• My Website Got Hacked, and Here’s What I Learned

    I haven’t been posting a lot of new content on this site. My income strategy has changed a lot as I have taken on a lot of clients. After all, I create at least 10 pieces of content for my clients every week: often, more than that. That means I haven’t had a lot of time to work on my own content. When I logged into Google Search Console after vacation to do some keyword research, I was shocked to see thousands of new links logged.

    My website had been hacked.

    On July 2nd, the hacker added 1,100 or so links to my site.

    Another 2,100 links on July 6th.

    Then, on July 9th, they added more than 2,000 links.

    These weren’t the kind of links you want on your website. It was a jumble of SEO-optimized titles, and the posts were nothing more than word salad, nonsense meant to merely fill a page, not make any kind of sense.

    I was hacked, and I’m here to tell you what I learned from that experience, and share a few tips on how you can avoid being hacked too.

    How I Fixed My Hacked Website

    I know, I know – this is what you want to know!

    Here’s the quick and dirty list of how I fixed my hacked website.

    • I asked SiteGround to scan for malicious code. They told me exactly where the suspicious files were so we could nuke them.
    • Restored to an older version, pre-vacation and pre-links being added.
    • Deleted ALL old, unused plugins and themes. I cut it down RUTHLESSLY. If it was not necessary, I got rid of it.
    • Cleared all of my website’s caches.
    • Reinstalled WordPress.
    • Updated or reinstalled EVERYTHING. I mean, I contacted BluChic (the maker of my theme) to ensure I had the latest updates of all the code).

    Always Install Security on Your Website

    Apparently, I was a dum dum, and had not installed the best security. I trusted the security measures that I had set up, and thought they would be adequate.

    Security is one of those things that you never know you need it until it’s too late, and of course I learned that mine was inadequate after the fact.

    For any beginning WordPress blogger, I cannot recommend Wordfence enough (that is NOT an affiliate link – it’s just the service I used).

    I submitted a cleanup ticket, and it was taken care of within 18 hours – and that includes sleeping time! I’m blown away. I received a multi-page PDF detailing what they did, potential issues, etc. They also identified WHEN they believe the data breech happened….February sometime. Interesting.

    Wordfence also submitted my site to Google to be crawled again, and after two weeks, the drop off of the extra links on Google is finally happening.

    I would go to Google and type “” and see that literally 6000-8000 links would show up: most of them for spammy pharmaceuticals.

    Three weeks later, I have 600 or so links showing up, and from what I can tell, most are mine, and not 404 errors. I would not be surprised to see the number drop some more, though. I’ve had some very photo-heavy posts in the past.

    Wordfence notifies me when people attempt to log into my site, and it’s rather shocking how often someone tries to attack it. These attempts also come in rapid-fire succession, using every single username that has ever been associated with me site.

    Random pro-tip: avoid using the username “ADMIN” for your WordPress login. That’s one of the most common usernames, and is very guess-able!

    Take Action Quickly

    When you’ve been hacked, you need to take quick action.

    Unfortunately, I was on vacation when I was hacked. That meant that by the time I realized what was happening, it had been long enough for Google Search Console to pick up the links.

    (If you’ve worked with Google Search Console, then you know it has a delay in reporting – sometimes even as late as a week).

    I was horrified to see how much had happened.

    When a hacker piggybacks on your site, my experience was that they did a smaller number, to test the waters….and by smaller, I mean a thousand or so.

    Then, they added 2000, 3000 – it was crazy! The earlier you can catch it, the better.

    What Can You Do to Prevent a Hacked Website

    It’s better to be safe than sorry, right? Here are a list of things that you can do to avoid being hacked.

    • Install security on your site. I HIGHLY recommend Wordfence. I currently have their premium service, as a year of it came FREE with my site clean up. No regrets over that, and I will HAPPILY pay $99 to renew after that year is over. I’ve learned my lesson and will have my site protected.
    • Remove any unnecessary themes/plugins. If you aren’t using them, take them off your site! You can always add them back. I didn’t want to delete my old themes and plugins because I “might” use them again. Nah, if I really want them, I can get them back again later. Uninstalled.
    • Update plugins frequently. This one is slightly debated, because once in a while, there are unstable updates. But, overall, it’s best to update plugins as soon as they have an update.
    • Monitor your site via Google Search Console – because I was on vacation, I didn’t pay attention to email. That meant that I missed the email alert from Google Search Console about someone adding themselves to my property (that means they were able to upload an XML sitemap for my site, and get their links attached to my site – definitely no good!)

    Have you ever been had a hacked website? How did you recover from the hacking? What new security measures did you take?

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  • What I Wish I Knew Before I Started Blogging

    I have been blogging for nearly a year and a half now on this blog, and I have learned a lot of lessons during my time. While I was talking to my two blogging accountability partners about our blogging experience, we decided that it was time to talk about our experience. We talk a lot about our blogs, best practices and such – I mean, our group message could probably be turned into a course, with the valuable content there (if you don’t have a blogging accountability parter, you NEED one or two – they kick your butt, tell you to blog, and you end up teaching each other and learning together!).

    So here’s how this works: this post is part of a 3-post roundup with 2 of my favorite blogger friends. You can read the other posts in the series here:

    I Wish I Knew That One Size Doesn’t Fit All in the World of Blogging

    There’s no such thing as a blogging formula, really. What works for one person isn’t going to play out the same for another blogger. We each have a different voice and a different style and a different audience.

    When I went through a blogging boot camp, I was told that at 40 posts, I would see an increase in visitors to my blog. It didn’t quite work that way. In fact, if you google search the number of posts you have to have to get strong SEO results, there’s no absolute number. It can be 40 posts, it can be 70 posts. It just really depends on how you are keywording and sharing your blog. I know of bloggers with 15 posts that are getting 25,000 views a month (and applying to the MediaVine ad network), and I know bloggers with 100 posts who get barely more than a few thousand views a month.

    At my heyday, when I was blogging for a high-traffic search term, I would get approximately 200 hits a day. It was crazy! Now, with a lower search traffic term, I am building up to that number of hits again. It just takes time, and your blogging story will be different from every other blogger’s story.

    I Wish I Had Built My Email List from Day 1

    A lot of aspects of blogging are scary for someone who hasn’t done it before. Email marketing is invaluable for those who want to build a strong following and a repeat audience who is addicted to your content. I started my blogging experience with Jetpack installed on my blog, and ended up ditching it because it glitched out. Apparently, I had a lot of followers on Jetpack through their subscription service, and when it crashed, I lost those subscribers.

    See, here’s the thing: when I rely on an outside service, I don’t own my followers. I don’t have their information. The same issue happens with Facebook, and with Twitter. If you use any kind of social media service, you don’t own those followers, and you’re at the mercy of that service. If Facebook shut down today, I wouldn’t have the traffic from Facebook. If Twitter went away, I wouldn’t have access to those followers.

    With a mail service, I own that list. It’s not just a curated list on a social media platform that has chosen to follow me. It’s people who have willingly opted in to receive emails from me.

    And, honestly, they expect to see more marketing in their inbox. People go to social media sites to be entertained, not sold to. They want to have fun and connect with friends, not be asked to buy.

    If you look at how big brands run their social media, you’ll see a lot of storytelling. If you look at your inbox, you see (and expect) sales pitches. People are WAY more forgiving when you slide into their email DM’s vs when you’re spamming them on Facebook.

    I Wish I Had Outsourced Earlier

    I hired a Pinterest strategist yesterday, and I cannot express how excited I was. I’ve used all the tools available to me: I mean, Tailwind has SAVED my butt so far! However, I wasn’t getting the traffic that my blog is capable of, and I heartily believe that it was due to the fact that I was just hanging on for dear life.

    Outsourcing means that you pay someone else to do the things that:

    1. You’re not good at -OR-
    2. The things that aren’t strategic tasks for you

    Posting to Pinterest took a lot of time for me every single week. I hired my strategist, and you know what I did in the time that I normally would have taken to work on scheduling my Pinterest? I batch-made more than 100 graphics. Yep.

    What do you wish that you knew before you started blogging? Tell me in the comments, and make sure that you visit Nicole and Devin’s posts in this series. Here are the links again:

    Want to learn more about my blogging journey? You can find me first income report HERE, and my 2019 blogging lessons learned HERE.

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  • How I Cracked the Pinterest Code

    I’ve had Pinterest since the early days, when you needed an invite to create an account. I’ve had boards for everything: Trim Healthy Mama, handmade leather goods, capsule wardrobes, and nail art. When I dug into the blogging and direct sales world, I found that Pinterest was a common source of traffic for most bloggers, which made me realize: I needed to figure out how to crack the Pinterest code. Here’s how I went from 13,000 views a month to 1.3 million views a month in 8 months.

    Screenshot of my monthly Pinterest views, taken December 30th, 2018.

    I Signed Up for Tailwind

    My Pinterest habits tend to be fairly bad – or at least, for someone who wanted to use Pinterest to promote my work. Before I created my Pinterest strategy, I’d be laying in bed before I slept, marathon pinning a ton of pins in the one particular thing I was interested in that day….for example, if I was thinking about food and meal planning, I’d pin a ton of recipes. Or if I was dreaming of leather goods, I’d pin a bunch of purses and fantastic shoes. Anyone who followed me would wake up to a flood of single-topic pins in their feed.

    I mean, that’s not BAD on Pinterest….but the thing is, it’s not strategic for a business owner or blogger. It’s important to pin a lot of content, consistently. However, my schedule is more limited. I couldn’t spend all that time browsing Pinterest and manually pinning.

    Enter Tailwind, my Pinterest lifesaver. Every week, I spend a few hours scheduling out content for the entire week, and I let it go automagically. The only thing I have to worry about is making sure that I have scheduled the week, and I’m golden. Now, I will say that I still lay in bed before I fall asleep pinning random things….but now I do that on a secret board, so my followers don’t get inundated with one topic.

    The thing is, Tailwind isn’t 100% intuitive, BUT there are courses out there to help you learn it well. I took a Tailwind bootcamp from SaundersSays that is the prototype for her Totally Tailwind course, and I learned SO MUCH. This investment in learning how to use tools effectively has helped me be consistent and strategic.

    Want a free month to try Tailwind out? Click HERE to try it out for one month for FREE, and get your pins working for you!

    I Started Pinning on Pinterest Consistently

    A huge part of using Tailwind was that I began pinning more consistently. Most bloggers would say that you need to be pinning around xx pins per day. However, the thought of that was incredibly intimidating. Rather than starting with that amount of pins per day, I decided to start with 15 pins per day.

    Here’s how it worked:

    • 15 pins per day for 2 weeks
    • 20 pins per day for 2 weeks
    • 25 pins per day for 2 weeks

    And so on….you get the idea. That meant that I could get used to finding quality content and build up the discipline of pinning consistently. Rather than starting with my desired end goal and burning out quickly, I was able to slowly build the discipline.

    Now, I pin about 30 times a day, and have a growth trajectory. I incorporate more and more of my own content as I am sharing the content of others, leading to more traffic on my blog.

    I Started Pinning Strategically

    Like most people who use Pinterest, I pinned what I liked. I pinned recipes, travel photos, and hand-crafted leather goods (I am a sucker for well-made leather items – I can’t help it). If you followed me, you’d find that my feed would be an explosion of interests: a barrage of pins about Tieks; an onslaught of Trim Healthy Mama recipes, and then, a pile of pins about leather conditioner.

    Worse, however, was when I’d write a new blog post and create pins. I’d pin it all at once, to every applicable board, instead of spacing it out. A flood of a single pin would hit my feed, creating an aesthetic attack.

    My pins now hit a very particular ideal client:

    • someone interested in a passive-income business
    • busy woman with health and balance in mind
    • entrepreneurs who want to find exceptional resources
    • women who like feeling put together with a minimalist or capsule wardrobe
    • those who like pretty, easy to apply nail polish

    I catch followers who find any of those items interesting, but now my pins are more focused and balanced around these topics.

    Now, I should add a disclaimer here, because let’s be real, Pinterest reach can be a vanity number. It simply means that someone, somewhere, SAW that your pin existed. It’s not a number that shows interaction; clicks, saves, or conversions. HOWEVER, creating more content has definitely led to an increase of my personal site traffic, and Pinterest is the number one source of traffic to my website. The more that I create and share, the more clicks and visits that I get to my site.

    So tell me – how has Pinterest impacted your site? Have you seen your traffic increase?

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  • 2019 Blogging Lessons Learned

    I have been blogging here since August 2017. My little blog, armed with 8 posts, went out into the wide wonderful world. I was focused on blogging about LuLaRoe and direct sales, and saw myself doing that until the end of time. It’s funny how life has different plans, right? Now, I blog about Color Street, blogging, mindset, and entrepreneurship (yes, hang tight, my content plan for 2019 is AMAZING). I started to narrow my focus a bit and have some epiphanies (read about that HERE). As I usually do at the end of every year, I have been doing a lot of thought about lessons learned in 2018, and I figured it was time for a blog post. So, without further ado, here are some of my 2019 blogging lessons I learned in 2018 and will be applying to my work in 2019..

    Blogging Lesson Learned: Be Consistent

    A little bit every day is better than a LOT on only one day. This may seem like a no-brainer to you, but it’s not something that I mastered. In fact, since I work part-time, my Mondays are my “GSD” days – GET STUFF DONE. Over the weekends, I would sit for two hours until my butt was numb, scheduling Pinterest content for the month. I’d pound out three posts, make graphics, post them to Pinterest, and then I would let everything sit for two weeks, until I simply repeated the process.

    I don’t know about you, but that is just no way to run a business – and yes, a blog IS a business – expecting to see results. Here’s the thing: the old adage asks:

    Q: How do you eat an elephant?
    A: One bite at a time

    A business can be seen as an elephant. It’s HUGE. It’s important to remember that small, consistent steps are going to help the most in the long term. I do my best to batch content as much as I can, but the one thing that is different when I am blogging at my best is that I am doing daily blogging tasks, no matter if they are big or small.

    I talked about consistency just a bit in my Pinterest post – I went from only 10,000 views on Pinterest a month to 1.2 million views (and counting!) HERE.

    Blogging Lesson Learned: SEO is Important

    Take time to learn some SEO. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is how you get found by Google. That’s a simplistic description, because the entire process can be a bit more complicated than that, but a little bit of SEO can go a long way in helping you get found via Google – and then, by your ideal reader and client, which leads to higher conversions, higher income, and you just win.

    Best part is, SEO is not rocket science. It’s relatively easy to take steps to optimize your content to be found on Google. Free plugins for WordPress, such as Yoast, help you to create end-user friendly pages, optimized with keywords.

    Blogging Lesson Learned: Invest In Your Own Knowledge

    As with pretty much anything, you’ll only get as far as you push yourself in blogging. When you invest in yourself, with both time and resources, you WILL experience a return in that investment. It may be a slow climb, but after educating yourself, you will be surprised at the fountain of knowledge that comes from your mouth when others ask questions.

    I’ve been using my commute time to work as personal development time to listen to Podcasts, and have learned so much (you would not believe how much FREE information is out there on the internet, ready for anyone who is willing to do the work to sleuth it out!). Here’s a list of a few of my favorites:

    • Recipe for SEO Success with Kate Toon
    • Divi Chat
    • WP the Podcast
    • Goal Digger Podcast by Jenna Kutcher

    This was such an important lesson for me that I wrote a whole blog post about it highlighting my favorites!

    Blogging Lesson Learned: Make a Content Plan

    One of my biggest mistakes in 2018 was that I did not make a good solid content plan for my blog, and that cost me immense growth opportunities. I had reached a bit of a stride with my blog when it focused on LuLaRoe: I consistently had nearly 200 hits a day on my blog; my affiliate income was growing; and I was progressing.

    When I changed my blog and deleted content, I didn’t make a solid plan. I knew that I was going to talk about Color Street on my blog – a lot – and that I wanted to make income from it. But I didn’t do the work to make all of that happen. Yes, I have a bunch of Color Street posts, and am dominating Google page 1 (even position 1) for several Color Street-related posts (holla, Paris Couture!), BUT here’s the thing: a few posts does not a content strategy make.

    If you ask any full-time blogger about secrets of success, you’re going to find that they don’t do things willy-nilly.

    Protip: you don’t need a fancy planner. I do most of my planning in my Erin Condren Life Planner. I have a notebook with my January 100 plan (yes, my goal is to get to 100 posts by the end of January). Over the holidays, I am already creating my email marketing plan all the way through June. You’ll find that many of the most successful bloggers have a content strategy and a plan on how they will get there, and it stretches out far into the future.

    It ca be tricky to shift your vision and plan to be more than simply write and publish, but a few tweaks in how you do things will pay off in the long run and help you be far more consistent than ever.

    Blogging Lesson Learned: Don’t Be Afraid of Change

    When I left LuLaRoe, I deleted 20+ posts from my blog. I had finally reached 40 posts, and was starting to achieve a bit of a stride here in my corner of the internet. Consistent hits, affiliate sales, etc. I was going strong….and then suddenly, half the content on my blog was no longer relevant…and then, gone. People would search the internet for their favorite LuLaRoe styles, and be funneled to my Color Street facebook VIP group. Not the best sales funnel, right? No one searching for leggings wants to be directed towards nail polish – and if they do, well then, COME ON OVER. I want to help you!

    Joking aside, I deleted nearly 25 posts from my blog, as they no longer fit the purpose and need of my blog. I went through a rebrand, and set up a new look and feel. Dying a little on the inside, I watched as my hits per day plummeted, with a mere 20 or so hits per day during the summer, after I ripped the proverbial band-aid and deleted irrelevant content. It hurt. Badly.

    But here’s the thing: removing the old content allowed me to be able to rebrand and make the changes that I needed to make in order to be able to move forward. I was no longer funneling people with old content to a new group with an entirely different focus. And best of all, this allowed me to make the shift that was necessary for me to move on.

    So if you’re a blogger, tell me – what did you learn in 2018? What were your big takeaways, and how will they impact you in 2019?

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  • 6 Blogging Podcasts You Should Subscribe to in 2019

    One of the few blogging-related benefits of my day job is a 2-hour commute. It typically takes me 45-50 minutes to get to work in the morning, and 50-55 minutes to get home in the evening. Strangely enough, that time spent in the car has become a valuable resource in my blogging journey, as I have sought out ways to redeem that 10 hours or so per week. I subscribed to Audible, which I HIGHLY recommend (especially for finance and high level information), however, Audible is best for evergreen content, not the rapidly updating world of blogging. Podcasts – specifically, blogging podcasts – have become a highlight of my commute and an integral learning tool. Here’s 6 of my favorite blogging podcasts you should listen to in 2019.

    As a note: if you’re worried about feeling like you’re out of your league, just download the podcasts and give it a go! Familiarity with the terminology and concepts will help you grow in confidence daily. It doesn’t matter if you have one post, or one hundred posts, these podcasts have valuable lessons for bloggers in every stage of their blogging journey.

    Hello, WP!

    Who: WPMU Dev
    Topic: WordPress
    Publishing schedule: Season 1 will be released January 2019

    How has this podcast helped me?
    This podcast has my attention. As an avid Podcast listener, I am familiar with podcasts like Serial and This American Life. Hello, WP! takes a similar approach to a beginning WordPress user. I first heard a review of this podcast on WP the Podcast (see more about that one below), and immediately downloaded and listened to the preview teaser, and the stand-alone episode about the release of WordPress 5.0. This one has the potential to really open the eyes of beginning WordPress users to the power of the WordPress community.

    As a fun Easter Egg, the title of this podcast is a nod to the first post of every WordPress blog: “Hello, World.” It’s like the response of every beginning WordPress user: “Hello, WP!”

    Read more about Hello, WP! HERE.

    Recipe for SEO Success with Kate Toon

    Who: Kate Toon, SEO Copywriter
    Topic: SEO
    Publishing schedule: Weekly

    How has this podcast helped me?
    KATE, when you see this I LOVE YOU. (Backlinks may bring Kate here; I sure hope so.)  Joking aside, I LOVE Kate Toon, and her ability to explain SEO in a way that neither belittles the beginner nor bores the expert. She also brings in experts for her podcast, including the creator of the Yoast plugin (that was an incredible episode).

    Also, she calls mansplaining “willy waving” and that is just the cutest thing ever. I don’t know if that’s an Aussie saying, or just a Kate-ism, but my girl crush on her got bigger when I saw that Facebook post. She’s so incredibly relatable as a woman working in a male-dominated field. Every time I find a woman excelling in this field, I just want to stand on a chair and cheer for her. Kate rocks what she does, and is my go-to person for SEO recommendations.

    Click here to visit Kate’s website, and make sure you sign up for her FREE SEO Nibbles mini email course.

    Divi Chat

    Who: A group of Divi-loving designers and developers
    Topic: WordPress and beyond
    Publishing schedule: weekly

    How has this podcast helped me?
    I downloaded this podcast the day I purchased the Divi theme from Elegant Themes, because I didn’t know what in the world I was doing with that theme and I needed help. This blog is currently on a Genesis framework, and my other site is on Divi. To my utter delight, Divi Chat is far more than a theme-specific podcast. The team tackles mindset, practical blogging information, impostor syndrome, Google analytics, and whatever topic they feel like discussing. While Divi is brought up frequently, all topics relate in some way to working on the internet, and is useful for all. Just don’t mind that the usefulness comes with a Divi wrapper.

    As a bonus, the podcast is recorded live and streamed on YouTube. The panel is attentive to the live stream comment section, and interacts with those who join in and listen. They are appreciative of those who join them both live, and through the posted recording. If I can, I watch the live and try to interact – it’s all about community! Plus, when I go introduce myself to the Divichat folks at various Wordcamps this year, I want them to recognize my name!

    Learn more about Divi Chat HERE.

    WP the Podcast

    Who: David Blackmon and Tim Strifler
    Topic: WordPress
    Publishing schedule: Daily

    How has this podcast helped me?
    Don’t have a lot of time but want simple, practical bites of information? WP the Podcast is going to be PERFECT. I want to stay up to date on the WordPress world, hear about WordCamp, Gutenberg, plugins, best practices – you name it, I want to know it. Most of the time, WP the Podcast episodes are completed with 7 minutes. Occasionally, they may be a little longer, but they bring high levels of value to my day. Sweet, simple, and to the point: it’s a winning combination!

    Read more about WP the Podcast HERE.

    Go-to Gal

    Who: Jaclyn Mallone
    Topic: Mindset and marketing
    Publishing schedule: Weekly

    How has this podcast helped me?
    Okay – full disclosure. This podcast has a lot of change and transition coming in 2019. It’s currently called “All Up In Your Lady Business,” and is hosted by Jaclyn Mallone and Jessica Stansberry, a YouTube marketer. They are discontinuing the podcast together, as it doesn’t quite fit their big picture strategy together. However, while Jessica is killing it on YouTube, Jaclyn is busting into the podcasting world. Without hesitation, the two decided that Jaclyn would keep the podcast and rebrand it with her personal “Go to Gal” branding, which is all about finding a niche and digging deep.

    I LOVE this podcast because the two work incredibly well together, and have influenced my mindset on a lot of aspects of being in business. I look forward to seeing what Jaclyn does with the podcast in 2019 and am so excited to cheer her on!

    Goal Digger

    Who: Jenna Kutcher
    Topic: Social Media
    Publishing schedule: 2x a week

    How has this podcast helped me?
    It’s no secret that Jenna Kutcher is a boss. She’s taken over the world of social media and marketing for fempreneurs. This podcast covers everything from Instagram to mindset. Feeling like you need a shot of creative juices? Go listen to Jenna. She WILL inspire you. (also, on a personal level, you’ll find her inspiring! I’d rather follow Jenna Kutcher than any other big-name female influencer out there today. She’s open about her curves and insecurities linked to those curves while being married to “Mr. Six Pack” and her miscarriages.

    My only peeve with this podcast is that she has multiple sponsors for each episode, so it gets to the point where I ALMOST get annoyed with the commercials, BUT at the same time, the hustler in me is cheering for her, knowing that she has this monetization down to an art.

    Read more about the Goal Digger podcast HERE.

    Do you listen to any business podcasts? Got any blogging podcasts that have blown your mind? I would LOVE to hear about them in the comments: tell me about them! I am always looking for more resources to help me on my entrepreneur journey, and I would love to find out about so many new ones that I have to write a part 2 for this post. Tell me in the comments so I can look the podcast up!

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  • Overcoming Impostor Syndrome as a Business Owner

    Our business is nearly finalized. Joe and I currently run three websites – I’m actively putting together The Social Well, Joe runs EccentricWare, and of course, this site, thehollypeck. Soon, we need to go sign paperwork for our corporation (not just an LLC, we’re going with an S Corp!). I’ve already brought in more than $200,000 in sales from two completely different business. My team of nearly a hundred Color Street nail bosses has sold more than $150,000 worth of nail polish (and yes, it’s an $11-14 product) in the past year. On Black Friday, I bought website hosting, the Divi Wordpress theme, and installed WordPress and the theme without blinking an eye. Why then, do I feel like such an imposter? Here’s just a few reminders for myself, as I personally work on overcoming imposter syndrome as a business owner. My hope is that these words may resonate with you as well.

    What is Impostor Syndrome?

    Let’s go straight to the dictionary for an answer:

    “Originally called impostor phenomenon, impostor syndrome, as it’s now usually called, is commonly understood as a false and sometimes crippling belief that one’s successes are the product of luck or fraud rather than skill.” Retrieved from Merriam-Webster “Words at Play” blog, 11/30/2018.

    Have you ever heard someone who, when asked about their success, just kind of shrugged, and said “right place, right time”? That is a form of impostor syndrome right there.

    Sure, there is a time and a place for “old money” or for those who have connections (though, from my observations, they don’t tend to downplay their success as much as those who have worked hard for it).

    Why Impostor Syndrome in Business Hurts You

    Impostor syndrome leads you to believe that you’re only successful because you got lucky. Because you just happened to start in the right place at the right time.

    You know, folks may SAY that – I mean, I’ve heard it in business many times. Truthfully, I’ve even thought it (much to my chagrin).

    “How did she hit that top rank in her direct sales business?”

    “Just got lucky, I guess – joined at the right time and was in the right place.”


    I could not possibly hate that more. Here’s the thing: some may THINK that they see luck, but it’s disguised as hard work.

    The same thing happens in the blogging world.

    “How does she make a living out of her blog? I mean, come on, it’s sooooo basic. Just post stuff on the internet, and people buy. How hard is that? She must have just started blogging at the right time. It’s too late for me to do that; so many other people do the exact same thing.”

    Again, stop. Behind the scenes, successful bloggers are constantly tweaking their blogs; learning SEO strategies, creating courses to share their knowledge, promoting their posts, scheduling content on social media, etc. The work could go on constantly until the end of time.

    But let’s go back to the core here: if you attribute your success to sheer dumb luck, you invalidate the power of all the work that you did to achieve success.

    You hear me?

    There are enough people out there who will put you down; you do not need to join those ranks.

    Let’s Talk About How to Conquer Impostor Syndrome (in Your Business)

    Friend, first off, acknowledge your success.

    Pause. Look around. Look how far you’ve come, and how much progress you’ve made. That didn’t just happen. It happened because you put your head down, and you did the work. You’ve progressed further than you’ve ever dreamed possible.

    Secondly, look at what didn’t happen. Did your work change your goals? If you’re like me, then YES. When you started to hone in on your goals, hopes, and dreams, you probably experienced a shift. A fine-tuning, if you will. Work shapes and refines you, and helps you to gain that laser focus on your goals. Revel in that: you are not an impostor in your success. If everything had been sheer dumb luck, then it wouldn’t fit your goals, hopes, directions, and dreams.

    Finally, if you’re still claiming that your success is the gift of serendipity, then I’d encourage you to sit down and take a second look. Look at what led up your success. See the late nights spent working. Note the financial sacrifices. Dedication and discipline were hallmarks of your journey.

    Tell me in the comments – do you struggle with impostor syndrome? What do you do to help work through it? How do you overcome it?

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