️Episode 072 – Giving Yourself Credit as a Consultant

“Giving Yourself Credit” is such a critical practice to succeed (and feel fulfilled) as a business owner. But, I notice time and time again that independent consultants (myself included at times) aren’t giving themselves credit for what they have accomplished and what they do know. 

By being mindful of your daily achievements, you can appreciate the progress you’ve made and recognize how far you’ve come.
And so in this episode, I share with you why this concept of giving yourself credit is so important to the success of your business and what it looks like when you’re not giving yourself credit. 

You’ll learn to identify where you’re not giving yourself credit in your business (blatantly and/or subtly) and how to turn it around so you improve the quality of your business decisions, truly feel and act like the CEO, and feel successful and in control.

  • [03:35] Recent observation of giving yourself credit
  • [01:46] Personal story of giving yourself credit
  • [08:23] Why this topic is on my mind this week
  • [09:09] How does “giving yourself credit” apply to your business
  • [10:00] How to identify when you are not giving yourself credit
  • [15:36] Why “giving yourself credit” matters 
  • [28:22] Why you’re not giving yourself credit
  • [30:07] The 3 step process to follow if you are not giving yourself credit


  • Check out the IC Business Predictability Assessment: https://www.ic-scorecard.com
  • EP. 061 – What’s Standing In the Way of You Making More Money With Less Worry In Your Consulting Business



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**note: This is an automated transcript, so please ignore spelling errors and grammar mistakes*


Today’s topic for the Grow Your Independent Consulting Business YouTube channel is giving yourself credit; this is a critical topic. On the surface, it might seem like this is nice to have or even a waste of time to worry about giving yourself credit. But I can assure you; that thione of the essential things that you’d do when you are running a consulting business. So today, I’m going to share why it’s so important and what you can do to give yourself credit in your business. And therefore taking away a really important obstacle is a really common obstacle I should say, for most consultants, that were causing you to stall in the business that’s causing you to plateau in your business is causing you to be so much less fulfilled in your business than you could be. So I kind of tell you, one of the reasons, you know, this is something that I see so often with independent consultants, we just tend to not give ourselves credit, because we’re the type of people you may relate to this, who loves to find problems and to solve problems. So we’re constantly scanning our environment for different challenges, problems, and improvements we could be making. But sometimes, that strength also becomes a weakness because we create a dynamic where we’re not recognizing what is going right and missing the opportunity to amplify that. So that’s why we’re talking about this today. And on a personal note, I chose this particular topic for this week’s video because I noticed that I was not only doing this in my own business but not giving myself enough credit. And I’ll tell you what that impact is in a moment. But also I started doing it to my, into my personal I won’t say I started, I’ve probably been doing it my whole life, let’s just be honest. But I noticed that I was starting to do this in my personal life. And it was starting to impact my child, who is the oldest, who’s a swimmer, you’ve heard him on this YouTube channel, before, actually not on YouTube, and he was on my podcast introducing it. But essentially, what I noticed was that he was he’s a competitive swimmer. He swims six days a week; he swims a lot. And going to the meets, I noticed that I was not looking at what he was accomplishing but rather focusing on well; he could have gone faster toward the wall, or why isn’t he kicking more? Let’s just let me be clear; I’m not saying any of this to him because I’m not a coach, nor am I qualified to be a coach, nor would I that any of that be helpful. Let’s just be clear. But at the same time, that’s so much of what my brain was focused on. How could he dial this in, right? But the but really, what I was missing was the bigger picture. It created an emotional experience for me. I’m past it now. But it is for the moment anyway. But I just noticed that I wasn’t giving him credit for what he had accomplished; I was constantly looking for what could be better. And as a result, I completely missed that he had been hitting all of these milestones, to the point where the way swimming works is essential. If you meet these certain time requirements, you qualify for a state that meets the end of the season state meet. I thought in my mind; that he had not qualified for anything that he wasn’t doing well, kind of within the team rankings of wouldn’t be on any invited onto any relays like that was sort of my thought process around it. When I went to look at the data when the team sent out the data. I was shocked. I think he had qualified for nine events and can only do 10. And he could only swim in nine, including two relays, which he was he made the top relay team. Like this, you know I’m sharing a very personal Raw Story with you.


How horrible I felt as a mom, but I share this with you because it highlights when you think about running if you’re doing the same thing to yourself in your business. And I can assure you I do the same thing that I’m doing the hit was doing to him in my mind to my business as well. And you may very well be doing the same thing to your own business, which is not giving yourself credit for where you’re actually. What ends up happening is that you’ve completely missed the data points to know where you are in your business to make decisions. Instead of thinking you’re further behind and making decisions from that point, this is why this is so important. If you’re making decisions from here, when your business is up here, your level of advancement and maturity is up here. You think it’s here; you’re going to be spending your time doing things like learning more researching, you know, better systems for business development, trying to figure out, you know, what, how to get started on certain things, making a really good routine for yourself, whatever that is down here, when in fact, it choosing your pricing models, every part of your business, the way you spend your time and the way you make your decisions would be down here, when in fact you’re up here. And if you give yourself credit for where you’re at up here, you make decisions at such a higher level of quality, as such a different vantage point. You think about yourself in a different way, in the way you’re contributing to your clients in your pricing models in your proposals that you’re crafting. It infuses every aspect of your business. And so that’s it, it’s so very important. And I see it so frequently. So today, I want to talk with you about how this could impact your business and give you some examples here, two or three examples of how this may be showing up for you and your business. They said how I see it with others. So the first example I’ll give you is a client who came to me and said, You know what, I’m not good at business development, you may be saying this to yourself, or you may even be saying it out loud. I’m not good at business development. When you think you’re not good at business development, even though you have clients, at least one, you’ve got probably a track record of clients; you end up just circling this kind of drain really of someone who isn’t good at thinking of yourself as not good as at business development. You think of yourself as a junior, someone learning how to do this and approaching it at a different level than if you said, You know what, I’m I’ve landed clients, I’m getting better at business development. I’m maturing my business development processes. Do you see the difference here, where you think you’re not good at it? I see it time and time again, especially in an example, I’m sharing with you, this particular client who felt he wasn’t good at business development. And he could tell me all the reasons why he thought that he kept him paralyzed at the end of the day; it kept him procrastinating. It kept him prioritizing, prioritizing other things other than business development when we started peeling back the onions and realizing, you know what he actually and he, you know, he started realizing on his own as I started challenging his thinking on this, that he’s good at business development for other people. He’s been very good at business development. For his past employers, he’s been very good at business development for other organizations, a few nonprofits that he’s been volunteering for very good at business development, where he’s not quite as skilled yet as business development for himself. So rather than saying, I’m just not good at business development, and making that blanket statement, it became such a narrow problem for us to work on that he isn’t yet quite good at selling himself. And so we can use the skills and results he’s got in other places, and, and transport that over to him selling himself. And we have a foundation from which to build on. So he’s up here. And he thinks he’s down here. Do you see and that is such a, I think example, you may resonate with another example.


I hear this all the time; I’m still figuring all of this out. I’m still trying to figure out how to run a business and deliver for my clients; for example, that’s such a common statement that I hear. And when you think that way, you oftentimes will apply the wrong tools to a given problem. So an example here is when you think you’re a newbie, a beginner, I’m just trying to figure out how to run a business. And you’re trying to figure out how to market and sell yourself. You may go out and start searching out all sorts of solutions. And you may come across solutions that are things like running ads or posting a bunch of times on LinkedIn every week, or you know, there are so many different techniques that you will come across. I can assure you if you’re on YouTube, you’ve seen most of them probably, those are not necessarily the right tools for what you’re trying to accomplish. When you’re thinking about it from the perspective and just trying to figure it out, you go down this rabbit hole of researching and finding these systems, but it doesn’t. They don’t apply to where you’re at in your business. So most of the time, versus thinking about yourself and giving yourself credit for, you know what, I’m good at X, Y, or Z, I’m good at networking, for example, I’m not figuring out how to network, I’m figuring out potentially how to convert certain better-converting networking conversations into opportunities. Do you see how that can lead you down such a different path? You’re not figuring out something big, you’re figuring out maybe something much smaller, a micro problem. So these are some examples of giving yourself credit for where you’re at in your business and not making these blanket statements of, I don’t know what I’m doing. As a business owner, I don’t know how to work on my business. And in my business, I’m not good at business development. Or the third one is a great one that I hear all the time to whatever I’ve accomplished doesn’t count, like this client just landed in my lap, that doesn’t count, and not giving yourself credit for what you did due to a track that thing that landed in your lap, quote, unquote. So again, these are important to figure out, where are you not giving yourself credit in your business, so that then you can understand where you’re ads and make decisions on priorities from there, versus from kind of lower down the scale or the maturity of your business. So today, I’m gonna walk you through a process where you can notice where this might be happening; you either not right now, in listening to this video can resonate to it at a macro level, knowing that you’re doing this quite frequently, or it might be a little bit more subtle. And so I want to walk you through the process to figure out where you’re doing this in your business, both blatantly and subtly. And then the three steps we can put in place for you to fix it. So that’s our specific agenda for today, how to recognize this business problem, why it matters, why you’re not giving yourself credit, and let’s just talk a little bit about the root causes. So you know why you might be doing this to yourself, and it’s fixable. And then finally, I’ll give you those three steps, or those three keys on how to start giving yourself credit so you can get out of this zone and into a more mature business owner and CEO mindset. All right.


So before I get started, though, I just want to remind you, if you haven’t seen this yet, it’s so impactful for you in your business. It’s called the icy scorecard. It is an independent consultant business scalability assessment, you’ll go to my website, put in your name and email, and then it will ask you 26 quick-hitting questions that take two or three minutes to answer. And based on those answers, you’ll get a 20-page report personalized and tailored to you, your business, and the answers you gave so that you can figure out where the priorities would be for you to scale your business. And by scale, I mean that your business doesn’t become harder or more complicated to run; you can make more money, and you can make more revenue and profit. At the same time, working in a much more streamlined fashion. You don’t even have to take on team members or subs if you don’t want to. So this gives you that insight into what you can start tackling to grow your business from a profitability and impact perspective without needing to grow the level of complication in the business. You can have the opposite: a more simplistic business model and more time off. And if you do it the quote-unquote, the right way. So go take that a scalability assessment. So you’ve got that personalized reporting and can start taking action against it because that’s why you’re here. You want to grow your independent consulting business. And I want to help you do that most simplistically. So that in the most straightforward, streamlined way. So go take that. It’s free and will give you some really good starting points to scale your business. Okay, so let’s now dive into this topic of giving yourself credit. And the first thing I’ve given you is some really good examples. I want to share with you a few more for you to be able to recognize whether or not where you have this business problem. I’m not going to say whether or not you have this business problem because I’ve worked with so many independent consultants that have this problem that it’s incredibly rare if you don’t. Again, it may be blatant or very sneaky, but it sounds like I’m not good at business development. I’m not good at sales. I’ve never done this before. This is News. To me, and you might say, well, Melisa, it is no to me. And it could be. But when you think someone is new to you, it means it sends you as I explained to you in that example, it sends you down such a different path than if you were to say to yourself, whatever it is that feels new to you, I’ve done something like this before just a different flavor of it. That’s such a different mindset and approach, and we’ll send you into it’s such a different kind of solving pattern, then if you just think it’s brand new that you’re is as if you just graduated from college, which you did not. So that’s why I’m saying that this can be sneaky.

Another example that you might be saying the inner dialogue could be, I’m not exactly sure what my consulting offer is, or I don’t know what I want to offer to my clients; I just keep making this kind of one-off offers based on who’s coming to me asking me for help. And it gets you stuck in an inability to create a consulting offer versus what I already know. Another way, this inner dialogue, maybes showing up where you’re not giving yourself credit is I’m not sure how to price this, I’m still figuring out fill in the blank, I’m learning to fill in the blank, all of these types of inner dialogue can seem so innocent. But at the end of the day, this is what’s giving, keeping you kind of at a plateau or hitting a ceiling, in the revenue that you’re creating, in the profit you’re creating, in the impact that you’re creating, in the way that you’re using your time, both as a business owner and as a consultant delivering the services. So if you’re saying these types of things to yourself, in a blatant or a sneaky way, that’s how you know you have this business problem. And one of the root causes of the ceilings you’ve probably hit is your income, or how much time you have to work to create that income.


So now that you recognize the problem was talking about what So what’s the harm? Why is this even a problem? Because a lot of times, right, these questions seem innocent or even factual in some ways. But like I’ve been saying to you, this is what’s keeping you stuck in your business. And stuck, it could be, you keep hitting against the same problem, maybe you’re making a low hourly rate compared to what you could make, maybe you’re charging hourly. You want to move into value-based pricing, maybe you’re wanting to start creating advisory and retainer type work, and you’re not able to get in, make that transition, wherever it is that you’re or maybe you’re working 40 5060 hours a week, and you want to get it down to 30 or 40. Wherever you’re getting stuck. Most of the time, it comes back to some form of not giving yourself credit and, therefore, not solving it by thinking about and solving your business challenges from the right vantage points. So for an example, I’ll give you several here; you might be missing out when you think. Here’s a great example, I had a client who came to me I think it was March or April. It was q1, early q2. And that client said, ” You know what, I this, these are my we’re just going through the basics of their business to get started. And they were explaining to me as they went through these basics, and just collecting all the numbers, kind of like my son’s swim team, right? If we just even knew what the data points were, that would be helpful. So this client was putting together what their financials current financials were, also what their projected financials were, and what their pipeline looked like. Those are the three key things. And as we dove into the clients, this light bulb went off all of those numbers. And they said, Wow, I’m now that I see all of this on paper. And I remind myself what goal I set for this year; I’m actually at 100% visibility, that I’m going to hit this goal, and it’s only April. So think about that. Just those critical pieces of information and giving yourself credit for where you’re actually out in business versus where your mind thinks you are is usually a lie. But not an on-purpose lie, right? It’s just that our brain is designed to tell us things are not going well. And so when you have the actual numbers of operating against for this client, and for you too, she made her decision so much differently about the types of clients she wanted to pursue for the rest of the year. The types of offers she wanted to make for those clients and the types of solutions she wanted to implement.

Such a different vantage point when she gave herself credit for where she was. Similarly, you might be another example of this, and you might be thinking about your business as if it’s in a different phase than it’s at this. This builds upon an example I just gave you a minute ago. Right? When you think that your business’s brand is new, or you’re just figuring this out, or you’re learning how to be a business owner, and you’ve had several clients under your belts, you end up pursuing such different frames and different strategies to grow your business; it’s very different to grow your business from, I’ve never had a client. And maybe even I haven’t left corporate yet. It’s very different to grow your business from that vantage point than from the vantage point of I’ve got a couple of clients under my belt. And so now, how do I want to make this more repeatable and scalable? So again, when you don’t give yourself credit for where you’re actually at, you end up stalling and making your growth much slower. You also end up procrastinating because you feel like you’re not good at something or something’s hard for you or that it doesn’t come naturally to you. Of course, you’ll procrastinate versus giving yourself credit for what you’ve already done. Giving yourself credit for what you already know. And operating from that vantage point to light the kindling in a fire. And if we were to use that analogy and be able to build upon that. So those are the types of things when you think that you’re not at when you’re not giving yourself credit, you end up self-sabotaging or what I like to call business sabotaging, you end up burning out, you end up procrastinating, you end up under underpricing yourself, you end up overworking, you end up following strategies that don’t match up to where you’re out at in your business. And that’s ultimately what creates those ceilings for you.


So now that you know the harm in this, let’s just, oh sorry, one more, one more slide on this, and then we’ll move on. And so I want to drive this home when you’re not getting it. So I drew a picture for you to think about you climbing a mountain. And you know, there’s a little flag at some point on the top. It might be kind of over on the edge. So you can’t see the flag. But you know, it’s up there. When you think you’re down here, kind of at the beginning of the hike, instead of almost to the flag. You have such a different thought process going on. Like, Oh, I better conserve my energy. Oh, this is going to take a long time. Versus, oh my gosh, I’m almost there. I just need to push to the summit. It’s such a different mentality, right? And so think about it when you think about it from your business perspective, if you think you’re kind of toward the beginning of the hike versus almost to some form of a summit. It’s going to feel like such a harder task to get to the top, and it’s going to feel like a heavy lift to get to the top. And so you end up procrastinating, wasting time, solving the wrong problems in your business, and ending up being such an emotional and energetic drain. And you end up kind of if you think you’re not as far along as you are or you don’t know as much as you do, you end up creating a dynamic where it ends up taking you so much longer you slower growth, a stall the plateau we’ve been talking about as a result of this. Another quick analogy that I love here, one of my colleagues shared this with me, so I’ll pass it on to you. It’s almost as if you’ve made the Think back to high school if you played high school sports. And you made the varsity team, and you’re a starter. Maybe you’re just on the bench. Let’s use that analogy. You made the varsity team, and you’re on the bench. But you’re on the varsity team. You may still have some more skills to sharpen, but you’re on the varsity team. But you still think of yourself as like on the freshman JV or junior varsity team. That’s so different of a mentality and how you see yourself if you’re approaching the game as if you’re like the freshman bench warmer. It’s very different than if you give yourself credit for being on the varsity team. And you know someone they see as a contributor to that to the highest level of the team in high school, for example. So different same with your business. Suppose you see yourself as this benchwarmer, someone who’s just getting started and brand new and learning how to run a business. So different than you know what I’ve done this 1000 times in different ways, maybe not for myself. Have, but for other people, and all I need to do is transfer those skills. Do you see the difference there? That’s why this is so important. Okay, let’s talk about why you’re doing this to yourself. At the end of the day, you are a consultant, someone who loves solving problems, and you’re wired to solve problems. So this is one of your strikes; it just happens to also be one weakness. Our greatest strength is often our biggest weakness, right? And so this would make perfect sense that you’re focused on solving problems. So rather than giving yourself credit for where you’re at and not seeing a problem, just seeing, you know, something you can continue to grow, you end up creating and recreating the same problems over and over again. So it’s simply a matter of your strength backfiring on you. And it’s most undoubtedly fixable. That’s the most important thing here. This is fixable. So let’s wrap up today with how to fix it, give yourself credit, and give yourself credit so that you can solve your business challenges from the proper vantage point. And not from that seat warmer spot on the freshman bench. Not from the bottom of the mountain when you’re almost to the top. So the three steps here are number one, be aware, and figure out where is this showing up in your business. And I gave you some of those examples earlier in this video. Assume that it is because it’s often a challenge they see for other independent consultants. So most likely, it’s happening to you. Whether it’s blatant or sneaky, as I described, find it and figure out where you’re not giving yourself credit. Then get the facts. Where are you like figure out where on the mountain in the hike? Are you relative to whatever the summit is, in this case, your goal?


Use Get the facts like my son’s swimming, right? Go figure out what you are for him; it was like fit. Let’s figure out what your times are, your best times compared to the qualifying times. And then figure out if there’s a problem here or not. Qualitative and quantitative facts. And then finally, purposefully shift your vantage point, redirect it not from I’m striving or I’m learning, or I’m just beginning, or I haven’t done this, or I’m not good at it. This isn’t who I am. Instead, ask yourself, where I have done this before? How is what I’m doing already working, and I can build upon it? How do I already know how to do this? And quite frankly, this is a topic for another video, which I promise will come in the future. But quite frankly, rather than putting yourself behind where you’re at and trying to run your business from that point, put yourself ahead of where you are, and run your business. From that vantage point. From the vantage point of the person who has already achieved whatever you want to accomplish. That’s the ultimate way to purposefully shift your vantage point. But in the meantime, if you can’t quite get yourself to the version of you as a business owner who’s accomplished what, what you want to have accomplished, and the way you would be thinking about things from that vantage point, at least give yourself credit for where you are. All right. So that’s what I have for you today; go put this into action. Go do those three things that I just described to you. Step one, step two, step three, and then go take that independent consultant’s business scorecard to see where you’re at from a scalability perspective; it will help you to pinpoint exactly for you where you might be holding yourself back in terms of being able to scale your business. So you make more money, you have more impact, and you can have more fun and joy and fulfillment doing it. All right. So that’s what I have for you today. If you’re interested in understanding more about what I do as a coach for independent consultants, you can go to my website, Melisa lieberman.com, and see the work with me page. You can see a lot more about the private coaching I offer for independent consultant business owners. And so go check that out as well. Nonetheless, here we go. Take that scorecard as the first step, and then look at the work with me page and see more about the program. So be sure to take those two steps, and I look forward to seeing you again next week. Take care.

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