33. What Other People Think of Your Business – Does it Really Matter?

What Other People Think of Your Business – Does it Really Matter?

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We have it totally mixed up when we think of who’s to blame for why our business isn’t growing, why we don’t feel confident, or why we struggle to show up on camera. We point at our customers, at our parents and how they raised us, or at the economy, but often the truth is: you are the person standing in the way of your business success. I’m going to share how your mindset is holding you back and how you can change it or – more realistically – accept it.

In this episode, you’ll hear… 

  • Why worrying what other people think of you is holding you back
  • The importance of acknowledging your success
  • How you’re getting in your own way

If Dave Grohl doesn’t think he’s successful, when will you?

I was listening to an episode of the podcast Smartless with ultra-successful Dave Grohl as a guest, and I was surprised by how often he undermined and downplayed his own success. I mean this is someone who has been in two world-famous bands, with countless awards to his name, and he sees himself as “a f#$% up.” It reminded me that if you’re waiting for some metric to make you feel successful, it’s not going to happen (not even if you’re Dave Grohl!). You can be the most successful person in the world and it’s still going to come down to how you feel about yourself.

Acknowledging the little wins

We get in our own way and then blame it on external factors like algorithms or clients, but often it’s us. It’s not that we’re not trying hard enough, but that we don’t acknowledge our wins along the way while putting too much stock in external metrics.

Being an entrepreneur is hard. It takes a long time to get traction and build a successful business. Often our own expectations are going to grow and stretch faster than our businesses are able to keep up. It’s important that we recognize how hard this work is, and that we take time to celebrate each success and milestone we hit. If we don’t, then that end goal will always keep changing, and we’re always going to feel lacking.

Resources Discussed in This Episode

If you’re ready to legally protect and grow your online business today, save your seat in my free workshop so you can learn how to take the simple legal steps to protect the business you’ve worked so hard to build. Click here to watch the free workshop so you can get legally legit right now!

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Episode Transcript

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Sam Vander Wielen: [00:00:10] I think we like totally have it twisted as to like who’s to blame for why we can’t put ourselves out there, grow our businesses, be more confident on video, oh, let me get into it in a sec. But if you’re new around here, hey, there, I’m Sam Vander Wielen. Welcome to On Your Terms. I’m an attorney turned entrepreneur who helps online coaches and service providers legally protect and grow their online businesses using my DIY legal templates and my Ultimate Bundle. And on the show here each week, I bring you fresh tips on how to legally protect your business and grow that business on your terms.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:00:45] So, I am so excited to read to you the review of the week on Apple Podcasts. The review of the week comes from Amanda, The Coach, who said, “I purchased Sam’s Ultimate Bundle in Fall of 2021 as my very first step in starting my brand new company, and then I started listening to her podcast. In addition to being a legal expert who somehow always answers my questions before I’ve asked them, she’s a successful businesswoman who does not hold back on sharing great advice to start and run a growing business with a solid foundation. Everything she offers is super high quality, and worth my time and energy. I love that she continues to connect me with other experts, too, through her podcast and other offers.”

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:01:23] Well, thank you so much, Amanda. I really, really appreciate that, and I love when you leave reviews for the show on Apple Podcasts. If you leave a review on Apple Podcasts of my show, On Your Terms, you’ll be entered to win a 20-dollar Starbucks gift card. All you have to do is leave a review on Apple, and we pick a new winner every single month, so be sure to submit your review right now, you might even get a shoutout on a future episode. With that, let’s get into this week’s episode, all about who’s actually standing in your business’s way. Hint, hint, it might be the person listening to this podcast. Alright. Let’s get into it.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:02:09] Okay. So, I listen to the Smartless podcast. I admittedly, actually don’t really listen to very many podcasts or like business-related stuff, especially because I’ve talked about this many times before, but I actually don’t consume a lot of content around business, and I find that very helpful for growing my business. I definitely did more in the beginning, but I think like once you’re up and running, it’s kind of important to put that stuff down and do as much implementation as you do consumption.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:02:35] But anyway, when I do listen to a podcast, I am obsessed with Smartless. So, if you haven’t listened to it already, Smartless is a podcast where three guys, Sean Hayes, Will Arnett, and Jason Bateman invites somebody onto their show, a celebrity onto their show each week, and one of the three guys gets to pick who’s the guest that week, and the other two don’t know. And so, they like guess in the beginning, and then they invite that famous person on, and because they didn’t know who was going to be on, it’s like a really cool just like casual conversation between these three incredible comics and actors, and then whoever they have on.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:03:14] So, this one week, they had on Dave Grohl, who’s obviously the Nirvana drummer and the Foo Fighters front man, everything man, very talented musician. And I just thought it was so interesting that throughout the episode, in the interview that they did with Dave Grohl, Dave Grohl kept referring to himself as an F up, I won’t say the whole thing. So, he kept referring to himself as an F up and this is Dave freaking Grohl, right? Like why does Dave Grohl keep referring to himself as an F up?

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:03:45] And Sean Hayes, who I love, because he played Jack in Will & Grace, and I just think he’s hilarious, and if you listen to Smartless, I feel like Sean Hayes is also the one out of the three of them that’s like very sensitive and tends to like ask the deeper questions, in my opinion, whereas the other two are hilariously funny, and Sean’s really funny, but I just feel like Sean asked deeper questions. But when Sean heard for like the 19th time Dave Grohl kept calling himself an F up, Sean Hayes was like, “Why do you keep saying that? You’re Dave Grohl. Like how could you see yourself as an F up when like the whole world thinks you’re a rock star?”, because like he is a rock star.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:04:27] And Dave Grohl just kept explaining like that that’s just how he saw himself, right? Like he saw himself as an F up. And when I was listening to this episode, I couldn’t help but just like think about how we put so much emphasis on all this external stuff, all these external forces, all of these things about like what other people are going to think, like what will other people think if they see me on Instagram? Right?

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:04:52] Like I remember, I used to worry about like what my family, my friends, my coworker, my former coworkers when I was a lawyer, like what they would think when they saw me on Instagram. Now, I think that whenever I do a Reel, and then I really run into people I know, and they’re like, “I saw your little video where you’re like running around”, and it’s so embarrassing, right? So, we’re like, what will other people think if they see me on Instagram? What will my family think about my new career path, or changing jobs, or starting my own business? Are they going to judge me for leaving corporate?

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:05:20] And then, once we start our businesses, it becomes all this external stuff, like how many followers do I have? Well, we’re only worried about that because we’re worried about what other people think about that, and are valid, and we’re looking for validation of what we’re doing, but we also do it because it’s the way that we all size each other up, right? Somebody is a good entrepreneur or a legitimate entrepreneur, they’re killing it, they’re successful once they have a lot of followers, right?

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:05:42] I remember like a year or two ago when my Instagram account just really started to grow and like pick up, like my business had always been really successful—or had been successful for a long time, I should say, but for some reason, like Instagram started to pick up, and then all of a sudden, I started getting all these people writing to me, being like, “You’re killing it, you’re killing it”. And I was like, I’m killing it because I have Instagram followers, like who cares? I felt like I was killing it.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:06:06] Like to me, I was happy, and like what does that even mean? Right? It’s like it’s all so subjective. But then, we question all this stuff, like when people unsubscribe from your emails, like every time you send out an email, you run to the computer to check how many people unsubscribe and you look through to see if it’s anyone you know. And then, if it is, God forbid, it’s like somebody you know or somebody you worked with, you’re like, was it something I said? Like what was it about what I said? Do they not like me? Do they not think I’m funny? Was I too sarcastic in that email? And we go down this whole thing.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:06:36] Obviously, we have all this like imposter syndrome and doubting ourselves of like, will people think I’m smart enough? Will they think I’m funny? Do I know enough to even talk about this? Is somebody going to call me out for not knowing every single thing about what I talk about? Will anybody care if I talk about this? Like the online space is so loud, is anybody going to care? All of those things are so externally focused, them, family, followers, industry gurus, clients, email subscribers, right?

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:07:03] It’s all outside of ourselves. And I think what I took away from Dave Grohl’s comment is that like none of the success really matters if you don’t think that you deserve all of those things. If you think you’re an F up, then that’s the way you’ll present yourself to the world, right? So, we look to all this external stuff, but it’s like so funny to me, it was like, if you look at Dave Grohl on paper, it’s like he has, I don’t even know—I should have looked it up before this episode, but I have no idea how many awards this man has.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:07:35] I can imagine it’s a ton. Obviously, he has a ton of money, which is very, very important to many people. He has like reached the pinnacle of being a musician. I mean, think about how many people have wanted to be a musician, how many people would give their left, anything to be a full-time paid musician, let alone like one of the world’s most famous musicians who’s reached the pinnacle of success in two different bands? Right? But he sees himself as an F up.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:08:10] If we judge ourselves, if we don’t think we’re worth taking a chance on, then like it doesn’t really matter what all this external stuff is telling us. We can have a billion email subscribers, and a million dollars in the bank, and 10,000, 20,000, 50,000 Instagram followers, when is that going to be enough? Right? When is that number, whatever it is that you’re looking at, whether it’s money, followers, clients, number of people who buy your course, like email subscribers, whatever, when is that going to be enough? It won’t, because it’s all externally validating, right?

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:08:44] And don’t get me wrong, like it does feel validating to have some of these metrics, right? It does feel like, okay, something must be working here, but I don’t think that we can wait until it gets there. Like I feel like from my perspective, like I thought The Ultimate Bundle was great when like two, or four, or five, six people were buying it per month, I was like, wow, this is a wild success, like I am killing it, right? And nobody knew about it, right? We’re talking five, 10, 15, 20,000-dollar months, and I was like, I am just killing it, right?

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:09:19] I am so happy. I am so happy that the customers are happy. I love this product. I love what I do. I love writing about this stuff. I had like no followers, no email list, not a lot of money, right? And so, I’m still like investing a lot of that and I just think how it’s so important along this journey for you to stop and think about what’s going to impact how you see yourself and not how other people see you.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:09:55] Have you ever felt lost about where to begin with the legal side of protecting your online business? Some people say you can just wing it at the beginning and get officially set up later. Not a good idea, by the way. Whether you’re afraid to even start working with clients because you don’t want to do something wrong legally, and then get in trouble or your business is growing, and you sort of forgot to take care of the legal pieces, I’ve got you.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:10:17] I don’t want you to live in fear of the internet police coming after you and your business, but you do have to do certain things and get certain things in place in order to legally and safely run your business online. As much as it just feels like an unregulated Wild Wild West online, that is very much not the case. As an attorney turned entrepreneur and former corporate litigator, I can assure you that there are rules, there are real steps that everybody who runs or starts an online business needs to take.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:10:44] And you’re not behind at all. We can get you set up and following the rules right away. In fact, we can even do it today. I want to teach you the five very simple steps to take to legally protect and grow your online business. You don’t need an MBA to be a successful entrepreneur and stay out of legal hot water, but you do need to dot your legal Is and cross your Ts in a few key areas that can’t be skipped.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:11:05] That’s exactly what I’ll teach you in my free one hour legal workshop called Five Steps to Legally Protect and Grow Your Online Business. Just head to mylegalworkshop.com, drop in your email address, pick the time, and I’ll send you a link to watch the workshop video whenever you have time. This is the best place to begin if you’re just getting started legally legitimizing your business, so head on over to mylegalworkshop.com and sign up to watch Five Steps to Legally Protect and Grow Your Online Business now.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:11:35] So, yes, Dave Grohl is really amazing, and yes, he’s achieved a lot of success in his life, but personally, I don’t know about you, I don’t want all that like money, fame, and talent only to still think I’m an F up, right? And obviously, I’m like picking on Dave Grohl, like maybe he’s just self-deprecating, maybe he was joking, maybe he, like whatever, but I mean, I don’t think he was joking because he kept saying it, but he is entitled to like his own way of dealing with all of this.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:12:03] But it just made me think about how often I hear from you about, “I’m looking to grow my business. I’m looking to get more Instagram followers. I’m looking to sell more of my course. I want to sell my course on autopilot like you do”, and all of this kind of stuff, and it’s like those are all like great goals, but I certainly hope is not part of any sort of validation situation, where like once you reach that, then you’re worth it, then you’re successful, then we won’t care what other people think, because I can tell you on the other side of this that it’s still embarrassing to post a Reel.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:12:36] And I just filmed one that was like super embarrassing. You’ve seen it by now, but it’s like this 50 Cent like, go shawty, it’s your birthday, thing, and it’s terribly embarrassing. And I’m just like, you know what, it’s just like, it’s not about them, just like trying to deliver this information. So, I see it all the time. I want you to be able to look back at what you’ve done, whether you look back at last week, last month, last year as you go on in your business, I want you to look back and I want you to be proud.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:13:06] I want you to be able to own what you do, right? It’s not about the stupid numbers. You don’t have to be proud once you hit 10,000 followers, you don’t have to be proud once you make $10,000 a month, you don’t have to be proud once you have 20 clients, like none of that. There’s so much that you have to be proud of. You are not an F up by any means, and maybe you didn’t think you were an F up, but maybe you’re also not being super proud of yourself.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:13:31] And I just wanted to give you a little talking to today and tell you that you have a lot to be proud of. You have a lot to show others that they can own it, too, right? I’ve been thinking about this as I’ve been on my own like health and wellness kick for the last several months, basically since the beginning of December, and I’ve been thinking about how like I don’t post like anything in depth, let’s say, on social media about it, because I’m thinking like no matter what I do, I’d be screwed, right?

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:14:00] If I post about the workshop or the—the workshop. I’m so used to talking about legal workshops. If I posted about the workout that I did that day, somebody would tell me that I’m not lifting big enough weights. Another person would tell me that it’s too intense of exercise for my hormones. Another person would tell me that, blah, blah, blah. It just like goes on, right? When I eat a certain way, I post pictures of my food, because I just love to cook, by the way.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:14:27] That’s why I post pictures of my food, because I’m obsessed with cooking. And so, I post pictures of my food. I get comments ranging from the, “I’m coming over, like please make me dinner”, to like, “Can I move in with you, can you please be my cook?”, to, “You really shouldn’t put cheese on that, like that would be good if you didn’t kill animals”, blah, blah, blah, to the protein police, as I call them, because everyone’s always concerned I’m not eating enough protein.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:14:50] But then, when I eat protein, I get the vegan police, and then I’m a devil for not being a vegan, and it’s like, there’s literally no doing right, right? And so, I think about that when I think about like, there is a lot along the way to be proud of when I personally, and I’m telling you this, because I know so many of you, your customers are, your clients are people who you’re trying to help with their health, wellness, fitness, money, career, business, life, whatever, relationships.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:15:22] I’m telling you this, because along the way, they’re going to have a lot of like small wins and you want to teach them to own it. So, like along the way, in my health and wellness journey, I have had lots of little wins that were so like important to me and I was so proud of. And yes, I don’t share them on social media because like that’s not what I do for a living, so I don’t need to share everything.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:15:43] As my friend, Naomi, says, “You have to share parts of yourself, you don’t need to share all parts of yourself in online business”, but I quietly am very proud of like these micro-wins along the way. It’s not like I can only be proud once I reached the end goal, which I don’t even have an end goal, but like if there was one, right? And it’s not like I have to be proud only if I hit like mega milestones.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:16:08] That’s essentially what you’re doing to yourself if you’re not super proud of these like smaller business achievements, right? And that’s why like in my Ultimate Bundle community, I make them share their weekly wins on every single Wednesday inside the group, and I tell them in the post, like this doesn’t have to be anything mega, this is like I prepped a new contract, I got my website up and running, I like had a really great sales call in the new client, I successfully led a client go. Like this can be little things.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:16:36] It’s not all of this like external validation. You have to be proud of this for yourself, right? And you have the opportunity to show your clients that it’s not just about being proud about the big end result, the external flashy thing that everybody else is chasing after, it can be about the quiet or smaller internal wins, because those are the ones that like stack up like bricks and make you proud of yourself, right?

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:17:01] So, I see this all the time with like delaying your business or moving forward in your business, you can pick the right software or tool, not starting a podcast until you have like a fancier mic or something, not starting your business because you’re not legally protected, but then you don’t grow it, because you’re legally vulnerable. We get in our own way. We blame others, on algorithms, on clients, on social media, but it’s us, right? Most of the time. Privilege being the biggest exception or lack thereof, because I hate this like pick yourself up from the bootstraps language, because it totally ignores privilege.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:17:34] And so, it is not true that everybody is just like not doing great, because they’re not trying hard enough. I don’t believe that. But for so many people, the lack of like feeling proud, or enough, or like you’re doing great in business, because we are putting too much stock in all this external validation, all these external metrics, and we’re also just not stopping to like smell these little wins along the way, right? I want you to pick up these little wins along the way.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:18:04] So, I can’t wait to hear what you think about this episode. I’m not really sure it was going to land. I hope it’s going to land okay. I’m trying to give you a bunch of little shorty episodes here coming off of our big promotion month, but next week, I’ve got a little personal catch-up episode going on for you. I hope you’ll like that. If you liked this episode, it would mean so much to me if you screenshot it and share it on social media, tag me at Sam Vander Wielen, you can tag the podcast, On Your Terms podcast, but tag me on Instagram and let me know what you thought about this episode.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:18:36] Please send me a DM. I’m so curious if this landed, how this landed with you, and what you’re taking away from it. If there’s like even a little shift that you’re going to make, I would just love it if you shared it with me. So, please DM me, let me know how things are going. I hope that you love On Your Terms. Please subscribe. Follow before you leave. And if you’re listening on Apple podcast, go over and leave that review, because you can win $20 in Starbucks gift cards. Woo-hoo. Alright. Well, with that, I’ll see you next week for my personal episode.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:19:09] Thanks so much for listening to the On Your Terms podcast. Make sure to follow on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you like to listen to podcasts. You can also check out all of our podcast episodes, show notes, links, and more at samvanderwielen.com/podcast. You can learn more about legally protecting your business and take my free legal workshop, Five Steps to Legally Protect and Grow Your Online Business at samvanderwielen.com. And to stay connected and follow along, follow me on Instagram at Sam Vander Wielen, and send me a DM to say hi.



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  1. Thank you for reminding me to stop the continous beratement from my own internal list of shortcomings and to celebrate the fact that forward motion toward the destination no matter how small or large the step is progression and a victory to be acknowledged for myself.

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