Imposter Syndrome is Bad Business...How to Feel Like You Belong

Imposter Syndrome is Bad Business...How to Feel Like You Belong

Imposter syndrome is no joke.

It’s this feeling like you don’t belong here. You’re a fake, an imposter. And everyone knows it.

Unfortunately, it’s really common for women in business. I’ve struggled with it and I know so many of my friends have as well.

It’s also really bad for your business. It makes you chase accomplishments and take bad deals to prove to yourself, and others, that you do belong here.

So here’s how to beat imposter syndrome and start making better decisions in business.



Find Your Role Models

We’re raised to associate business with a man in a suit. Don’t believe me? Go to a stock photo website or google image search and type in “business”. Almost every image you see is male.

And that gets into our heads. We think businesses are run by a man in a suit, and not by a young woman wearing ripped jeans who forgets to wash her face at night.

And so we naturally feel out of place.

That’s why we need our role models. People who look like us, have similar backgrounds, or are building similar companies. They don’t have to be the ones you see on the cover of a magazine or the ones your friends think are cool. They can just be women who’ve built a business that you admire.

Seeing their journey can help you feel like you do belong here and you can do it, too.


Focus on Your Advantages

The way most people think of business is traditionally masculine. But women are starting to build businesses that play to their strengths as well. And this is a huge competitive advantage.

In a recent study, women’s businesses were better at pricing their products and achieving higher profit margins. And it’s because they shared information with each other.

In a traditional business, if you had a bad experience with a supplier and you lost thousands of dollars, you’d keep that information to yourself. Everyone in the market would be trying that supplier, losing thousands, and decreasing their profits. They’re not sharing information and they’re all bringing each other down.

But women-owned businesses are more likely to tell each other about that bad supplier. One person makes a mistake, they share it, and others avoid that costly mistake. So everyone’s profits are higher. By sharing information, they’re all lifting each other up.

We may not look like traditional business owners and that’s a good thing. We’re capable of more.


Go For It

Studies show that women are more likely to wait until they’re qualified. We don’t think of ourselves as business owners until we’ve been in business for a year, or full-time, or hit a sales number. We don’t apply for speaking engagements or press until we have the right education or credentials. We don’t look for capital until we have a certain number of sales or mentors.

But to the outside world, we are qualified. And if we put ourselves out there, amazing things will happen.

We’re never going to be perfect and we’re never going to feel ready. We just have to put ourselves out there anyway.


Get Perspective

Imposter syndrome isn’t something that goes away. I still have days when I feel like I’m not good at this or I don’t belong here. That’s why it’s important to constantly remind yourself of why you do belong here.

Your business may not be everything you want it to be right now. But it’s an amazing thing. Whether it’s made $200k or $20. That’s money you made happen for yourself.

If you can do that, at any level, you get to call yourself a business owner. And believe it!

PodcastNicole SwartzMindset