Believe in your talents. Always look at your talent as the base rather than focusing on the task. If you know you can achieve something because of past experiences, then keep that at the forefront of your mind.
As a part of our series about how very accomplished leaders were able to succeed despite experiencing Imposter Syndrome, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ricky Joshi. Ricky Joshi is the co-founder and CEO of The Saatva Company. The Saatva Company sells luxury, affordable, and organic mattresses online, made with sustainable materials in the USA.
Thank you so much for joining us Ricky! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’?
I, along with my business partner Rod Rudzin, created Saatva when we saw a need for a more eco-friendly and sustainable mattress in the luxury bedding space. My background wasn’t in bedding and lifestyle, though. I started in the agency world, but I saw a lot of potential in lifestyle as it merged a lot of my interests.
Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
As with any company, when you start out, you can feel like a little bit of an imposter in a new space. This was true for myself and colleagues because our backgrounds were in business. Though we were interested in lifestyle, we still had a lot to learn. We had several meetings and lots of back and forth where we just tried to nail down what our vision and mission statement should be. My biggest takeaway from those meetings is to always rely on your team. Business is not a solitary avenue; you will always need good people around you who can bring new ideas.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Our company stands out because of our extremely competitive pricing. We are the highest rated and best priced luxury mattress online. We truly believe that sustainability doesn’t mean you should sacrifice quality or pay an astronomical amount.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
I’m grateful to Ron for his vision and his tenacity. Especially in the early days, I felt like there were many times I hit a wall and couldn’t pass through it. Ron is an idea guy — he’s great at thinking outside the box and I’m really grateful to be working on this venture together.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the experience of Impostor Syndrome. How would you define Impostor Syndrome? What do people with Imposter Syndrome feel?
I would define imposter syndrome as feeling like you don’t belong in a place where you’ve earned recognition. We don’t feel imposter syndrome about things we aren’t good at, but for some reason, we feel it strongly about things we’ve strived towards. People with imposter syndrome feel dejected, as if they do not deserve an award or promotion or praise for an accomplishment.
What are the downsides of Impostor Syndrome? How can it limit people?
The biggest downside is a lack of morale and motivation. If someone does not feel like they deserve something, they will act as if they don’t, and this is a huge disservice to talented workers who are making significant strides in their career. It limits the mind, and because of that, a person’s productivity and determination at work can suffer.
How can the experience of Impostor Syndrome impact how one treats others?
If you don’t have faith in your abilities or you continue to see yourself as lesser than in the spaces you occupy, then it will be hard for you to feel like the people in your workplace are your equals. As it affects your self-esteem, it will affect your work output and work relationships.
We would love to hear your story about your experience with Impostor Syndrome. Would you be able to share that with us?
Absolutely! Like I mentioned before, coming from the agency world meant I was well-versed in business. My interest in lifestyle was strong, but as I worked on the business model, attended events, and met other professionals, there were definitely times where I felt like I did not know what I was doing. While I knew intrinsically that I was competent, I found difficulty in navigating this new space with my new company. That’s what’s so tricky about imposter syndrome: you know you’re good, but it doesn’t always show.
Did you ever shake the feeling off? If yes, what have you done to mitigate it or eliminate it?
Yes, through consistency, I was able to work my way out of it. Every time I accomplished something, I would remind myself that it was because of my talents and perseverance, and that I deserved to be there.
In your opinion, what are 5 steps that someone who is experiencing Impostor Syndrome can take to move forward despite feeling like an “Impostor”? Please share a story or an example for each.
- Believe in your talents. Always look at your talent as the base rather than focusing on the task. If you know you can achieve something because of past experiences, then keep that at the forefront of your mind.
- Ask for help. I was fortunate enough to have Ron through this journey, but friends and colleagues are a great support system when you need a reminder.
- Start small. If something seems too daunting, make sure that you scale back and start with something small and manageable. Once you conquer that, it’ll be easier for you to conquer future, larger tasks.
- Visualize your success. Keep your eye on the prize and look forward to what you want to achieve rather than playing into your doubts.
- Prepare for disappointment. This is key. It does not mean anticipate failure; it means come up with a plan in case of failure. How will you move forward after the fact? Putting these in place early can help you navigate tricky personal feelings.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
I’d love to see less plastic in packaging when it comes to bedding.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
You can follow us at @SaatvaMattress on Twitter for updates.
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!