Are you feeling like a fraud, and hope no one finds you out?
Welcome to the “Fraud Factor”.
It’s when a professional doubts the value they have to offer their clients, customers and audiences. The Fraud Factor generally shows up when someone is new or just starting out in a career or profession. This may be someone who has acquired a tremendous amount of knowledge in an existing field working as an employee for someone else and now they are wanting to offer their services as a self-employed consultant.
Believe it or not there are lots of people in this type of situation, some feeling insecure about what they know, who they are and how to deliver what they have to offer. When having these feelings of self-doubt you will notice people focus on acquiring more knowledge in order to make themselves more valuable, rather than digging in and mining the tremendous base of knowledge that they already possess.
There is certainly nothing wrong with acquiring more knowledge, credentials and certifications though sooner or later you’ll still have to confront the fraud factor.
You know you’re dealing with the fraud factor when your inner voice says things like… who do you think you are?… why would anyone listen to you?… why would anyone pay you good money for?… I think I’m in over my head… gosh I have no idea what I’m doing…once I get certified then… after I go back to school I’ll be able to… if I only had an MBA… I can’t let them find out I’m new at this… well I think you get the point.
Here are three strategies designed to help professionals get over the Fraud Factor.
Focus on what you know. What you know will include things that work and things that you know don’t work. Ask yourself, if you were to give someone advice about a specific problem, situation or challenge their having, what advice would you give them? While focusing on the problem, situation or challenge what do you know doesn’t work or may even be some of the biggest mistakes you’ve seen or experienced yourself. A really great example of this could be, “what are the top three mistakes newbies make when starting to do (you fill in the blank)?” Make sure you take all the time you need to dig deep and identify what you know, experiences you’ve had, strategies, concepts and successful principles that you know work. I have found that most professionals overlook and downplay their knowledge, thinking that everyone else already knows this, which is not the case. Even if there are others with similar knowledge it will never be the same because of that “You” factor. The “YOU” factor is what makes your products and services unique distinguishable.
Focus on your strategies, strengths and skills. Much like what you know, how you do what you do will also be uniquely different. The big idea here is to trust that you will attract clients and customers who were perfectly matched with your abilities. I know it may sound a little strange but I believe the universe brings those people and/or situations that are within our abilities. Some opportunities may seem to be a real stretch, my advice would be to seize those opportunities while being open, authentic and fully informing your customers or prospects about what you know, how you can help, and the skills you believe will be most valuable to helping them solve their most challenging problems.
Remember people will be attracted to “WHO” you are. Yes, people will be attracted to who you are. So make it easy for people to work with you. If you’re not clear why people are attracted to you simply ask them. I see a lot of cases where customers will actually forgo, the what you know and even your strengths and skills because there’s something about you they feel they can trust. It’s funny, often your clients and customers will have more confidence and belief in you then you do. Moral of the story, stay out of your on way and make it easy for people to hire and work with you.
Don’t let the Fraud Factor get in the way of your professional success.
TIP: Schedule 60-90 minutes to breakthrough your Fraud Factor. Ask yourself what 10 problems or situations do I know I can help others with. Secondly, ask yourself what strategies have I found most successful in resolving the above situations. Next, a. ask yourself how do others see you… b. ask yourself how you want others to see you.
Could you use some help eliminating your Fraud Factor?
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Greg Clowminzer, San Diego Business Coach