Impostor EntrepreneurFor the past 8 years, I have been obsessed with being an “entrepreneur.”

After graduating from the top school in the country for entrepreneurship where it seemed every other student was changing the world with their innovations, it was ingrained in me to create a business and be one of those successful graduates on the cover of the alumni magazine. I have started multiple businesses that have gone flat. I have taken courses costing thousands of dollars giving me knowledge, systems and frameworks that have not yielded an adequate ROI (return on investment). I have spent countless nights pecking away on my computer writing newsletters, blog posts and emails. All so I could call myself an “entrepreneur.”

I believe strongly in entrepreneurship.

I think everyone should start their own business because that is where we can serve our highest good. I have had many conversations where I try to convince my friends and even strangers to start a venture with their skills or ideas. While I believe a business is empowering, I see now that I was imposing my desires and ambitions onto them.

While my businesses usually start from a place of inspiration, they quickly go from “This is THE idea!” to “Ugh, I don’t feel like writing this newsletter.” I start doing things I don’t want to do but have to do, prescribing to the standard formulas and tips I have heard from top internet marketing experts. I focus on chasing the dream and stop enjoying the process and evolution. This has happened with my health coaching practice, business coaching and networking group, essential oils MLM business and a healthy living blog. All projects that started with gusto and inevitably fell flat within a year or so.

It has been tough telling people I have a business on the side.

The words usually get caught in my throat when I try to explain to people that I have a full time job and something on the side. I have never had an elegant elevator pitch and fumble around looking for the right words when people ask me “What do you do?” I am not that great at compartmentalizing myself. The thing is I am not just a single faceted person – I am made up of a lot of different interests, skills and ambitions. I want to be able to accurately portray who I am when I respond to that question. So I end up trying to describe all that I do and it comes out forced and incongruent.

Every time I have called my projects “businesses,” I have felt like an impostor. With a degree in strategy, I know better. You may own a business by getting a license at City Hall but there is a lot more to it in order to be a real business – mindset, goals, strategy, and some market research to start.

The whole “Fake it until you make it” mantra does not work for me. It feels completely unauthentic and unaligned. The struggle is I want to be an entrepreneur, down to the deepest darkest parts of myself and I know that I will become one. But if I am to wholly own who I am right now and my truths I need to stop identifying myself as one.

Starting right now I am no longer an “entrepreneur.”

I am no longer going to try to fit my square body into that hexagonal hole. I hope to evolve to a hexagon someday but for now, it’s not happening.

I am Lisa Chin, a woman on a journey to be the best version of herself by creating from a place of inspiration. As I was just typing, the overachiever and optimist in me wanted to take it up a notch and say I am on a “mission to realize the best version of myself.” But this “mission” would be right up there with my fake title of “entrepreneur.” I don’t need to adopt another title or goal. For once, I am going to try my damndest to just be.

To be and to create is an idea I can actually own.

I will never stop creating. That is who I am – a creative being that gets smacked upside the head with inspiration almost daily. Where I have gone wrong is taking my inspiration and trying to immediately figure out how to structure it and monetize it which uproots it from a place of inspiration and to aspiration and inevitably dilutes the idea.

I am taking a page from Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Big Magic, and creating for me. (Read my biggest lesson from Big Magic here.) It will no longer be about my target market or the end consumer. It will not be about the bottom line. And it most certainly will not be about the coveted title of “entrepreneur.”

I am going to start having fun.

I am going to create a nook in cyberland where I can express that energy. I am going to create pieces and writing and programs and whatever that comes to me because I want to. Not because they will make millions of dollars. Not because they will get me out of my day job. Not because they will help my family. And maybe this is blasphemous, but not because they will help people – that includes you, my dear reader. I am creating from a selfish place. For me. From me. About all that I love and find fascinating.

I know I am here on earth to serve a greater purpose and will help a lot of people. And I know one day, when I achieve that, I will be able to own the title of “entrepreneur,” but for now, I am Lisa Chin, a woman on a journey to be the best version of herself by creating from a place of inspiration.

Have you ever gotten wrapped up in achieving a goal or a title and worked so hard to attain it that stopped having fun you lost yourself along the way? I would love to hear about it!

Inspiration: I originally wrote this post on November 2, 2015 as I was examining what has held me back from succeeding at my previous projects. I’m not a dumb person, I’m not without ideas, but I have “failed” so many times. These were the thoughts that came to me as I was exploring why I have not succeeded. I created Lisa for Real shortly after and am working on projects right now that align with me and that I am constantly inspired by.

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I write everyday because it allows me to voice what is at the surface. Once that is out of my head, I can dig in another layer deeper. My daily writing practice has been my greatest exploration of self and humanity. Sign up here to receive these thought nuggets in your inbox on the daily.