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Ask L2: New Entrepreneur Feeling Alone

"When trying to find examples on how to build better at the start - I'm at a loss as I don't fit in with the 'business crowd' I'm seeing in the local groups . . . But I KNOW others like me are out there."


Disclaimer: Identities are kept confidential. The advice given here should be taken at your own risk. If you are having true mental or physical issues, please seek professional assistance.


I'm a new-ish entrepreneur, a total introvert, and want to expand. I'm located in Alberta, Canada ('oil country').


My goal is to grow a company with a process that is similar to the trades ticket hours tracking Blue Book, but for drafting and design in architecture. Specifically, my goal is to focus training and services on providing affordable drafting/rendering (XR)/permitting assistance to people of low income that are experiencing changes in their physical/mental ranges.


Right now, I'm struggling with growth and growing into the vision I established - one that has received a lot of moral support from different local community groups. I'm completely bootstrapped and have no $$ to hire help now - I’m currently working on consistently paying myself. What's worse is this nagging imposter syndrome and crippling fear/self-doubt. Also learning all about late-diagnosis Autism and ADHD and welp, I think I may have found my people. Being an introvert, I sit behind my monitors and do the little Dobby thing, hoping someone will gift me a sock to be free of introversion.


In terms of money, I misjudge my time on projects, am a perfectionist and spend too long on projects, get distracted, and have not revised my business plan to seek out grants/funding. This is all on me and I am looking for a business coach I jive with that can help me out here. There's more but, yeah.


In terms of imposter syndrome and fear, I'm terrified of f*king up and building a toxic environment. I'm trying to work through much of the trauma I've experienced from physical and verbal assaults in a variety of workplaces (no joke). I recognize a lot of the sh!t I dealt with in the past from my peers and management was a direct result of their insecurities bleeding out into abuse and the LAST thing I want is to be just like them. Or bring in someone who is just like them. At no point do I ever want to be part of the problem.


All that to my ask: Do you have any material recommendations I can read/watch or people on LinkedIn to follow that were in a similar boat? When trying to find examples of how to build better at the start - I'm at a loss as I'm not a visible minority and don't fit in with the 'business crowd' I'm seeing in the local groups. I'm not blonde, skinny, beautiful, or male. I tried pre-pandemic and was dismissed when I spoke up - it was humiliating and I won't return. But I KNOW others like me are out there and have awkwardly bumped into them. Hell, if you know any ND weirdos in Canada that would like to connect, I'm game!


 

Alright, so this is not about shameless self-promotion, but literally, everything that we’re building at elletwo is focused on basically just this. More than that, I think a lot of us who are forging our own path spend time looking for a manual to make it all easier when that’s just not how it works. It feels unfamiliar and lonely because IT IS unfamiliar and lonely. There isn’t a roadmap.

There are supportive groups that you can join or, heck, even build by showing up daily on whatever your socials are and being unabashedly yourself. It’s not instant, but it does work.

Most importantly, though, lean into the discomfort. There isn’t a mold to fit into. You’re creating it for the next set. You can (and maybe should) find coaches and communities to join that will have people who you can identify with, but don’t beat yourself up for feeling out of place. You’re BUILDING your place, and that’s an ongoing process. Also, I believe in you.



L2



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