Updated: Dec 30, 2020


What is Imposter Syndrome?

Imposter syndrome is the feeling that you are not deserving of the position you are in or it can be the feeling that you do not belong. If you have ever found yourself surrounded by a sea of people and felt as though you did not belong, then you may be experiencing imposter syndrome. I have felt the weight of feeling like I don’t belong several times in my life. Here is my story about how imposter syndrome has impacted me.


My Personal Experience with Imposter Syndrome

I am a dark-skinned Black woman and I graduated from a small prestigious predominately White college. I would sit down in class and peer around the room and question if I deserved to be there. I was subjected to listening to my White roommate rant about how a Black guy from her high school did not deserve to be at our college because he was awarded a full scholarship and she wasn't. I had a similar conversation with a classmate in my art class. Someone who I had attended class with the entire semester told me that he was supposed to go to Brown, but that a Latina girl took his spot.


I would continue to hear different iterations of the same sentiment throughout my 4 years in school. I would even hear this story from other Black people. I felt immense pain when a dear friend of mine accused me of taking her spot because I was accepted into our dream school and she was not.


All of these voices culminated into a collective narrative which told me that I was not good enough and that I didn't achieve success by my own merit.


Imposter syndrome has been something I have dealt with for most of my life and is something that I continue to work through on a daily basis. As a Black female small business owner, I feel imposter syndrome much in the same way as I felt it in undergrad. I question if I have what it takes to compete with others in my industry. I recently wrapped up a crowdfunding campaign and my first go at raising funds for my business. Throughout the process, I would wonder if I was really worth investing in.


How I Confront Imposter Syndrome

In the fall of 2020, I attended an online workshop hosted by Ellevest. At the workshop, I learned about Imposter Syndrome and received useful tips on how to combat it. I learned the importance of calling out doubtful thoughts at the moment it happens. A couple of years ago while in a therapy session my therapist advised, me that at the root of anxiety is purpose. Anxiety does not need to be detrimental or withholding. If we recognize it, address it, and work through it then we can confront the issue that is the underlying cause for our anxiety. This advice has helped me to work through anxiety attacks and stressful situations. When I move past the doubts, fears, and insecurities these feelings transition into excitement for the future. I am motivated to move forward with my goals for my business and the vision I have for the services I provide.


Final Thoughts

If you believe that you suffer from imposter syndrome or anxiety, I encourage you to know that these feelings can be processed and that you can move through them. I learned several strategies from my time meeting with a therapist. During our sessions, I would pour out my life to this person and they never judged. They just wanted to help me and they did. Therapists are amazing human beings and I encourage you to reach out for help if you need guidance.


I wrote this post as I begin to see my businesses move in new directions and enter unfamiliar territory. It is new, it is unknown, but I deserve to be here. So wish me luck and all the positive vibes as I take the plunge. I wish you the best as you journey through your own uncharted territories and when you do just know that you are capable of reaching the other side. You are exactly where you are supposed to be.


-Carla


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Updated: Dec 29, 2020



Hello fellow entrepreneurs and budding small business owners!


When starting a small business there are several small details and factors that should be carefully taken into account. My business has been in operation for about 1 year and I continue to make mistakes, learn, and grow throughout the process.


FTC Disclaimer: I may receive compensation via affiliate links in this post.


The number 1 resource I used to jumpstart my business was a great book that I found in my local bookstore. Business plan In A Day by Rhonda Abrams is a workbook that guides readers through practical steps to launch a business in as little as 24 hours! I recommend reading and completing all of the activities in chapter 1 and then skimming and selecting applicable activities throughout the book. Rhonda’s book will help you identify your business plan, marketing strategy, and industry to better understand your business.


After reading Rhonda’s book. I felt confident to take the necessary next steps in building my business. I launched my website, incorporated and registered Translatable LLC with the state. I invested about $700 into the start-up costs and fees to launch Translatable LLC. I paid approximately $300 to register my business in my home state and then paid about $400 on a website and other various operational related services. The costs one incurs will vary depending upon your state and whether you choose to incorporate or not. It is very possible to start a business for $0! Do not be discouraged.


Many sites like Squarespace and Shopify offer a 14 day trial period. Some webhosting sites are offering 90 day trial periods which gives you plenty of time to jumpstart an online business. Wix offers several incentives when you purchase a premium plan. At the time I started my business website I received an offer from Wix for a free 1-year premium plan. I used this promotion to launch my 2nd website, the My Soul Venture blog. Thus in essence I launched two businesses at once! I actually found owning and operating 2 distinct websites and business operations to be a big challenge. These challenges led me to dissolve the My Soul Venture Blog after 1 year and to reallocate my time and resources solely into my language consulting business.


I hope you found these details useful! I really wanted to share the inside scoop into what it takes to start a business. If you have a vision and a passion then I strongly encourage you to pursue those wholeheartedly. Every hour invested in my blog and my personal business has been both a joy and arduous work. I thoroughly enjoy the work that I do daily as a linguist and writing for my blog.


Some may say that “if you do what you love then you will never work a day in your life”. However, I like to believe that if you do what you love then the work you do will add meaning to your life. Life is short and as Covid has taught us it is also unpredictable. Take chances, live by faith, and follow your heart! I believe we all have a soul venture to follow in this life and I want to encourage you to follow yours.


Which resources listed above are you excited to use to jumpstart your business? Let me know in a comment below.


Wishing you all success in your entrepreneurial ventures!


Carla


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Remote work is flexible, challenging and very rewarding! It is not a cookie-cutter model and will look different for different people. Your remote work lifestyle will also vary depending on your profession, job requirements, and schedule.


FTC Disclaimer: I may receive compensation via affiliate links in this post.


About 2.5 years ago I quit my relatively secure job working for a state university. I had a pension, benefits, and insurance, but I was also overworked and stressed out. My anxiety was at an all-time high. I had been working 40 hours a week while attending school part-time and struggled to devote time to my family and my studies. After much thought and reflection, I chose to put my mental and spiritual health first. With the support of my husband I gave my 2 weeks' notice and started my remote work journey.


Prior to quitting my job, I had actually already acquired my first remote contract. I got my start in freelancing by working as a data annotator. I soon realized that I could find more clients in this subfield of machine learning. Right now BIG companies are hiring contractors with a background in linguistics to work in natural language understanding or NLU. We help train machines to sound like humans! This is a very minimal description, but if you have a degree in Linguistics and love semantics, morphology and syntax then you have sought-after skills. There is a strong need for individuals with both formal linguistic training and computational or machine learning knowledge.


During the early months of my freelancing career, my hours varied considerably and this led me to seek supplemental income. I began exploring other fields related to language and communication. In the course of a year, I studied everything from medical transcription and subtitling to python programming. I also studied abroad in Spain and Japan and took several foreign language courses including Japanese, Chinese and Spanish. In 2019, I completed my certificate in Business Spanish. Then in 2020 I graduated with a 2nd BA in East Asian studies. Prior to graudating, I decided that I was ready to start my own language consulting company. Thus Translatable LLC was born.


As a language consultant, I contract my services out to various companies to provide data annotation, translation and transcription services. I also consult with organizations in both the private and federal sectors to advise on how to best integrate machine translation software into their organization. At the present moment, I am expanding my business operations and still very much enjoy working within the field of machine learning and language technologies.


Overall, becoming an entrepreneur has drastically influenced my spiritual well being and mental headspace for the better. My anxiety is better managed and I thoroughly love the flexibility that managing my own schedule offers. I set the terms, define the boundaries and work for myself which in turn has afforded me the freedom to travel, work remotely and continue my educational pursuits. Being self-employed is not easy! It takes hard work and determination. I have several mentors and various networking communities as well. I hope to inspire and encourage others to pursue their own entrepreneurial ventures as well. Are you a small business owner or independent contractor? Share with me in a comment where you are in your personal work journey and what goals you may have in the coming year!


-Carla



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