Hi, welcome to the Secret Weapon Diaries! I’m Gabrielle and I help creatives build sustainable and profitable businesses so that they can attract the best clients, charge what they’re worth and fall in love with their work again.
In this episode we’re going to talk about how you can grow your creative business by identifying three tricky little mindset patterns that trip us up as service providers.
Before we begin, if you’re looking for more resources or to join a community of Secret Weapons just like you, I encourage you to go visit secretweapon.club and you can check out everything I’ve got going on for you there.
All right, so let’s talk about these three mindset patterns and I also want to give you some actionable advice so you can get over them and start making progress in your business rather than staying stuck.
These are all mindset patterns I’ve been plagued by in my own career and in my own business and they’re really common in service providers.
The first mindset pattern that trips us up is that we feel like we’re not at a certain level or we need to learn more in order to get to some sort of specific level or some sort of specific designation in order to be more valuable to our clients, charge more or to work with a certain quality of client.
But really that’s not the case.
Your skills do not determine your worth. And that’s something I’ve come across quite a lot in my own business because I went through a very frustrating period of always trying to learn more.
I wanted to learn how to create bots. I wanted to learn how to use certain programs. I wanted to create marketing automations. I needed to constantly learn more and more in order to feel as though I was valuable.
But one more skill or one more piece of knowledge about a new software is not going to drastically change your value.
Clients don’t really care about how good you are at Photoshop or whether you know a specific platform, what they really want is results.
Everything else, as Marie Forleo is fond of saying, is figureoutable – everything’s a Google search away.
The big way that you can get over this is by selling something you’re not 100% comfortable with.
I know it sounds a little bit scary. Whether it’s a skill that you’re just kind of dabbling your toes in, or it’s a piece of software or a new platform that you’ve been starting to work with, or maybe it’s a bigger package or something that you haven’t offered before.
When we sell these new services and actually start working on it in a paid capacity, this really gives us a confidence boost. It helps to kick this mindset pattern in the butt so we don’t have to worry about it anymore.
If you have a new skill you’ve been working on, if you feel like you want to get into a new type of service or a new way of working with your clients, go sell it.
It’s the best way to get yourself over that little mindset hump.
The second mindset pattern I want to talk about today is we feel like we need more clients to be successful.
We all go through those feast and famine cycles, right? We feel like we don’t have enough clients and we need a never-ending supply of more clients to make us feel better.
And this locks us in what I call the more client trap and it keeps us always on the hunt for more.
We feel like we need another client and another client and another client.
But when that feeling strikes us, what really happens is that we aren’t able to serve our existing clients as properly as we can.
We can be profitable with less clients. It’s all about making sure the clients we do have are quality over quantity. I built a thriving business on serving only a handful of clients and it didn’t make me feel like I needed to get more and more because I was constantly working with high quality clients. You can do this too with a bit of work and a shift of your perspective.
The best way to get over this little mindset pattern is to go in and revive your old clients. So this could be as simple as reaching out and just saying:
“Hey, you know, we haven’t worked with each other in a while. I’d really love to know if you have any projects coming up or if there’s any way that I can help you, I do X, Y, and Z just to jog your memory – how can we work together moving forward?”
It could be even more advanced. You could go and stalk your old clients with a little bit more effort.
You could say:
“Hey, I see that you’re now offering this product or you’re now doing this service, or I see you’re running a promotion coming up next month for your company’s anniversary. How can I support you in working on that project?”
When you do that, you’re really nurturing this client garden you’ve created rather than constantly being on the hunt for more and more.
You’re more of a Gatherer than a Hunter in this aspect.
Before I forget, if you want the free audiobook version of the Secret Weapon book, definitely go check out secretweapon.club. You can go sign up, and get the audiobook version completely for free. I’d love to give you that as my gift to you so go check that out!
The third mindset pattern that I find really gets us, and this truly is a tricky one, is imposter syndrome. Now it’s a very prevalent term, especially with creative professionals.
We feel like we’re not enough.
Like we’re an impostor and we can’t possibly serve people at a certain level without somehow magically getting over it or being better than we are.
I have definitely suffered from this and it doesn’t go away – so just keep that in mind.
But here’s the thing, Impostor syndrome is not the bad thing people make it out to be.
Imposter syndrome means you care. It means you’re worried about letting down people. It means you’re worried about bringing quality work to your clients and it means you actually are concerned about your ability to serve these people.
And that’s a hallmark of a Secret Weapon.
A hired gun, someone who is just looking to get the money and run, is not worried about these things if you think about it.
But the real problem that comes with imposter syndrome, it’s not imposter syndrome itself. The real problem that comes with it is the inaction and the fear that stops us from moving forward when it raises his head.
It stops us moving forward and we don’t do what we need to do.
We don’t put out that post. We don’t reach out to that client. We don’t bid on that project. We don’t offer a service because we feel like we’ll be thought of as not enough.
Here’s the way to get over imposter syndrome.
The first thing is to accept imposter syndrome and embrace it because we’re all going to feel it all the time. It doesn’t go away. But really you have to embrace it and realize it’s an indicator that you are a Secret Weapon and that you’re doing things well.
Then you need to own it.
Once I realized my imposter syndrome wasn’t actually holding me back, it was actually the fact that I wasn’t moving forward. When I felt that imposter syndrome, that’s when I was able to realize I could just keep going and feel it anyway.
We need to feel that imposter syndrome and we need to do it anyway.
So here’s what we know.
There are three mindset patterns that hold back creative professionals.
The first is thinking you need more skills or to be better at your actual job or your career in order to be valuable, and in order to provide quality services.
We can beat that mindset pattern by offering something we’re not a hundred percent confident in selling – a bigger package, connecting to a client we’d never be able to work with before or offering something we’re not 100% comfortable with.
The second mindset pattern is feeling like you need more clients in order to be successful.
The best way to beat this is to realize that you don’t need more, you need better.
You need to nurture your existing clients so they can either become better quality or find higher quality clients so that you don’t need more. You’re just nurturing an overflowing garden rather than constantly being on the hunt for more.
The third mindset pattern is letting imposter syndrome stop us from taking action.
We can beat that imposter syndrome by feeling it and doing it anyway. We can accept that it has value and we can realize it’s not going to go away and we’re just going to have to do it anyway.
But here’s the kicker – once you become aware of these three tricky little mindset patterns they don’t ever really go away.
That’s the thing about mindset, right?
What happens is we become more aware of them and we’re able to just either acknowledge them and do what we’re going to do anyway or we can bring in different mindsets that overrule them or are stronger.
If you want to build your creative business without these roadblocks, then becoming aware of them is really the first step.
If you’re interested in going deeper on any of this and even more, then I definitely recommend you check out secretweapon.club – I’ve got a lot of freebies and resources there and you can join the Secret Weapon Club community Facebook group where we talk about all of this and more and we’d love to have you in there.
That’s it for me in this episode.
If you liked it, if you got anything out of it, please leave a like, a share or review. All of that means so much to me and I would absolutely really appreciate it.
That’s it for me. Bye for now and we’ll see you next week.