In my last year of Graduate school I had the opportunity to take a leadership class with an amazing professor (who also told me to quit my job before it killed me) which assigned us (2) books to read for the semester. There was one that stuck out to me that discussed a feeling among leaders or business owner called Imposters Syndrome.
As a business owner we often feel like we are not the "real deal" or that we are in fact a "fraud" and will be exposed. It is very easy for us to look to the left and right or at others and feel like they are bringing it more than we have. It is very easy to look at social media and think "I am a loser" or "How come I cannot get it going?" , which is a sign of the imposter syndrome.
There are couple of things that we as business owners can do to combat the Imposter Syndrome:
#1 Do a success audit
I took a personal selling class where the professor has us do a 25 page resume of everything we have ever done in our lives. It seemed intimidating at first however we totally underestimate and downplay our achievements and it was much easier than we thought. We need to do a 25 page resume of all of our achievements and successes so that we have a reference when we need it. Save it as PDF or picture and save it to your phone so that its available at all times.
#2 Try something that scares the shit out of you
It seems very counter intuitive to do something that totally terrifies you when you are feeling like a "fraud" , however I know from personal experience that it will develop that courage muscle and add to your legitimacy. I picked up surfing about 5 years and heard everything from "What about sharks","Flesh Eating Bacteria", "Can you swim?" , well let me tell you something, none of it came true, the only thing that did happen was I lost about 25lbs, became a stronger swimmer, great Go Pro surfing videos, and made some lifelong friends. If you are working on your inner "Bad Assness" I highly encourage you to read "You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life" By Jen Sincero
#3 Get Moving
Yes get moving, physically go for a walk or run. When we sit and think we also begin to doubt ourselves and/or mission in life because our mind is logical, it wants to make sense of everything. The challenge with that is it only has past facts, has no information on the future. Author Mel Robbins in her 5 Second Rule Ted Talk said that if we don't physically take action in the first 5 seconds of us doing something towards achieving our goals our minds will begin to talk us out of it. So get moving, Run, Walk, Do some squats, etc. But please get moving so we can get closer to our goals and so that we do not feel like an imposter
As marketers we sometimes feel like because we have someones information i.e., e-mail and/or a mobile number we feel like we can message them when "we" feel like it with whatever message we are pushing at that time. My inbox is important to me and I like most love receiving messages, however I don't like wasting my attention and/or time and somethings in your inbox can do both. What is an inbox? I can be:
Photo Credit: https://me.me/t/put-some-respek-on-my-name?s=new
I had the fortune of growing up in the 1980s which was considered the "Crack Era" and we wanted stuff like gold chains, shoes, jeans, starter jackets or anything that made us look like we had some money. When I first got started I was a small time dealer who was getting joints to sell at school, basically enough to buy some Ice Cream and Big Macs (2 for $2.50). I just wanted to make a little change, however there were some key business lessons that I had taken away from my Drug Dealing experiences that can be applied to any business large or small.
Understand that it will take time to get Good
When you begin anything you will start off a novice, for example I started off selling joints at school at the age of 11, and it was not until I was in my mid 20's that I actually became a wholesaler. I had to come up through the rankings and learn. I lost money, got robbed, got scammed and even spent a few night in juvenile facilities. In business you will learn how your industry works and like Drug dealing you will experience loss, theft, scams and more. The key is to not give in or give up, had I stopped selling drugs when the first guy I gave credit to didn't pay me back I would not be able to give the lessons I am giving you today.
Have good relationships with multiple suppliers
When I was in the game suppliers could make or break your business, meaning that if the local plug (supplier) did not like you or was from another neighborhood you would likely pay a higher price or not get anything at all. The same holds true for business, your suppliers are everything to you, from the customer service to the turnaround time of delivering inventory. If your supplier is not responsive to your needs, it would be in your best interest to continue to look for another supplier. In drug dealing the smartest thing to do was to have options, if one supplier felt like they would lose your business to a rival you begin to gain a little more control over that relationship. They key is to stay on deck as we use to say, and if you have only one supplier you are at their mercy.
Credit Ruins Good Relationships
I remember when some of our customers were low on funds, usually in the middle of the week and towards the end of the month and they would ask for credit until they got paid. The challenge was that we didn't have a credit bureau to report to if and when they didn't pay and you risk going to jail for assault if you try to do them harm. What we also found was that like Lesson #2, we were not their only suppliers and if they did not feel like paying us back they could simply go to the dealers up the street. The lesson we learned was that even though we think we are helping the relationship by offering them credit, it ultimately makes us a less attractive option. The person could have very good intentions in the beginning, however some people are willing to risk the relationship over the debt.
I am by no means condoning Drug Dealing, however it is part of my past and I embrace the lessons I have learned and transferred those lessons into legitimate business advice. Please subscribe below.
Duane Cofield over 15 years selling Cocaine from the age of 11 in the gritty streets of South East San Diego. I know the "game" in and out and very few can show me something new..I am now a business owner and professor of business a a few Southern California Universities. I am available for consulting, speaking, coaching. Please subscribe to the Official Drug Dealers to Businessmen You Tube Channel Here