Anyone else feel like an imposter? - By Nick September 20, 2018 20:54
Sooooo... I feel like an imposter. Eek I said it out loud. No going back now.
It's a feeling that's been with me all my life, ever since I can remember. I battle with it every single day. I'm scared that one day somebody will realise that I haven't got a clue what I'm doing. That I'm out of my depth and that mostly I'm making it up as I go along. I make most decisions based on my gut, not on my in-depth knowledge of running a business.
It doesn't help that most days when I'm in the car I'll listen to business podcasts. Mostly they are about some 20 something American who has sold their protein bar for $500m after starting 2 years ago. Great. I end up getting to the office deflated that our brand isn't sold on every street corner yet. That must be my fault. What an awesome start to the day.
I'm a huge fan of meeting other food founders. Literally every single meeting I have ever been in I have learnt something. So later one day I head off to meet a founder I think is kicking arse in every way. They really do inspire me and I think they can do no wrong. I'm mega envious of them as they must have it all figured out.
Thirty minutes into the convo I let slip I have imposter syndrome. And you know what? They turned around to me and said. "So do I".
What? Hang on. This founder is awesome at her job. They have smashed it. Like you can't go a day without seeing their brand. How the bloody hell can she feel like one? But she did and no amount of praise from me made her feel any better. She just hides it deep inside and with a stiff upper lip carries on. How very British of her.
The fact is everyone feels like an imposter. It's normal. Actually it's better than normal as it means you are striving to do more. My imposter syndrome keeps me grounded. It tells me hourly I can do better, that nothing I do is enough. It forces me to look at literally everyone and try to be better than them. To read as much as I can. To meet as many brand owners as I can. To learn from them. Hear their stories. Find out about their learnings and ask for their opinions. To be as humble as I can and admit when I don't know something. To work hard. Harder than anyone I have met. It forces me to push through the tough times.
Would I be happier if I didn't have it? Most probably. But if I thought I was awesome I wouldn't keep pushing myself forward. My imposter syndrome is part of me and so I need to learn to embrace it. To nurture it and to learn when to use it to my advantage.
So if you think this blog is crap. That's ok. Because I've already had an argument with myself that no one will read this, let alone find it useful. But hopefully the inner me is wrong and you'll realise you're not alone.