Have you ever felt that way? I know I have.

You don’t have to spend much time online before it gets overwhelming. As a self-employed writer, solopreneur or small business owner, which ever definition you choose, I have done a lot of online learning in the past few years. Everything from better copywriting to how to do mixed media painting, (after all, we all need a diversion now and then).

Based on my search history, my subscriptions to various expert websites and articles that catch my attention, the bots now know to bombard me with more and more online learning opportunities. The never ending blare of promises to get rich, be an expert, grow a following and even become a more skilled watercolor painter.

All these opportunities are tantalizing and some are overly generous, so why wouldn’t I click the buy now button? ¬†After all, I want to grow my business, raise my rates, offer better services and yes…it would be cool to be good at watercolors. But I soon get to the point of overload and the disappointing and depressing conclusion that I’m not good at anything!

Fortunately, I’ve become good at identifying this cloud of doubt and turning it off. Unplugging, disconnecting, and taking an inventory of all my skills is a powerful antidote to the glowing internet promises of riches. Over the course of my adult years, I’ve had many jobs as a military spouse – every move meant I had to start over. While the majority of jobs were based on writing, I also processed life insurance claims, inventoried generic feminine hygiene products and booked Og Mandino’s speaking engagements. I used to cringe when presenting my resume to potential employers, thinking it showed how much I didn’t know instead of what I had to offer.

Maybe its maturity, maybe experience, but now I’m proud of all those odd jobs and career changes. As I continue to learn and explore what I’m not good at yet, I’m happy that I am a continual learner and purchaser of online programs.

As I share in my chapter “The Riches of a Rag-Tag Resume” in the book Overcoming Mediocrity, Vol. III, Strong Women, “Before you doubt yourself and ask, ‘What in the world do I have to offer?’ Make sure you are using the correct valuation. There are many measuring sticks in life, and a resume is only one of them. Knowing what you enjoy, what you love learning and practicing it is the riches reward.”

Maybe I will have time for that watercolor class.


Susan M Sparks offers copywriting, publishing services and coaching for aspiring authors. She is the author of four books and ghostwriter for many entrepreneurial non-fiction titles. She can be reached at Susan@ASAPWritingServices.com.