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

7 min read
Quentin Aisbett

According to research from YouGov 65% of Brits display at least three of the seven signs of imposter 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.

Join the entrepreneurs who are powering the British economy

GoDaddy's research arm, Venture Forward, recently researched the impact of microbusinesses in Great Britain. These are businesses with 0-9 employees, excluding the owner.

The survey found that microbusinesses make up 90% of all businesses in England.

Among microbusiness owners surveyed:

  • 45% are Millennials (25-39 years), followed by 37% who are Gen X (40-54)
  • 42% are women
  • 73% spent less than £5,000 to start their ventures

One often-cited barrier to starting a business is lack of confidence.

I am a huge advocate of the idea that preparation breeds confidence.

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

Related: 37 of the best side business ideas

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 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?

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

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.

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: How to be more productive in 7 easy steps

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

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: Tell GoDaddy Airo about your idea and it will generate a domain name, logo, website, social media handles and more — all for the price of your domain name. See for yourself!

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.

So look to your network for people with expertise in any areas 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

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

Related: How to write a business plan in 10 steps

This is your moment

To put it simply, it’s never been easier to start a side hustle. But the reluctance to make the leap is understandable. 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 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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