You are not a forger. You’re a trailblazer.


This month, our Word Carnival bloggers explain The Impostor Syndrome, a perplexing issue that affects both professionals and entrepreneurs. Do you ever feel like a phony? You’re not by yourself.

Drs Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes, two clinical psychologists, initially identified the Impostor Phenomenon in the 1970s after interviewing 150 highly successful professional women. Despite professional distinction, these ladies all reported feeling unfulfilled.

The following three characteristics were shared by both men and women suffering from the syndrome: • Discomfort that others thought you were better than you were

• Attributing your achievement to reasons other than your own work, aptitude, or talents.

It still occurs in a disproportionate number of extremely intellectual, competent, and successful individuals today. It is also not limited to women, as was previously assumed.

Not imposter, but innovator.
However, in the realm of the entrepreneur, I believe it manifests as the Innovator Syndrome and has the potential to undermine success. The symptoms are similar, but the etiology is different.

We are living in the midst of a digital revolution. Academics will write books about how this showed itself in society at large, but particularly in the corporate sphere, in future generations. For the time being, while we traverse it, taking in change at an unprecedented rate, all we can do with such a microscopic view of it is speculate.

Eighteen years ago, at our elder’s daughter’s end-of-year speech night, a visionary headmistress appealed for patience, noting that the occupations these girls were likely to accomplish had yet to be developed.

It was a startling thought, even though as an experienced graphic designer only a few years into the computerized version of my industry, I knew that most of what I was actually good at (using a rotring pen, ruler, set square, and cowgum) was already obsolete.

Today, I seldom encounter somebody who earns a living through their own efforts who isn’t involved in some activity that did not exist when my daughter’s headmistress delivered her prescient speech.

Even if the activity is based on an established profession, they are focused on developing a distinct ‘niched’ product.

Innovation begins with a niche.
Indeed, the combination of human brilliance and the digital revolution propelled this generation of business professionals into stratospheric invention from the moment the word niche became a fundamental pre-requisite for success.

Apart from making a salary, these decent individuals, of whom I am one, are also engaged in rigorous study, learning, developing, planning, and promoting their blended, extended, novel, and often sophisticated products to the globe.

It’s no surprise that they have a few syndromes. They are constantly put through the ringer. Friends first, then the market, as they try to distill their entire life’s expertise through the lens of their niched services.

Are they concerned about being discovered? Yes, absolutely. When they introduce this new offer, they are frequently only one or two steps ahead of the individual who will be charged for the service. Is it enough to label somebody a liar? Certainly not. They have an encyclopaedia of information as a foundation for the next two levels.

Are they sometimes hesitant to take the lead as the subject matter expert? Without a doubt. We become experts in our fields in ever-shrinking amounts of time.

Who ever heard of a clanmaker?
Before last year, who in the world was a ClanMaker? Seth Godin owned tribes, yet even he, as a brilliant inventor, may have been called on his views when he first began preaching the need of tribal leadership. Now mainstream, but not always.

So, if you perform an outstanding job, even if it is simply ahead of people you serve or those joining your specialty, and everyone praises you for it, do you feel confident in that praise? Unlikely.

You’re probably thinking that what you need to do is hone your offer, enhance your presentation, and execute it better. After all, this is how you now make a livelihood. However, there is no assurance that this is how you will make your living a year from now.

The Lizard has returned.
Where in our brains does the Impostor (Innovator’s) syndrome reside? I’m not a neuro-physicist, but I’d wager that the Lizard is the source of all those queries fueled by self-doubt and uncertainty. Our own demoraliser (there’s a new market for someone!).

We’ve been informed that the voice in our heads that doubts the legitimacy of everything we think and do is controlled by our prehensile brain in order to manipulate our safety. It doesn’t care about the quality of our creative thoughts. It just cares that we are paid enough to keep our bodies housed, warm, and fed.

Multiple Possibility Syndrome
This would have a significant impact on the professionals for whom this condition was initially identified.

However, for the entrepreneur, it either permanently binds them to the quest of the next bigger, brighter idea or, worse, muddies their existence with multiple possibility disorder. It keeps them stuck on the never-ending treadmill of concept to commercialization, never allowing them to accomplish spectacular results.

Is blogging a cure-all?
What can be done to address this?
This is likely to come out as very basic. However, blogging is a surefire cure for imposter slash innovator syndrome.

Not just any old blogging, but purpose-driven postings that leave no doubt that you know what you’re talking about. Blogging that is directed, consistent, and coherent wins its author the space of thought and tribe leader in their area.

When done consistently, it convinces even the most active Lizard that you know what you’re talking about and is a fantastic approach to silence it.

The following are nine stages to become a superb blogger:

1. Sharpen your focus You should be clear about why you do what you do. Everything you do on the internet is filtered via that goal. Building a decent community is excellent business, in my opinion.

2. Understand what you are portraying yourself as an expert, your business, your industry area, or your service as online. This may change, but rather than just slapping a blog onto the back of your existing business, be conscious of it.

3. Become an internet super sleuth. Investigate who is searching for the solutions to the problems you address and determine how you can better assist them.

4. Create a cohesive content strategy by laying it out according to the structure of your offer (e.g., 5 stages, 4 P’s, 7C’s, etc.).

5. Create categories based on your study and the structure of your product.

6. Maintain control over your internet presence. Own it; it’s a valuable corporate asset.

7. Learn to tell stories. Everything you do, everything you know, everything you are is a narrative. Your accomplishments tell a tale. Your failures are as well. People you work with are tales, as are your colleagues. Your clients’ troubles and missteps before to meeting you are a tale in itself.

8. Make close ties with individuals you appreciate and with whom you could cooperate. This takes time and is a lot more satisfying pastime than gathering a large number of likes, links, and followers online.

9. Always strive to give your reader with at least one take-away that will assist them go forward in their thinking, acting, or doing when you write.

Blogging rewards the inventor since it is the ideal platform for both informing and serving your audience. When you achieve both, you will form a clan. If your tribe understands why you do what you do, you’re unlikely to dismiss their support.

I’ll leave it at that. Brilliant blogging creates powerful clans, which cures both the Impostor and the Innovator Syndromes