3 Powerful Ways to Embrace & Utilize Entrepreneurial Imposter Syndrome

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6 Strategies to Make a Profit in Your Business

Summary: Have you ever felt like a fraud in your own venture, silently questioning your worth or your right to lead? You're not alone—and you're not at fault. This deep dive explores the complexities of imposter syndrome and unveils it as not just an individual crisis but an environmental reflection. More importantly, it doesn't stop at diagnosis; it offers a three-act playbook to turn this supposed 'weakness' into your secret weapon. 

Whether you're on day one or day one thousand, these actionable strategies are your keys to building a resilient, confident entrepreneurial persona. Stick around until the end, and you'll discover how to shape an empowered environment for not just you but your entire team. Ready for your transformation? Read on.

What is imposter syndrome?

Imposter syndrome is the persistent psychological experience where individuals doubt their own skills, talents, or accomplishments, accompanied by an ongoing fear of being exposed as a 'fraud.' It's not just a trendy term; it's an intricate emotional labyrinth studied since as far back as 1978. Contrary to common belief, this syndrome isn't so much a sign of personal inadequacy as it is a reflection of the environment you're in. Think of it like this: if imposter syndrome were a plant, then the environment—be it your workplace, societal expectations, or even your internal dialogues—acts as the soil in which it grows or withers.

A kid pretending to have a mustache.

Imagine you've baked an incredible cake, yet you're terrified to serve it because you think anyone who tastes it will discover you've never been to culinary school. That's imposter syndrome in a nutshell.

Picture this: I once wore the cloak of imposter syndrome in my own business endeavors, much like a child sticks a fake mustache to their lip, pretending to be someone they're not.

People often wonder how I transitioned into business consulting. It all started when I realized my first business had become a pair of tight shoes—constricting and limiting. I yearned for a new adventure where I could unleash my passion for business and education—two things that make my heart sing. I wanted to create a stage where I could transform lives, one business at a time.

But then came the haunting questions: "Who exactly do I think I am?" and "What credentials do I have for this new chapter?" It's as if imposter syndrome threw a pie in my face during my debut. I had succeeded in my previous venture, sure, but how did that qualify me for what lay ahead?

I could have drowned in this self-doubt, but instead, I found a way to turn the tables. Here's the plot twist: I started using that inner critic to fuel my drive. Now, I want to share my top three strategies to help you harness this challenging emotion for your own success.

3 Tips to Embrace & Utilize Entrepreneurial Imposter Syndrome

Tip 1: Embrace Your Day One.

1. Embrace your day one. 

Woman smiling with head out of car window, embracing the moment.

This tip is all about breaking down the barriers created around newness. There is always a fear of judgment at the beginning. I often hear people trying to use their newness as a qualifier. “Oh, I have only been in business for a year,” or “Well, I don’t really know what I am doing because my business is so new.” This is self-doubt and a form of imposter syndrome.

Think about the last time you tried a new recipe. You followed each step meticulously, but in the back of your mind, you were worried: What if it doesn't turn out as expected?  

Entrepreneurship is no different. When you're starting out, it's natural to cling to your 'Day One' status as a safety net for potential failure. 

But remember, even the giants in your field had their day one, and it's impossible to reach day 100 without starting there. So, don't devalue your journey's beginning; honor it. It's your origin story—the prologue to your tale of triumph.

Tip 2: Find Confidence by Breeding Courage

Have you ever watched a child learn to ride a bike? I remember teaching my sons. The first few times, they were a bundle of nerves, wobbling and hesitating. And then, suddenly, they would just take off.

Why? Because they found their courage.

Remember, courage isn't about eradicating fear; it's about negotiating with it.

It's about telling fear, "I acknowledge you, but you can't drive my life." And the moment you do that, my friend, you don't just become confident; you become unstoppable.

2. Find confidence through courage.

Person parasailing and being courageous.

Have the courage to stand up to your fears so that you can cultivate the confidence you need in your business. The moment you push fear to the backseat is the moment you take control—igniting the confidence you need to steer your business towards success.

Tip 3: Build Competence to Overcome the Imposter

3. Build your competence.

Diagram showing the aspects of competence.

The final tip I want to share with you today is that you have to build your competence.

It is easy to feel like you don’t have confidence when you aren’t sure you are competent in what you are doing. You wouldn’t get behind the wheel of a car without knowing basic things such as the gas pedal is to go, the brakes are to stop, and the steering wheel changes your direction. 

Think about it — competence isn't only about skill; it's about belief. If you don't believe you can, no amount of skill can save you.

So how do you fix your competence? 1. Believe in yourself. 2. Continue to build the skills in your trade.

Then, as you are out there selling your business, you can openly and freely give people the liberty to choose you or not. Keep extending your offer. You have trained to be competent, and you believe in yourself. If people do not choose you, it may simply not be time. Either way, you can move forward in confidence.

Final Thoughts: Crafting Your Own Narrative

Feeling inspired? Great. But inspiration without action is like a car without fuel. Start journaling your fears, and next to each one, write down one action you can take to confront it. Before you know it, you'll be an imposter syndrome whisperer.

You're not just an entrepreneur. You're the architect of your own destiny—and by extension, the atmosphere in which your team operates. Consider yourself the director of a blockbuster movie: the tone, the pace, the environment—it's all on you to set the stage.

Imagine a team where competence isn't just valued but celebrated, where the freedom to fail is not a risk but an investment in growth. It's not a dream; it's within your reach.

One of my favorite quotes by Brene Brown says, “One day you will tell the story of how you overcame, and it will be someone else's Survival Guide.”

There is nothing more powerful than a team that has the competence to try, who's not afraid of the repercussions, and who is embracing the learning and using it to fuel their future.

I believe that is very possible for you. If you need help getting your rockstar team, let's chat!

If you enjoyed this article, check out  5 Ways to Use Leverage in Your Small Business to Scale Successfully.

About Leslie Hassler