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5 tips to help entrepreneurs overcome impostor syndrome

Impostor Syndrome in Entrepreneurs

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Entrepreneurs face a multitude of challenges on a daily business. These include time management, delegating tasks, cash flow management, hiring employees, marketing strategy, and a lack of capital. However, one key challenge that all entrepreneurs must overcome is impostor syndrome.

What is Impostor Syndrome?

Impostor syndrome is an internal experience of feeling like a phony. The feeling that you do not belong; at any moment, someone will expose you as a fraud and a charlatan. Anyone can be affected despite their background, experience, or level of expertise, and the term was coined in the 1970s by psychologists Suzanna Imes and Pauline Rose Clance.

How does Impostor Syndrome affect entrepreneurs?

It requires a lot of confidence to start a new business on your own. Entrepreneurs also bear a lot of risk in bringing a new idea into the market. Impostor syndrome can be devastating to the entrepreneur as it can adversely affect their confidence. It can sabotage their success by implementing self-doubt into everything they do. Here are some tips to help entrepreneurs overcome impostor syndrome.

Tip 1: Identify and acknowledge impostor syndrome when its felt

Entrepreneurs must recognize impostor syndrome when it affects them. They must take stock of how they feel and come to terms with it, do not ignore it. This tip is key to making peace with impostor syndrome and their experiences, which removes the power it has over them.

Tip 2: Develop gratitude exercises to accentuate positivity

Entrepreneurs need to develop positive habits. Completing a gratitude list puts them in a positive mindset. By implementing this tip at the beginning and end of each workday, the entrepreneur gives less room for impostor syndrome to exist.

Tip 3: Compiling a list of past achievements to fight impostor syndrome

Entrepreneurs should remind themselves of past achievements. Successful client testimonials, emails, and project completions can go a long way to removing self-doubt and renewing confidence during times of impostor syndrome.

Tip 4: Spend Time Visualizing Success

There is power in the mindset of an entrepreneur. They should spend time visualizing a successful meeting, presentation, or encounter with their clients before the actual event occurs. This tip will aid in reducing the stress of impostor syndrome and place them in a successful mindset.

Tip 5: Use Impostor Syndrome as a measuring stick

Entrepreneurs need to challenge themselves and not rest on their laurels. The experience of impostor syndrome suggests that they are not in their comfort zone. Therefore the effects of impostor syndrome are a sign of growth, that the entrepreneur is pushing themselves beyond their limit.


Impostor syndrome can affect anyone and is not unique to any individual. If an entrepreneur feels like a phony, they need to implement steps to boost their gratitude and positive thinking. No one solution can instantly fix this problem; however, they must continue to take practical action till impostor syndrome is defeated.

Have you ever experienced impostor syndrome? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments section below.

21 Responses

  1. Perhaps this isn’t limited to entrepreneurs or even career professionals. This is perhaps felt in relationships, by parents, spouses, religious persons/clergy and even the regular person trying to be good. It’s that sense of doubt that arises often when we feel out of our depth. Trick is perhaps to put things in context ie we don’t always feel out of our depth. Good suggestions for counteracting this syndrome.

  2. I didnt think there was an actual term for the way I sometimes feel as an entrepreneur. I will definitely use some of the tips you’ve provided. Thanks my fellow entrepreneur!

  3. Great stuff, Kyle Peter…should be very helpful for lots of people. My only problem with the post is that I have been a *real* impostor all my life, don’t want to change, and was hoping your post would give me some advice on how to become an even better impostor. What should I do?

    1. LOL 🙂
      You are no Impostor my friend, one of the most genuine persons I’ve ever met, LOL so my advice to keep doing exactly what you’re doing 🙂 Don’t change a thing.

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