I was watching Unbounce’s PageFights this afternoon, and while I loved the show, I was left feeling a little bummed.
There tends to be two kinds reactions when you see other successful people in your field: Inspiration (how can I get their kind of traction?) or discouragement (why haven’t I already?)
Thinking about my own career trajectory and skill set made me feel a little… small.
I think most people can relate to the idea of wanting to achieve great things in their jobs and personal lives.
So when moments like this come along where you see someone else so good at what they do and so respected, there’s a weird, lingering doubt that creeps in.
You wonder if you’re as good at your job as you’d like to think.
That’s the funny thing with ambition – it can make you feel like a fraud, because you’re never quite where you want to be.
But before I got too caught up in all that unnecessary wallowing, I was reminded of a conversation I stumbled across earlier in the week – two guys chatting back and forth on a forum about a webinar I’d put together.
This comment really struck me:
“Dude is a pro. I don’t know whether to be inspired or discouraged by the level of talent that’s out there.”
Man, I feel the same way!
But it’s a good reminder: While I’m looking up the ladder to the rung I want to be on and seeing all of these top-notch folks with huge influence and years of experience, it’s easy to forget that someone is still looking up the ladder at me, wanting to get where I am.
I have reason to be confident.
Another mind I look up to – both for her copy and her incredible business sense, is Joanna Wiebe at CopyHackers.
She wrote a great, candid post about loosening the reigns and not taking yourself so seriously, celebrating the wins along the way and not succumbing to self-inflicted pressure.
I’ve got a lot of goals I’ve yet to accomplish:
- I want to get to the point that I can charge $10,000 for a landing page.
- I want to be invited to speak at a conference like MozCon.
- I want to launch an ebook that helps new freelancers make six-figure incomes
- I want to be invited to collaborate on things like PageFights.
And so on, and so on.
But I’ve already accomplished great things, too:
- I made more (about 45% more) than my old salary job in my first year of freelancing
- I did a webinar with Buzzstream that people liked
- I’ve been invited to write for some pretty great publications
- I continue to live a lifestyle that allows me to be portable, choose who I want to work with and set my own hours.
So while I might have moments where I feel like I’m not measuring up, I’ve got to try to remind myself that the people I’m comparing myself to have been at this game for years – and there are still people looking up to me.
Just keep doing good work and making big plans. The other stuff will come.