TMBA 384: Are You an Imposter?

TMBA384: Are You an Imposter? post image

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A recent thread in the Dynamite Circle forum really caught Dan and Ian‘s attention, and seemed to resonate with a great number of people in the community.

One of the members introduced the idea of “Imposter Syndrome”, and asked the rest of the community if they ever felt like a fake entrepreneur.

We decided to reach out to three of the people who contributed to that discussion. Brendan Tully, Luis Gil, and Conni Biesalski have all joined us on this week’s episode to share some of their struggles with these feelings.

To our surprise, we discovered that all the conversations focused less on the idea of feeling like an imposter, and more on the general anxieties, fears and vulnerability that we all deal with in life, and can really be exacerbated by entrepreneurship on the web.


Listen to this week’s show and learn:

  • Why Brendan feels like internet marketing podcasts are misrepresenting what it really means to be an entrepreneur. (3:29)
  • How a move to New York caused Luis to change the way that he approached his career in music. (10:50)
  • How imposter syndrome can have direct impact on the way you run your business. (20:08)
  • How Conni handles the negative feedback that comes from YouTube. (26:50)
  • Why living a “dream life” left Conni feeling depressed. (30:05)

Mentioned in the episode:

A big thanks to AppSumo – this episode’s sponsor. AppSumo is the place to find huge deals on tools to help you grow your online business. They’ve put together some great free stuff for TMBA listeners as well, check it out:

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Thanks for listening to our show! We’ll be back next Thursday morning 8AM EST. Cheers, Dan & Ian

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Published on 04.13.17
  • I’ve long felt the marketing around entrepreneurship is BS. To the point where if I had more free time I’d create an Instagram account covering all of the boring shit I have to do every day and all of the stressful, frustrating, scary moments on the journey – cos it ain’t all mountains and blue skies.

    But then on the flip side, certainly from the social circle I grew up with, the fear and possible failure stops them from doing what they really want to do in life…to some extent moving away has been really helpful there – escaping others that drag me down psychologically.

    Something very simple Derek Sivers wrote hit me: “Associate with positive happy people instead. No pity posse.”

    It’s great we all discuss this stuff, to know we aren’t alone – but also to move on so we can keep doing great things.

    I’ve often said that “you have to be so hard on yourself that you keep pushing when it gets tough, but not so hard on yourself that you end up getting depressed at your failures”. How do you know how hard to push? How far is too far? I suspect I have much to learn from pro-athletes in this regard.

    Great show. Thanks to all involved!

  • Evaldas Miliauskas

    Maybe we created the tendency of looking only for success and overlooking the failures, which created this content bubble exposing only the winners. When I hear someone making some decisions without even asking if its a good idea is almost like just driving a car blind. I think questioning yourself and the decisions you do is part of being an entrepreneur. It’s just the trick of keeping the right balance so they don’t stop you from actually doing something due to fear of failing. That’s why I like the idea that Seth Godin mentions, to paraphrase: starting something is already a win independent of the outcome, as not many do it.

  • cheers Jase… it’s also the case that this idea of a public narrative is so new to us as a culture it’s not clear how to go about it. I mean it doesn’t take that long for people to get ‘real’ when you meet them in person, but online it can seem tedious outlining your troubles. I would follow your IG tho so let me know “got another coffee. sat back down. worked some more.” :D

  • that rings true with me, it’s also the case that often those who failed aren’t around to tell the story or simply don’t care to.

  • Haha, great minds think alike! I just podcasted my take on this topic this week as well: (linked to you in the email/show notes)

  • ha! what you doing next? :D

  • Still doing Espresso English… just podcasting on entrepreneurship purely for fun :-)

  • Adrian Edlington

    I don’t mind the sponsor messages, though Dan might consider speaking a little faster and try to sound less embarrassed about doing an ad… The App Sumo piece went about twice as long as felt comfortable. Why not put something at the beginning and end as Tim Ferris does?

    I subscribe to 3 podcasts that I listen to regularly: TMBA, Tim Ferris Show & Dan Carlin – Hardcore Histories. Have to say, their sponsor ads of the latter two are really effective. I have good recall of the services featured and often type in their name in Chrome search to have a look at their websites.

    As a long time TMBA listener (Ep160 odd til now) , I don’t have any issue with podcast sponsorship. In the ones to date, Dan sounds like a mixture of mild embarrassment & discomfort. Bit sheepish perhaps? Don’t be. Anyone who’s offended by a couple of relevant sponsor announcements isn’t your target audience anyway.

    Sure you’ll get find your stride over the coming weeks.

  • cheers Adrian appreciate the feedback! We’re going to shorten up the messages to be around 1 minute in the future. I think I can improve my performance in the future, perhaps it was because I was reading the text.

    We might sell front ads in the future, right now our partners have got ‘exclusives’ for mid-roll ads, but as we evolve we might change that. I appreciate that you don’t mind so much as the sponsors take a huge load off our our plate in terms of covering our increasing production costs.

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