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Breaking Through Imposter Syndrome
Unlearning How to Be an Entrepreneur So I Can Create a Life of Value
I’ve been spending the past few months unlearning how to Be in the context of work and business. I’ve been plagued with the question; How can I present my mission to the world in a way that feels aligned, authentic and inspired, and pay my bills.
After spending years learning from marketing, automation, brand, niche, finance and other ‘experts’ with persuasive formulas for success, trying to apply those formula’s even though they felt deeply unaligned, and being told I don’t have what it takes to be an entrepreneur because I don’t resonate with an ‘experts’ pathway to achieving ‘success’, I’m DONE.
I can’t do it anymore. My spirit won’t allow it…and I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way. I’m not here to chase, scare or manipulate people into hearing what I have to say, because I’m playing a long game. One where trust, authority and value is generated and exchanged through the act of learning out loud.
Lost in Translation
The word entrepreneur originates from the 13th century French verb 'entreprendre' which means to undertake or to do something. By the 16th century this had become the noun entrepreneur, taken to mean someone who undertakes a business project or speculation.
When personification preceeds action aka being before doing, it can create projections and perceptions that become detrimental to the art of creating anything of intrinsic value. It perpetuates the belief of have vs have-not and is at the root of the employer/employee relationship which is just a mask of the owner/slave mentality. How many other verbs have been transformed into nouns in an effort to disempower and breed victim consciousness? It’s a shocking rabbit hole that shines a light on the difference between presumptive literacy and the wisdom derived from learning.
This is just the beginning of the unlearning that I needed to embody, because in reality, I’ve been in a state of ‘entreprendre’ my entire life.
Cycles Repeat Until the Lessons Are Learned.
The shedding phase I’m currently in feels akin to my first 4 month wellness sabbatical. I would attend social functions and was confronted with the fact that new introductions always led with ‘what do you do’, not ‘who are you’. When you’re currently not ‘doing anything’ in the traditional meaning of the phrase, the identity crisis and shame spiral this invokes is real. It was also showing me that I needed to find new rooms and new people…but that’s a story for another day. This became a pivotal time in my life that forced me to unearth, embrace and cultivate the truth of my Being.
The truth being that I’ve always been a jack-of-all-trades, a generalist if you will. I’ve always followed my curiosity and said yes to things that light me up and expand my skill set, and no thank you to things that restrict and repress my spirit.
Typically, our brains are wired for familiarity. Familiar = safe. Traditionally, North American society covets specialization and linear pathways, because being able to label and place someone neatly inside of a box makes us feel more comfortable and at ease. It allows us to accept or reject them at face value based on stereotypical identities. Doctor, lawyer, teacher, mechanic, stay-at-home-mom…you get the picture.
Being a generalist on the other hand, is many things, but linear, box-able, and stereotypical it is not. In contrast to societal standards, not living a linear and prescribed life can leave you feeling out of place, misunderstood, and like you don’t have your shit together. I know this because over the past 20 years I have been paid for the following work:
Residential/Commercial Lighting Sales and Design
Residential and Commercial Interior Designer
Brand and Marketing Strategist for boutique hotels
Boutique Furniture Manager
Document Reproduction (copy center in a law firm)
Content and Data Coordinator (legal digital knowledge base creation)
Global Entity Management in offshore Private Equity
Executive Assistant for high net worth life insurance
Flooring Product Manager for international distributors
Citizen Journalist, Researcher and Sovereign Strategist
Transformational writer, speaker, guide and course creator
As random and disconnected as my resume appears, it has always given me a safety-blanket title that I could throw on to appease my current surroundings. However, I also allowed the opinions of those less courageous, to fester into shame and block me from seeing the beauty and blessing of what I was actually creating for my Self and others.
The only certified training I hold is in interior design. All other acquired knowledge and skills is a personalized brew of experience, self-study, and my innate willingness to be curious, adaptable, resilient and uncomfortable. My superpower is, and always has been, my ability to grow through challenges and have deep faith and trust in my ability to figure things out.
As of now, Transforming pain into power and purpose is the closest ‘niche’ or personal brand statement I have developed because it represents the intersection of my lived experiences and personal interests, paired with the skills and knowledge I’ve cultivated through intense self healing and discovery. A specialized skill forged from the holistic synthesis of everything I have required of my Self, to reach my achievements and goals in pursuit of self mastery.
The reason I’m telling you this is because the world is rapidly changing. The current ways of doing business and earning a living is not healthy or sustainable. New ways of doing and being are going to require that we, personally and collectively, undergo a transformation that allows the abundance embedded in the intersection of our Values, Interests and Experience (VIE) to innovate how we share our mission with the world and elevate ourselves and communities. And for fun, vie means life in french. How poetic…
Here are 3 beliefs I’ve had to transform in order to harness the power of my VIE.
1. The Definition of Success
The pathway to conventional success is no longer viable, or at least it won’t be for much longer. I’ve worked alongside and been mentored by profit-driven visionaries who create the technologies, workflows, automations, and efficiency that breed hyper-productivity. The kind of hyper-productivity that has the ability to create immense wealth (we’re talking billions) through unsustainable business models. Models that more often than not, lead to addiction, deviant behavior and eventually debilitating burnout.
Over the past 3 years I’ve struggled to not ‘throw the baby out with the bath water’ because a lot of what I learned through these experiences has immense value. However, the level of discernment required to not abuse my Self and others while implementing this accumulated knowledge, is a deeply spiritual practice. Or so I’m learning…
The status quo hasn’t worked for a very long time because building anything on a foundation void of genuine care, connection and lived experience, is destined to crumble. Far too many have been playing fast and loose with ethics, morals, and personal autonomy in exchange for the almighty Dollar. Choosing to exchange their immeasurable and divinely gifted creative energy for metrics; dollars generated based on societal approval, clicks, views and likes. This leads to trading the capacity to learn how to create certainty, in favor of having it created and laid out for you.
If you’ve ever abandoned an idea early on because of initial undesirable feedback, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Perhaps you’ve heard that you are wasting your time creating something if it doesn’t meet pre-sale targets or fit neatly inside of a pre-defined market. This fear-based thinking rooted in lack mentality is short-sighted and reflects a lack of faith and fortitude in your mission and message.
This is why it is so important for me to create only from my well of lived experiences. Repackaging information alone will no longer cut it in the age of Aquarius. Regardless of what you are creating, you are and will always be, your ideal client. I’ve always lived and worked by the motto that I won’t ask others to do something, I don’t know how to do. Anytime I’ve betrayed this statement, it’s caused me a lot of grief and the imposter syndrome takes over. Universal law dictates that we are One, so why try to create a message and mission that serves anyone but Self, first. Sounds audacious and ego-centric, but is it?
2. I Must Chase Success
Social media has conditioned us to serve the ego through hits of dopamine extracted from external validation. We can attempt to fool ourselves into believing that we have a unique and altruistic message that makes us immune to the trappings of this particular social contract, but regardless the Self is always being served first.
Discerning whether or not we are in service to the Ego or the Highest Self is where the challenge lies. Digital Creators who are psychologically beholden to third party platforms are currently being held hostage by algorithms and censorship, and it is fundamentally shaping how and what they create. Those who are not attached to metrics and refuse to self-censor are finding even more freedom in their creative process and breeding innovation that elevates themselves and others. What a time to be alive!
I left Facebook in 2019 and Instagram in 2020 and I am resistant to go back. I will not allow my Self to be scared into believing I cannot have a successful business, relevant voice or impactful presence in this world without it. That I need to chase to be heard instead of allowing my words to attract who is meant to hear them. On a much deeper level this is under-pinned by the push and pull of the masculine and feminine polarity; chasing vs receiving.
The challenges and stories conjured by this way of Being exacerbates unhealed wounds and removes the scabs from those I thought were on the mend. It requires that I choose curiosity over comfort, patience over instant gratification, faith over fear, and consistency over internal and external criticism.
3. Information Equals Knowledge
Information is masked Philosophy. Unless you are consistently putting the information you are consuming into action and experiencing results for your Self, information remains an untested hypothesis. Having more of it doesn’t make you wise, in fact it makes you dense. The accumulation of information creates a density that can hinder new beliefs, thoughts or ideas from penetrating your consciousness. It is only through the act of applying the information you are ingesting that you discover truth. A truth that will vary based on your VIE, because the lens through which you filter information will not be the same as anyone else, therefore results will always vary greatly. Failing to question or apply the information you are receiving is almost always at the root of why you feel sick, stuck and stagnant in one or more areas of your life.
The feedback loop that is generated from applying information yourself is immeasurable and invaluable. It is also paramount to the creation of your personal reality, as it constructs the foundation for new thoughts, habits, and beliefs to build and evolve on. A foundation that if properly constructed, will allow you to find refuge in every season of your life.
Beware of absolutes and those who espouse them. Absolute thinking is a byproduct of hoarding information and signifies a lack of action. Lack of action prevents learning and without learning, wisdom cannot exist. I’ve sat at tables I wasn’t ‘qualified’ to sit at, successfully challenged laws and policies that were considered absolute, walked away from toxic environments, pushed the limits of my body and healed my Self without modern medical intervention, simply because I’m willing to apply the information I’m presented with to see if it rings true, and pivot accordingly.
What it all means
To circle back to the beginning and tie this all together, I have come to believe there is no such thing as an Entrepreneur. The conflation and embodiment of verbs with nouns is one of the biggest hurdles we as a collective are facing. It has created the idea of leaders, gurus, elders, and power structures that oppress and control instead of uplift and empower. The ideas and beliefs that perpetuate our reliance on the employer/employee relationships are the golden handcuffs we are being called to break free from, as unethical and immoral structures continue to expose themselves.
Empowerment and literacy go hand in hand. You cannot have one without the other. Literacy is achieved not through the consumption of information, but through the courageous action that allows you to see if what you are being told is true.
The cultivation of this truth becomes the wisdom that gets distilled inside the intersection of your Values, Interests and Experience. A wisdom derived from your ability to entreprendre.
You can choose to call your Self an Entrepreneur or you can choose to Entreprendre.
until next time,
Sharing is Caring
Share this article and/or drop a like or comment below if you have, or are currently shedding aspects of Self that create dis-ease in those around you.
What triggered it, how are you navigating your new found sense of Self, how are people around you responding to it?
I want to know all of the things and your story could also help or empower others.