How Personal Brands can overcome Imposter Syndrome

What is Imposter Syndrome?

The following is a conversation that I had with one of our clients here at Brand Builders Group. He was having self-doubt automatically kicking in as he was working on his personal brand.

“The problem Rory is, you know, automatically the self-doubt kicks in, right? Because how many people have talked about conflict in the world? How many people have talked about conflict, negotiation, mediation, or conflict resolution?”

I replied, “Way less than people who have talked about hard work, i.e., Take the Stairs. Way, way less than people who have talked about money, i.e., Dave Ramsey. Way, way less than people who’ve talked about health. Way, way less than people who have talked about leadership. And you’re right. So, I appreciate that. Cause the self-doubt always kicks in.

Whether you’re the person saying, ‘I’m not good enough because I’m not the psychiatrist so I don’t have the credibility.’ or you’re the person saying, ‘I’m the psychiatrist. I don’t have life experience of personally going through this or whatever the story is.’ The self-doubt always kicks in. It’s always there. It’s an inevitable part of the process, but I’m telling you, one, you got radical candor and you got crucial conversations. Outside of those two, there’s not that many.” 

He replied, “It feels like already been done. That’s what I’m saying.”

Yeah. But it hasn’t.

The Law of Frequency

rory vaden quote

I’m glad we had this conversation because I know a lot of you are having the same thoughts in your head that my client also had.

Yes, it has been done, but it hasn’t been done by you.

It hasn’t been done through your lens.

We use this the law of the frequency all the time, right?

In your eyes, you say it’s already been done, but it doesn’t matter because only certain people will be able to tune into your frequency.

The literal example of this is a radio. We can both own radio stations and we can be playing the exact same song at the exact same time. But the only people who are going to hear the song are the people who are tuned in to our radio station.

So, should I not have a radio station because you have a radio station that plays the same song?

Should I not have a Mexican restaurant because there’s another Mexican restaurant down the street.


First of all, if you love Mexican food, you want to go to all the Mexican restaurants, right?

Another example is leadership. I love studying this stuff. I want to learn from John Maxwell, Jon Gordon, Tony Robbins–like everybody.

That’s one thing.

The other thing is they may never hear that other frequency. 

For us, in this world, we go, “Oh, well, yeah, radical candor. Like Kim Scott already did that. Crucial conversations-Kerry Patterson already did that.”

 I’m telling you 7.8 billion of the other people on the planet have never even heard of those people. They’ve never heard of them.

They have no idea who they are.

And even if they do, they don’t know how to find them, or they’re not right in front of their face, or they’re not connected to the people that you’re connected to.

 And look, if they loved one, they’re going to love the other.

We don’t just eat at one Mexican restaurant. We try another one.

Think about meeting planners.

This is one of my favorite things to do. I love it when someone books Jon Gordon. Why?

Because if they book Jon Gordon this year, you know who they’re not going to have next year? Jon Gordon.

But if they book Jon Gordon, what do I know? I know they love motivational speakers with general inspirational messages that are ubiquitous and apply to everybody.

Guess who has one of those? This guy right here.

The other thing is if they book Jon Gordon, guess what else I know about them? They have money. Great! I’m following in his wake. I want to be there if they can’t have him, or they can’t afford them, or they had him last year.

And here’s the thing. The people who book Rory Vaden, guess who they’re not going to book next year? They’re not going to book Rory Vaden. Guess who they should book? They should book Jon Gordon. So, why don’t I tell them, “Hey, you should book Jon Gordon”? And why doesn’t Jon Gordon say, “Hey, you should look at Rory Vaden”?

And we do. The rising tide raises all ships.

There is an interview we did with Gretchen Rubin who wrote The Happiness Project and The Four Tendencies. She’s written tons of books, but Gretchen talked about how there’s no such thing as competitors; there are only colleagues.

 And if they already read that book and they loved it, they want another book to read, right?

And another example is if you’ve read Twilight, you’re only going to read it so many times before you want to find another series to dive into.

Overcoming Self-Doubt

So, even if someone does exactly the same topic, you do exactly the same message.

There’s a lot of people out there. We need a lot of Mexican restaurants. We need a lot of radio stations to play the exact same songs that we all love.
I love NEEDTOBREATHE. I also love OneRepublic. They’re very much in the same vein. I love both of them. I love Casting Crowns and I love the Third Day, right? I love both of them.

So, you just got to remember that because that self-doubt is a lie.

This matters to me because I know there are people out there who need what you have.

For example, there are people out there with these disobedient dogs and it’s ruining their life. The dogs are destroying their house. It’s stressing their marriage. It’s causing conflict. 

And they don’t know how to talk about conflict because they need you. They have a disobedient dog. You have the answer. You have the cure.

You spent 26 years and you got the cure for it and the reason that person doesn’t hear about it is because of this invisible, fake crap going on in our head that telling us, “Oh, someone already wrote that book. Oh, someone else already did that.”

That person doesn’t care. They don’t know.

They’re yelling at their spouse because the dog went in the corner again. And they don’t know how to have an intelligent conversation and they need you.

And we don’t reach them. Not because we’re not needed, not because our stuff isn’t good, and not because someone else out there is better than we are. 

We don’t reach more people not because our content isn’t good enough and not because people don’t need us but because we lose to a made-up story that someone else out there has already done it. 

That’s why we care so much about this.

How about you? Have you had the Imposter Syndrome? How did you overcome your self-doubt? I’d love to know in the comments below!

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