. It is likely going to cost you money, so have a plan to what you can afford to contribute financially without it having a huge impact on your life.

If you can stick to your time and financial plans, then your confidence should survive any turbulence.

Related: 4 project management tools that can keep you on track

4. Create a landing page

We all have the tendency to want to wait until we have everything perfect before showing the world what we’ve been working on. But this can be one of your earliest mistakes and one that you won’t know until it’s too late.

Beekeeper holding a frame with honeycomb
Bring potential customers along with you as you develop your business idea.

Whether you’re wanting to launch a software product or an online retail store, you should get a landing page up to begin communicating the problem you’re aiming to solve.

The objective here is two-fold:

  • It will help you validate your business proposition early.
  • It will help to ensure a successful launch.

One tactic is to create a waitlist involving some incentive as to being the first customers.

Imagine seeing this waitlist continue to grow and the confidence you will build knowing that you have customers lining up for you.

Editor’s note: Build a mobile-friendly website yourself and start selling online with GoDaddy (truly no tech skills needed!) or let the pros at GoDaddy design it for you.

5. Find yourself a mentor or two

As noted, confidence is a barrier to kickstarting many side hustles, so you will likely feel like you have some shortcomings when it comes to specific knowledge.

And that’s completely fine.

But if you’re going to build the sort of confidence you need to get started and maintain the drive through the ups and downs, then you will need some guidance.

GoDaddy’s survey also found that respondents would need advice on:

  • Finances and taxes (55%)
  • Branding and marketing (45%)
  • Web design and development (42%)

So look to your network for people with expertise in these areas and any other area you feel you may need some help with.

They may not simply be accountants or digital marketers, they may be peers who have succeeded in their chosen side hustle and have experience that they can share.

Woman playing keyboard in a music studio
You do the world a disservice to hide your passion.

If you don’t have these people in your network, reach out to a few experts and kindly ask if you could pick their brain.

This is your moment

To put it simply, it’s never been easier to start a side hustle. But it’s understandable the reluctance to do so. We don’t want to fail.

The only thing worse than starting something and failing … is never starting. —Seth Godin

So prepare. Have a plan to identify if your side hustle dream is really what you want. Decide as fast as possible if it will help solve a real problem for people. Manage your resources.

The process of preparing, will not only help to grow the confidence you need but will help ensure your success.

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