TPS #021: “I’m a Fraud.”

Author: Andre Mullen - 4 min Read

Read Time: 4 minutes

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In today’s newsletter, I want to talk about my own imposter syndrome and give you the three steps that I used to overcome the feeling that I was a fraud.

With my desire to help artist managers and creatives in general, I quickly realized I would need to be transparent and share things that were and are most uncomfortable.

One of those things was my past struggle with imposter syndrome.

Imposter syndrome grips many of us – especially those of us working in any creative capacity. There is a lot of comparing that takes place.

And, with many of us being high-performance entrepreneurs, many of our achievements and much of our success are a blur.

The problem is we judge ourselves the way we think people do – a judgment which is totally inaccurate.

"Actual imposters don’t get imposter syndrome."

Impostor syndrome is a common psychological pattern where people doubt their own knowledge and skills. They live in fear that they’ll eventually be outed as a fraud.

It is the opposite of the Dunning-Kruger effect. Sun-yi sums it up comically in a tweet:

So why would qualified people doubt themselves?

Highly qualified people tend to work around other highly qualified people.

They tend to measure their own self-worth in comparison to others. That’s a recipe for self-doubt.

There are 3 steps that I took to overcome my imposter syndrome:

1. outed myself
2. owned my accomplishments
3. visualized and defined my success

These 3 steps helped me to move past comparing myself to others and instead, embrace my accomplishments and define what success is for myself.

Because I want you to win, I’m going to show you how step by step:

Step 1: Outed myself

So, for many years, I thought I was a fraud.

Until a brokered a major seven-figure deal with my client with BMG.

But I still FELT like an imposter.

So, I spoke to a close friend of mine – Bryan, a music executive – and told him I was a fraud.

Bryan looked at me for a long minute and said:

“I will believe you if you can tell me why and what you intend to do about it.”

I stared at him.

I didn’t know “why” and I didn’t have a clue what I intended to do about it.

Bryan looked at me and said: “I’m glad you outed yourself. But just know that you’re responsible for making this deal happen and it wouldn’t have happened without you.”

It was then I realized that I wasn’t an imposter. Imposters lie until they get access to what they want. Then, they take it and leave.

The deal wasn’t brokered and secured by lies or deceit. It was secured via a relationship and involved months of negotiation and planning.

“Outing myself” and hearing the truth was the first step in releasing me to embrace a different perspective about myself.

Step 2: Owned my accomplishments

After I outed myself to Bryan, I started looking at all of my accomplishments.

Many of my friends and contacts represented artists who were signed to major label recording deals. Some had clients who sold millions of records and toured the globe.

I hadn’t done any of those things.

However, my career path was different.

I worked with more independent artists and labels than I did with major labels. I had relationships with companies with direct lines to CEOs, giving me the ability to service my clients more efficiently and differently.

I wrote down all of my accomplishments and connections with whom I did business and made substantial money for my clients.

I took ownership of my accomplishments and my wins – big and small – and I was grateful.

Step 3: Visualized and defined my success

Prior to all of this, if you had ever asked me what success was to me, it was always based on the success of someone else close to me.

I am a cheerleader. I honestly love to see people win and be successful.

But I never defined or visualized what success was for me.

Needless to say, that was a problem.

When you don’t visualize and define success for yourself, you have no choice but to use the success of someone as your standard for you.

This obviously can be very dangerous based on the simple fact we all have done and do different things in order to put us in line to receive success.

And simply put, we all have different DNA.

In taking ownership of my accomplishments and wins, I then thought about how to continue to win and the thought gave birth to my own personal definition of success for my life.

My definition of success is:

Completing objectives that move me closer to achieving goals I’ve set personally and professionally without compromising myself, my family, and my beliefs.

That is success for me.

What is success for you?

You’re not a fraud.

You’re not an imposter.

There can be only one you.

3 steps to overcome imposter syndrome
1. out yourself.
2. own your accomplishments
3. visualize and define your success

Hope this helps.

See you next week.

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