This is something I wrote in my journal this morning that I’m making public. I keep telling people that they need to share not just their wins but the struggle it took to get there, so I need to not be a damn hypocrite and do that too.
I’ve taken the week off from day job to work on my next writing project yet for the past 48 hours, I have found myself paralyzed with fear. All the symptoms are there. I look at what I wrote last night and so many words are out of place. Verbs before nouns. Phrases that make no sense. From experience, I know this happens when I’m super terrified and worried. It’s a weird form of dyslexia.
I’m impostering while writing my next book called Model 47.
This is part memoir, part business guide. My business partner Jeremiah Marble and I are co-authoring this based on the experiences the two of us and our crew have had with the 46 non-traditional entrepreneurs that we’ve mentored over the past two years in Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and the UK. Together we’ve learned 25 lessons about starting a business anywhere in the world even when you have zero business/corporate experience or connections. Jeremiah and I have been writing up these stories for the past 7 months or so.
I’m NOT impostering because I’m writing a book. I’ve done that before. I’ve written seven it the past decade! I feel super qualified to write half of this. I know a lot about understanding humans as customers. Building products WITH them. Doing marketing-ey things to showcase their stories. I’ve talked and written about these things endlessly due to all of my own personal experiences both at my day job and side-hustles.
But the other half of this book. The financials. Knowing and being able to explain to others the difference between a hobby and a business and all the damn nuances. That’s not my area of expertise. Jeremiah has thankfully taken the lead on this since he actually IS an expert, but we both need to actively read and understand all the parts of the book. I feel super NOT qualified to even offer edits on this other half. He’s had to explain to me in short words what “unit of sale” means like eight times.
I mean, I know about financials. I have made an end-to-end physical product (dresses for Prima Dona, my secret fashion line) where I know the costs of everything down to a button acquired in some sketchy alley in Barcelona. I know what I need to sell to make Prima Dona a business rather than the hobby it is today. I have experience with book deals, advances and royalties for over a decade of being an author. Writing for me is a legit, profitable business and has not been a hobby in many years.
But do I really know about the financials of every possible kind of business? NO, OF COURSE NOT. This is the question I’m impostering on today. What qualifications do I have to be a co-author for this?
I keep trying to tell myself my OWN advice: you’re writing for the person who is one step behind you. You’re not claiming to be an expert. You’re claiming to have a tiny bit more experience than when you started and you’d like to share what you’ve learned with others who might be in the overwhelmed place you used to be.
I’m writing the advice I needed to hear. I’m writing for myself 5 years ago.
But man, it’s hard when the imposter syndrome is paralyzing.
I need to finish writing this for my business partner. We need to tell the stories of the 46 entrepreneurs who we’ve partnered with. We need to share these experiences with all those who want to start a business someday and have been told they are not qualified.
I know I need to do this.
But I am so damn terrified today.
Usually I’d say “You got this, champ. Do The Thing.”
But actually I don’t “got this” at all. I don’t WANT TO Do The Thing.
I guess all I can do is do the thing ANYWAY.
Wish me luck.