Ep. 146 – Have you ever heard of imposter syndrome? In this episode, Chris shares his take on the subject including his own personal experience with imposter syndrome and how he was able to overcome it. He also talks about the implications it has on anybody providing the service of automation. If you’ve been struggling with imposter syndrome, you don’t want to miss this pep talk on how to kill the imposter and simultaneously kill one of the primary threats to your success.
You’re listening to the off systems go podcast, the show that teaches you everything you need to know to put your business on autopilot. Learn how to deploy automated marketing and sell systems in your business the right way with your host, the professor of automation himself and founder of automation bridge, Chris Davis.
Chris Davis 0:32
Welcome to another episode of The all systems go podcast, where we invite founders and digital marketers to discuss and share strategies and software to help you scale your business. I’m your host, Chris L. Davis, the founder of automation bridge. And on this episode, in this episode, I want to talk about killing the imposter. And I did not know, I have to admit, I did not know of the imposter syndrome. Until maybe three years ago, in my life. I believe I have participated, I have definitely participated in the imposter syndrome in the past. And as I’ve just been working with various companies and startups, and, and and just been put into a lot of interesting positions, to say the least, I’ve come to realize and know this idea, a little more intimately. So that it’s not as me say, um, is is is not as common as it’s used in the marketplace, right? You know, you can hear these terms, and then they don’t really mean much to you, but you use them or you, you, you feel like you can relate to them without experiencing them. So I’ve actually experienced the imposter syndrome as, as spoken about and overcome it. And here’s what I want to share, I want to kind of share how I did it, but not in there. I want to also talk about the implications it has on anybody providing the service of automation. Okay, I want to make it specific to automation. So, so just out the gate, I want to let you know, there’s three words that will solve you from participating in the imposter syndrome. And and for those of you who who don’t know what that is, I’m not going to give you like the scientific or professional definition of it. It’s essentially faking it until you make it. How about that? We’ve heard it, hey, fake it till you make it. You know, don’t let them don’t let them see you sweat. There’s an element of that, that is required in just about anything that you do in life, but it also needs to be balanced, it really does. So I do not participate in the fake it till you make it mantra at all. I have, I believe that you can let me not get ahead of myself. So that’s the, that’s the imposter syndrome is putting on a show. Or let’s say selling a show that you cannot perform in. Alright, so you aim this big movie box office, and then you show up and you’re like, sorry, everybody. That’s not that I’m not that person. That was all. What is it deep, deep fakes. That wasn’t even be in the in the in the trailers. So that’s the imposter syndrome. And there’s three words that help you that to help you. I don’t know. And what I’m telling you is this. You don’t have to say those words to somebody. But you have to say them to yourself, okay. And when you say them to yourself, you have to own it. Okay, you have to own the fact that you don’t know. And this is the problem, most of most of the people who who participate in the imposter syndrome are not embracing that fact. And in all actuality, they’re not being honest with themselves. And I don’t know about you, I do a lot of work, personal work, professional, work, mental, all of that I’m a fan of therapy and everything. And what I’ve learned to be true is that nobody will treat you better consistently than they treat themselves. So if somebody is not honest with themselves, you cannot expect them to be honest with you consistently. It has nothing to do with you and what am I doing? Am I not a trustworthy person is people tend to take that weight on, but has nothing to do with you more than it’s their inability to acknowledge in themselves, what’s taking place. So if I’m not going to give it to me, if I don’t love myself, if I’m not honest with myself, if I don’t do these exams, I just my acknowledgments in myself, like I’m doing for you. What do I look like lying to me and telling the truth to you?
Chris Davis 5:09
Right? Like, what? That doesn’t even seem right. I’ve got to be consistent. People have to be consistent. We’re actually psychologically wired that way. So anyways, this is not where I’m trying to go with this. This podcast is just a little parenthetical insert. And what I want to say is this, I don’t know, sing it to yourself, is what begins the process of killing the imposter. Okay. And what I want you to focus on to help you say that is Tony Robbins, Tony Robbins said this many years ago, and many, maybe some of you were live maybe in the room when he when he mentioned this, but it’s something that stuck with me, I kind of like heard it in passing. And at the time, I didn’t realize how powerful it was until later on in my life and in my career. But essentially, Tony Robbins, since that resource, not verbatim resourcefulness is greater than what I call quote, unquote, source SNESs. And what he was saying was too many people are trying to be the source, the person that knows it all, instead of being the resource that can get things done, you’re too busy trying to do it all, that you haven’t become the valuable resource to help people get it done. And I have to say, again, at the time, it meant nothing. I was like, Oh, that’s a cool thing. But it stuck with me. And I now realize you don’t have to be the source. And at times, honestly, people aren’t expecting you to you are, you’re the one with the wrong expectation of yourself, right. And I think that being a resource is highly being resourceful, is highly undervalued, extremely undervalued, if it one could argue it’s more valuable in certain in certain contexts, then being the person that can do it all just being connected, hey, can you figure this out? Right. And even in that, even in that event, you still have to be willing to say, I don’t know. Right? But here’s what what often happens. client has needs, right? client has needs, you meet those needs, with all types of technological magic and strategy and all of that. It’s it’s a list, it is a party that you are glad you are invited to. And you’re not trying to in no time. So you need something else got a tool for that, huh? You got a process can automate that. Right? And it gets to the point where your client gets used to you meeting their needs. So what what this is human psychology? What if I see something that’s working? And it feels good to me? Right? It’s a good experience. I want more of that good experience. So it’s not like people are out here trying to get you. Ah, you’re an imposter. Got you. I asked you to do so much. And you said yes, I knew it. No, nobody’s trying to operate like that. What I’m saying is, it’s natural. If you’re if you’re providing a good service, you’re doing something well, that that person continue to experience that good thing, right? So the client keeps asking you to meet more and more needs. You don’t want to let the client down. You don’t want to take your cape off. You don’t want them to see your humanity. Right, that you don’t want them to see Clark Kent with the glasses.
Chris Davis 8:41
Right. Although he had a nice career. Some most people say wasn’t bad look, I mean, it’s not like he was a loser. But compared to Superman, yes, me. Jay Z is a shell of himself. However, he’s valuable as an individual. Right? But you don’t want them to see that. It’s actually okay for them to see that. So, because you don’t want to let them down. You don’t want to take your cape off. And I’m saying cape is because I’ve prided myself, any of you who have attended any of my masterclasses are or anything like that. I tell you, I give digital marketers their superhero cape, right, but it’s not intended for them to be the superhero. It’s intended for the system, the work that you do to be the superhero, the focus is never on you focuses on the results that you can produce for your for your clients. Okay, so your yes expands to all other areas you are not proficient in at all and an expertise that is outside of the original scope, scope creep. You find yourself doing so much in areas that you don’t really know about, that you’re spreading yourself then you can produce a excellent result for your client. And in the end, the project does not end In excellence, and neither party is involved, not involved satisfied. It doesn’t end well for either parties involved. Okay. Let me share, let me share with you what that look like for me in the past is in the in this is why you hear me say I don’t touch Social Media I used to do that I used to, you know, because I could do email marketing is a marketing automation, people would naturally have desire for me to do stuff on social media and I would say, oh, yeah, sure. What the heck was I doing? I’m getting myself signed up for creating graphics, understanding these algorithms posting, the most boring activity that I find in my life is posting on social media, not I like using social media, don’t get me wrong. And in putting thought provoking posts. What I’m saying is, as a professional, all of these things that I can do automate email tags, dynamic workflows, conditional outputs, and you want me to log in, upload an image and hit publish. So mundane. Right? I’m not demeaning or speaking down to social media managers. I love them. Right? I’m just saying, for me, that was the type of work that did not give me value in return. But I said yes, so I’m not doing it in excellence, I don’t really care about it. So therefore, you’re not going to get the best out of it. And I did that for years. And that’s just one area. I’ve been faking it till I was making it in a lot of areas. That’s just one, I just want to give you that example. Because instead of me saying, Hey, Chris, instead of them say, Hey, Chris, can you do this on social media? I gave you the three words, I don’t know. To help you start to get to the real word, what’s the real word? Everyone, you actually don’t need those three, if you’re ready for the real world, the real word is no. Simply put. Now, let me go back to the psychological side, some of you don’t have been some of you dealing with rejection, we all deal with some level of rejection. Hearing no is very hard for you, therefore saying no is even harder. Hence why you don’t have boundaries. Hence why your clients in their projects don’t have boundaries. Hence why you find yourself under the imposter syndrome in your life. Now, I’m not here to solve all your mental problems. And I’m not here to diagnose you. I’m just here to give you one use case, one possibility of how this is happening in your life and just know that impostor syndrome is sabotaging your career. Okay, now, all of that is fine and dandy. That could have been in the Help self help book that could have been on some other podcasts talking about personal development and, and mental awareness and health. Why am I talking about this on the all systems go podcast where we specialize in marketing automation, because there are repercussions to automation when you operate like this. Three main ones that come to mind with definitely more than that, and then one I really want to drive home. One is, it results in a lack of faith in technology.
Chris Davis 13:07
For the business owner, when they hire you, especially if you’re an automation service provider, we don’t do this, by the way. So it’s okay, we’re not perfect, don’t get me wrong. But we do a very good job of not showing up in the marketplace like this. When someone hires you, they’re putting a lot of confidence in you. And when you start to propose technology and in promise results from that technology, you’re setting a bar and expectation is not met. They don’t just lose faith in you. So why it’s selfish for you to do that you freelancers out there on Upwork and Fiverr, that are doing terrible jobs, just horrible jobs, right. Because you know how to click a few buttons in a CRM and a landing page platform and send an email, you’re you’re giving hope to these people that you’re actually doing something that’s going to help their business grow and shame on them for not doing the research. But anyways, when things like that happen, they lose faith in technology. The person is interchangeable, but the technology is technology and they take that same battered and bruised mindset into the next project into the next project. And by the time we talked about the automation ambulance on here, but by the time they reach you, they’re all battered and bruised, busted and disgusted and just help. I don’t have any money. I’m bleeding out just hell, right. And we’re like, what happened to you? Okay, so that’s one lack of faith in technology. Another one is losing money. By paying for tech they can’t use and or don’t need, because it was probably not matched with their strategy accurately. That’s just one reason it could be a variety, but they’re left with no trust in technology and then with more technology than they can use. This is a terrible experience by the way. You If If I were to stay in the vein of, of mental health and personal development and psychological wiring, one could say, this is traumatic. One could say you are creating a traumatic experience with technology operating as an imposter. Am I embellishing? I don’t think so. I think this is accurate, everyone, I’m pretty sure it’s accurate. Now, I’m not gonna compare this to your childhood trauma. I’m just saying that it’s a level it is. It’s a level I believe, I really do. And I think that people quit businesses leave their businesses never experienced the success. This is this becomes a factor. But here’s here’s the worst part. As if that wasn’t bad enough anyway. So by the way, those who have a lower tolerance to ignorance, and unlike things that don’t provide fulfillment in life, are the ones who succeed faster, the higher your tolerance for garbage, garbage, behavior, in garbage results, the low slower you’ll find results in life, right? So if those two weren’t bad enough for you to just be like, Oh, my gosh, I need to stop. Right. If that if that weren’t the case, the start when should and this is from automation, is you end up with a bunch of premature automations in place, with no one to help them grow up. I can’t remember what podcast it was. But I was talking about how I give automations and the systems I build age. And all of the systems I have in my business now are adults. You know, the baby ones are the ones you got to watch the first time you do an automation, you gotta watch it, make sure hey, are you working? Then they they grow up? And how do automations grew up by way of contact throughput. So the amount of contacts that go through them, it’s like water being in a balloon, any little bitty hole is going to be exposed, and you’ll be able to see, oh, that was wrong, as well, context due to a system. So overall, you start to shore it up and you realize, okay, this system is good. There’s no leaks, right? That’s an A mature system. So when I say nobody to help these automations grow up, this is what leads to the lack of technology, a lack of faith in technology, because they may have the right system in place, but just not the right people to help them do it. Or because you are being the imposter, it ends. It ends not on the best terms and they’re stuck trying to figure it out on their own. And that to me, that’s the worst thing. Right? Because there’s three people that lose, you lose, the client loses, and the space of automation loses.
Chris Davis 17:51
And I I have to protect the space. Okay, so we can’t afford to do this the key is this everyone the key is this. I don’t want to go to negative let me give me arched you have an arc backup right? We kind of got started lowly been kind of digging, right? Let’s let’s go up, let’s go up. The key is to be confident in your ignorance by defining where it begins and in, right. Be confident in your ignorance by understanding where it begins and ends. I need to know the area when we start going out too deep. I need to know. I haven’t journey this far out before technique. If I’m honest, I don’t know how to swim. Can we go back? Can we go back because I don’t want to put on this life preserver jacket. And then like spray painted my skin tone. So it looks like I don’t have a life preserver jacket so I can fake it. Or, or put some floaties on under the water around my legs in hope that I could just keep them under the water and you don’t see anything before you know. And I’m upside down and my my legs are in the air my head is low. Right. But the key is to understand your limitations. Yes. I’m telling you, your intelligence must have boundaries proudly set by you and confidently enforced by you. When is the last time somebody told you your intelligence needs boundaries? Most people just struggle with boundaries in life period. I feel like there’s a Dr. Phil theme to this podcast. You know, I just I feel like I’m you all are in the chair. And I’ve got my notebook and I’m kind of taking notes and assessing you and in helping you rewire your brain and maybe that’s what I signed up when I was talking about the imposter syndrome. There’s no way to not deal with the psychological stuff but boundaries in life are extremely hard to hard to establish because a lot of people don’t like to say no no as a boundary. So if again if I can’t say no in my life, I bring my life to my business, who you are, is who you who you are here is who you are there. So if I’m in my relationships, I’m not setting boundaries, professionally, I’m definitely not going to set boundaries. So when it comes time to be the imposter, the only thing that prevents me prevents me from being an imposter is setting a boundary on my knowledge, and I’m not used to setting boundaries. Well, here we go back to imposter land. Okay. But when you can proudly set set these boundaries, when you can proudly set these boundaries on your intelligence and then confidently enforced them, then you can own what you know, the same way. The say, let me say like this, then you can own what you don’t know. The same way you own. What you know. You have to be the reason why we’re giving our intelligence a boundary is not for us to own our intelligence, a lot of us, we can do that easily. You need to own your ignorance. This is I don’t want to say it’s tough, but this, this is what I’ll say is tight, but his right. Okay, like this isn’t. The end goal is positive. Everybody can go let me just go through with this because I can feel your tensing up. Oh, just let’s get loose. All right, if you watch me on YouTube, you see me kind of doing my shoulder, shoulder loose shake. I don’t know what this is. Right. But alright, let’s let’s get back loose. There what I just said that that’s where the rub lies, in their lies. The rub is what they say? And essentially, essentially, you have to own what you don’t know. Because if you don’t own it, you’ll eventually get exposed for it. It’s it’s a binary
Chris Davis 21:57
one or zero, it is not you can you may think you’re on the spectrum, and you may be getting away for a little bit, but you’re going to end up at one of those destinations. You either own it, I think it was Kevin Hart, Kevin Hart talked about how he’s a comedian. For those of you that don’t know, Kevin Hart talked about how he likes to beat people to the punch, he’ll make fun of himself, to remove the power to take away the power of someone else trying to embarrass him. He’ll just embarrass himself first. Right? And I thought that was profound, because essentially, what he’s saying is, I’m not going to give you any power to embarrass me, I’m going to remain in control. So when you own your ignorance, nobody can expose you. Nobody can say they didn’t know what they’re doing. You know why? Because you owned it. And you told them you didn’t know what you were doing? confidently. Somebody asked me the other day, I can’t remember what it was. But I said, a confident No. And it felt so great. Matter of fact, it came full circle. By the way, it came full circle. We were talking about social media. Somebody asked me to do something on social media. And I was just like, I don’t know how to do that. And thinking about it makes my head hurt. This is what I told them. I wasn’t afraid that they would be like but Chris, you’re you’re you’re Chris, like the Christie, you know, automation that, uh, you don’t know how to do it on social media. I don’t. Yeah, you’re right. And guess what? Just thinking about it makes my head hurt. Yes, I don’t I don’t sleep in this case. In fact, I don’t spend as much time walking around with this capon, as you believe. It’s not as comfortable as it looks. Right. And I was at peace. And I’m gonna tell you, I’m gonna tell you why this is powerful in a minute. But when you’re able to own your ignorance and, and provide that value of ownership to your clients, what it does is it leaves space for them to get the true help that they need. You being an imposter. You’re, you’re you’re, you’re in possession of a seat, you’re in poor possession of a seat that someone else can occupy in excellence. You hear what I said, You’re in poor possession of a seat in someone else’s business that someone else can occupy in excellence. Get over yourself, get out the way, let them bring on somebody better in that area. So the whole business can succeed because of failure in one area of the business soon is going to affect every area. A failure in any area of the business is soon going to affect every area of the business. Just how it works. So it helps you by removing yourself from the potential of being that causing that harm. Okay. Okay, now some of you have pride issues. You want it all you want all the shine. You want the spotlight on you, Hey, bring that spotlight back over here. You moved it? I didn’t move don’t move that spotlight. He moved to just the inch all the light on me. I’m the star. You need to get over that. Because they no way you’re gonna be able to say I don’t know. are no to the spotlight, you need it, you need it, you need to get to a place where you don’t need it in order to kill the imposter. Alright, so for small businesses, once they encounter a professional like this, it, it allows them to bring on helping areas, you can’t provide accurate helping, but you’re willing to try now this is this is where I will say, my aunt, my aunt would say this bless your bones. You know, my sheep from from from the south. Bless your bones for trying, okay? Is that what you need? You need acknowledgement on this one. We understand it. Let me give you some acknowledgement you tried. You did A for effort. However, it’s up to the business owner if they want to pay for your education. When you hire a consultant, you need to know the person hiring you need to know, am I paying for your expertise? Or am I paying for you to learn? Either way is fine. But don’t tell me I’m paying for expertise, but I’m really paying for you to learn. Okay? The the silver lining in it all is this, I experienced this one of my biggest one of my biggest personal victories in my in my business automation bridge, not in the startup space as a leader. But just in my own business of biggest personal personal success was when I was excuse me, I was working with the startup. And I was doing, of course, automation, very scoped out, book ended work. And we got to the point where all that I had done had produced, and it was ready to scale. And we needed help to scale. And instead of me saying, hey, look,
Chris Davis 26:44
I can also do XYZ, this this founder, you have to take hats off to founders who are like this, said, Hey, Chris, what do you need? What what help do you need to take this to the next level. And what he did was he gave me an opportunity to take off the cake. He gave me the opportunity to be vulnerable, and to really not occupy a seat that I couldn’t occupying excellence. And because I had been working on everything that I’m telling you all, I told him the exact help that I needed. And it ended up being like an external agency that came in and XYZ worked well with the agency right off in the sunset millions of dollars generated. That’s, that’s the power of killing the imposter. Guess what? It did not diminish my value. In fact, it increased it because then after that, came back and asked me, Hey, do you know anything about websites? Who was that tempting? Oh, is that tempting? Because I was a previous web developer? And I’m like, Yes, I do. But I’m not operating like that in this season of my life right now. Right? So I said, No, but I can help. Right? No, but I can help him with that. And I’m doing, they were able to bring on a web development company. And I was able to interact and engage with them and make sure that things got got built, right. Let me tell you the amount of weight that was on me while all of this was getting done. None. None No way, the way it was all on the hill, and I was helping to help. Long story short, everybody won, it was the total opposite of what I said, What happened, if you let the imposter in and you let them take over, okay? Everyone will lose, they’re guaranteed to lose if the imposter is present, and they take over. Okay? This is why it’s so important for me to tell you now, if you’re a mock community, you’re you know, you’re your automation service provider. We talk about this all the time, saying no, getting clear on your client, setting clear expectations, scope, all of that. This is part of it. You have to be able to own what you don’t know and be confident in it. And every time somebody tries to call you smarter than what you what you are. Take it as a compliment. But you don’t have to own intelligence that you don’t have. You don’t. It’s okay. It is literally okay. So in my experience, again, I don’t hear these terms and be like, Oh, wow, that’s too bad. No, this is from my personal experience as an imposter, how I broke through and some of the results that I was able to do for that. And I will tell you what, in the same situation with this with the startup that everything worked out, I am a I did not leave a single stain with that company. And I didn’t do everything. I was a source for some time. and resourceful for the rest so if you want if you want to kill the imposter let me put it like this. I don’t want to say if you want to kill the imposter when you kill the imposter, how about that that you was there not more powerful I felt it. Like I’m sitting up now when you kill the imposter, you will kill one of your primary threats to your success. So bus full circle, back to the title of this podcast. Go out confidently boldly and kill your imposter.
Chris Davis 30:50
Thank you for tuning in to this episode of The all systems go podcast. If you enjoyed it, make sure that you’re subscribed at the time of recording the all systems go podcast is free to subscribe to, and it can be found in Apple podcast, Google podcast, YouTube, or wherever you get your podcasts new episodes are released every Thursday. So make sure you’re subscribed so that you don’t miss out and while you’re at it, please leave us a five star rating and review to show some love but also to help future listeners more easily find the podcast so they can experience the value of goodness as well. We’ve compiled all resources mentioned on the podcast, as well as other resources that are extremely valuable and effective at helping you grow your marketing automation skills quickly and you can access them all at all systems go podcast.com Thanks again for listening and until next time, I see you online. Automate responsibly my friends
- [2:23] 3 words that will prevent you from participating in imposter syndrome
- [6:08] The difference between being a source and a resource
- [9:03] The real dangers of saying yes too often and allowing scope creep
- [10:08] Chris shares his personal experience with scope creep
- [12:47] 3 major ways imposter syndrome will sabotage your career
- [19:10] “Your intelligence must have boundaries proudly set by you and confidently enforced by you.”
- [20:16] How to prevent actually being an imposter
- [26:08] The importance of not occupying a seat that you can’t occupy in excellence
- [27:22] The true power of killing the imposter
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About the Show
On the show, Chris reveals all of his automated marketing strategies he has learned from working in fast growing marketing technology startups so you can put your business on autopilot quickly and without error.
Discover how to deploy automated marketing, sales, and delivery systems to scale your business without working long hours to do so.
Chris L. Davis
Chris is an Electrical Engineer turned entrepreneur who is the Founder of Automation Bridge, an international speaker and facilitator, and startup consultant