If you know me IRL, you’ll know that I am a huge fan of Bojack Horseman. It’s the most accurate portrayal of the human condition that I’ve ever seen, and obviously it includes some of the best animal puns on TV. And then there’s Vincent Adultman…
There’s something very familiar about Vincent Adultman and his work at the Business Factory. If you’re an entrepreneur, you probably know exactly what I mean.
I’m talking about imposter syndrome.
Imposter syndrome has two parts to it. Part one is the belief that you aren’t an expert in your field. You’re not a thought leader, so why should anybody invest in you? This is the part where you say phrases like “business wise, this all seems like appropriate business” and you hope that you sound knowledgeable enough. Part two is the fear of how others will receive you. We’ve all experienced being afraid of what other people think about us, and it’s a totally natural fear. We want to be theexpert in what we do. We want our prospects to flock to us without even considering anybody else because we’re the person, but then when we stand up to talk about what we do, we often feel like children who are just pretending to do business.
Think about Vincent Adultman, though. According to Bojack, Vincent is “very obviously three kids stacked on top of each other under a trench coat.” Vincent, however, manages to be in a committed relationship with Princess Carolyn (despite questioning what muhunguhy — or monogamy — is), and only Bojack can see through his disguise. Vincent Adultman likes “business transactions” and offers Princess Carolyn “a alcohol”, but the other characters believe that he isn’t just an adult, but he’s successful and a great guy too.
These three kids stacked on top of one another under a trench coat have gone all-in to become Vincent Adultman, and they’re very clearly not a grown man but in the grand scheme of things nobody has really noticed. There’s a lesson there.
The thing is, you know what you’re talking about and people are going to recognise that. There are people out there who aren’t even half as good as you, but people flock to them because they know how to act big. The belief that you’re not good enough just isn’t true. You are the master of your craft, and there are people out there who want to wax lyrical about what you do. If you are feeling insecure in yourself, you’re most likely taking baby steps in your business. You’re only doing 20% of what you’re capable of doing, because you’re always second guessing yourself. Nobody will criticise you more than you criticise yourself, so it really is only your limiting beliefs that are holding you back.
Vincent Adultman has no limiting beliefs. He is three boys in a trench coat and he talks absolute nonsense about business, but everyone in his world respects him and takes him seriously because he believes in himself.
Overcoming imposter syndrome is as simple as committing to being more like Vincent Adultman. If you’re struggling with limiting beliefs, you’ve got an attitude problem. Take a time out, think about it, and you’ll see that you’re actually much more of a successful badass than three kids in a trench coat, and you really have nothing to worry about.