Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

Episode 8: Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

In this new episode of The RevolutionFI Podcast, Tim admits to his struggles in overcoming imposter syndrome.

“So, the question is this: How can 50+ folks like us, honest and hard-working, how do we manage our current responsibilities and still plan for retirement? 401ks alone won’t be enough and we don’t have 40 years to save, so how do we leverage our experience and wisdom to gain financial independence? That is the question, and this podcast will give you the answers. My name is Tim, and welcome to the Revolution. The RevolutionFI podcast.”

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Hey there, welcome back to the podcast, starting the second full week of revolution, FBI, and starting to find my groove here a little bit.

Before we get into the episode today, I wanted to talk a little bit about what’s been going on or maybe not talk about, it would be a more accurate way of describing it.

I’m not sure what I was thinking when I decided to launch a podcast, in the middle of a pandemic, and the same week as a highly contested US presidential election. But that is what I did. I don’t plan on getting very political with the podcast. Certainly, things change by the hour and anything I say about it now will be probably irrelevant by the time you hear it. But I just want to acknowledge that that was happening. And then I was aware of that. And part of what I wanted to be able to do here is to give you a focus on getting out of debt and earning money for retirement and getting sidetracked or distracted by things that are happening in the world that are completely out of our control is probably not in your best interest.

So I didn’t want you to think that I was somehow not paying attention or was pretending like that wasn’t happening. It certainly is. But I don’t feel like it’s worthy of our conversation here at RevolutionFI.

The Solopreneur Formula™ Worksheet

Before I get into today’s episode, I just want to give you a quick reminder that if you are looking for ways to earn some extra money, because you don’t have 30 or 40 years to save for retirement, make sure you grab the Solopreneur Formula Worksheet™ off of the Revolution FI.com homepage, it’s completely free, it’ll get you on the right path.

So today we’re talking about overcoming imposter syndrome. This is something I’m dealing with. Right now. I am at the very beginning of this new journey, this new stage, I’ve heard it called the third act. So if you are in your late 40s, early 50s and you have gone through either one career, or possibly two career changes. This third and sounds somewhat depressing, but the final act is often called the third act.

At the Beginning Again

This is where I’m at right now I’m in the very beginning of it and some of the same feelings that I had 10 years ago, when I started the second act, are cropping right back up again. And I thought this would be a good time and a good place to talk through those. Now, when I started out, creating the J. Thorn brand and started writing fiction, there were several people already in the space ahead of me who I was learning from and really paying attention to and a few of those people like Joanna Penn and Joe Konrath and Russell Blake, and those might not be named familiar to you if you’re not in publishing circles. But if you are you’ll certainly recognize them. 

And I’m very fortunate to call Joanna Penn a friend now. And someone who have gotten a known over the past 10 years and co written with and done, done trips with and wrote on a train together and some crazy stuff.

Who Am I?

But I remember when I was starting out I thought, you know, I’m not these people. I’m not Joe or Joanna. I’m not Russell. What do I have to say about writing and publishing and being an author and it was a bit debilitating at first, and I think it stalled me a few times. And it’s just funny because I thought I had that lift, you know by, by late 2020, which is when you might be listening to this is, you know, I built a really solid brand on J. Thorn and I’m continuing to build it. I have a great reputation in the community. As J. Thorn I’ve been hosting events and workshops and conferences and publishing books and doing multiple podcasts.

I had forgotten I think what that imposter syndrome feels like when it hits you at the beginning stage of a project now, I still had imposter syndrome is J. Thorn. Every time I publish a book, I think, who’s gonna read this? Why would anyone care about this stuff? But they do. So now I have it again. And I’m what’s weird about it now is I’m coming back to a place where I’ve had the bulk of my professional experience in training.

Starting at Zero

So maybe like you, you’re thinking about something you’ve done your entire life and you’re thinking about ways you can teach that to other people and earn some money doing it. And you might start to think like, well, who am I? You know, who am I to do this? So here I am. I’m back in that place. Again. I’m starting at zero with everything. This podcast is brand new. The website is brand new. I don’t have product or service yet. I’m still in customer discovery mode. I’m still talking to people and have no idea exactly who I’m going to serve, yet,

What I have to offer in that I can teach people how to get financially independent and then I get on and I listen to some podcasts. I’ve read some blogs about the financial independence community and again, I think, who am I to teach financial independence? What do I possibly know, what can I possibly add here, and it’s just, it’s this constant struggle, it is imposter syndrome. And it, it never goes away entirely.

But here’s some things you can keep in mind, especially if you are in this position where you’re starting to think about a venture that you want to do that you want to plan or begin and you feel like an imposter. You know, more than you think you do. I’ve had this confirmed for me a number of times, especially when it comes to client work and editing in that I’ve internalized a lot of stuff over the years when it comes to the writing and publishing industry. I have to remind myself that not everyone has that experience, not everyone has had that knowledge yet.

Just a Step or Two Ahead

The same goes for you, you might be able to change a flat tire in 10 minutes, you might be able to fix a leaky sink in 20 minutes, they’re things you probably do, and other people have no idea where to start and it’s good to remind yourself of that. The other good reminder is that you really only need to be a step or two ahead to get started. You don’t have to have certificates and credentials and decades of experience. I mean, certainly that stuff can help depending on what you’re doing. But you don’t need it to start, you just need to be a little bit ahead of where the person or the people you want to serve are.

And that was something I learned as a teacher as well. There were several situations in my teaching career, where I was given a teaching assignment a few days before the school year started with virtually no teaching experience in that particular topic or subject. And I just needed to stay a little bit ahead of the students, I was kind of learning as they were. And I think that’s a great approach. Because anytime you have to teach something, you’re going to learn it even better.


And one little final sort of note from my own experience as a parent, is that modeling is the most powerful form of teaching. So you can tell your kids, you can scream at them and nag them to clean up their room and to eat their broccoli and to treat other people the way they want to be treated. You can. You can yell and scream and nag and punish. But really the most powerful way of teaching them is to show them you doing it. So if your bedroom is a mess, and you’re screaming at your kid to clean up their room, that’s a mixed message. And kids are paying much more attention to what you do than what you say. So I think that applies especially in the solopreneur community.

You know, you don’t like I said, you don’t need to have a lot of certificates or tons of credentials or tons of experience. Just be the example. Be the transformation you want people to have. You got to be that and I think that’s going to speak much more loudly than your words would. Alright, hope you have a great week. I will see you tomorrow.

Transcription by Otter.ai, please forgive the bot for typos and mistakes.

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