How imposter syndrome mutilates your dreams (and how to fix it)
Yesterday, I had a meeting with one of my pupils.
He’s run into a couple of obstacles in the online biz world, and asked for my advice.
Here’s his sitch:
He’s fresh out of the corporate world, has a young son, and his anti-entrepreneurial wife is giving him flack because the world of entrepreneurship means sacrificing consistent pay. Of course, you can get paid more, but you get paid less often.
Well, they’ve both had corporate and “stable” jobs their whole lives, so the lack of consistency bugs her. It’s hard to blame her.
Anyway, he wanted to know what he should do, so he doesn't have to go back to a soul-sucking corporate job again.
He’s a copywriter fresh off the turnip truck (as the great Ben Settle would say), and he’s struggling with a severe case of Imposter Syndrome. In fact, his imposter syndrome holds him back from reaching out to potential clients in his niche. He even admitted that, yes, he has some fear of failure too. (Though, I kinda think he has a fear of success, which is a much more potent, powerful, and crippling form of fear.)
Here’s what I told him:
First, buy Profit First by Mike Michalowicz. He also has some real estate investments, but he’s not taking any profit from it because he’s investing it back into his business — typical “success” advice. But mayhap not the best way to use his money? Profit First will help him fix that.
Second, I told him I still have Imposter Syndrome. It doesn’t discriminate, it can attack anyone at any time. It ravages me when I least expect it, but I do not let it stop me.
Third, I told him he has to start reaching out to his niche — and let the chips fall where they may.
When I quit my business, I had one partial paycheck coming in that month, and not a-one client. I had to reach out because I made it my Mission to start a successful business.
And I had many opportunities to quit, especially early on:
My first niche I picked—chiropractors in my surrounding area—led to not even one reply to my cold emails. I sent hundreds of these emails and got nada.
Then, I biffed hardcore on my first ever sales call with a yoked-out-of-his-mind keto influencer.
Another example: My first client, a complete and utter bozo, paid me a small chunk of change to write an insane amount of emails. He didn’t have an offer anyone wanted, and I had my first “come to Jesus” moment with copywriting: The best copy in the world can’t sell a shit offer.
So, I refunded this jabroni. Truthfully, I never thought he’d want the refund. And since my invoicing app takes a percentage of my invoices, I actually lost money with my first “client.”
And can you believe this sucker had the audacity to dangle working together again in the future? As soon as I sent him his money back, I vowed I’d never work for him again.
None of these humiliating failures stopped me. The Imposter Syndrome loomed at my neck, waiting to maim me, but I kept truckin.
And the last piece of advice I gave him?
You’re gonna fail. There ain’t no avoiding failure.
But the sooner you fail, the quicker you get the information you need to succeed:
Take the story above for example. Reaching out to hundreds of chiropractors without one reply told me that this was a terrible niche. Biffing on the sales call let me know that I needed to use a sales script. Losing money on my first client taught me that I can only work with mfs with a proven offer.
Failure stings, yes. It intensifies your Imposter Syndrome. And it makes some people quit.
But there’s more to learn from your failures than there is from your success.
Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.
Hope you got something from this email.
If you have a business with a proven offer and you wanna dump jet fuel on your growth, book a Discovery Call here, and let’s chat.