Talking about impostor syndrome (IP) became a hot topic in 2015. Did you see it happen? Many posts popped up, as well as several WordCamp and Ruby conference talks.
Most everyone has it, even the egomaniacs in the room, but probably not the meglomaniacs. They take care of that self-image thing way better. I know I have IP and have for well over two decades, until I reach a point of boredom in a position because there is little or nothing else to learn, let alone master. That’s about the time I’d move on to another job. Challenges are fun, so maybe it’s a case of yearning for IP? That’s a discussion for my mental health professional.
For those who are late to the game, IP is the underlying (or more self-aware) sense within yourself that others know more than you do about what you’re doing and you aren’t worthy of your position at your company or in your circle of friends. It’s only a matter of time before they find out you’re a fraud and exile you to live out the rest of your days on Dagobah with Yoda. It prevents you from asking for help (or at least feel ashamed when you do) and tapping the resources of your team or network.
but it doesn’t have to be that way
I’ve been working on a project since October that has been my plan to productize when I got it working. One delay led to another, which led to another, but it’s finally done. Now that it’s done I realized I don’t have the toolset to convert it to a product. There are several gaps in my programming abilities. I’ve also not yet sold a commercial plugin. Stealth Login Page has over 70,000 downloads and 20,000 active installs, but it’s free and just sits in the WP repo for download.
One attitude to have is to look at everyone who knows how to do such a level of programming, but that is focusing on the wrong thing. Those people have spent the time and energy to learn some additional skills that allow such wonderful packages of code.
Someone could also be defeated and give up on a great idea. That’d be a terrible state for me, because ideas come pretty easily for me and have to spend time sorting out which ones are worth pursuing. If that was my default, I’d have only done one Treehouse course, not three… and also would have skipped Modern WordPress Workflow because when that idea happened, 50% or more of it was something I was learning and mastering as we went.
my favorite option
Collaborate. While I don’t believe partnerships are a good idea for something with two people, with one person as the idea/code/IP rights, they can work out commission or profit-sharing to those who help bring it to fruition and/or keep it going. Harness your weaknesses by accessing them in the form of others’ strengths.
Just like joining a team increases the abilities of the individuals nearly exponentially, combining forces for single item projects is a great way to quickly bring something to market… like Andy Wilkerson and I did for Customizer Remove All Parts in 2015. We had that ready in less than a week based on some lines of code I uncovered to do what I wanted to do, and he put them into a plugin and we started marketing it as our free collaboration.
So what’s holding you back? What do you need help with?
Why don’t you think partnerships are a good idea? Just curious …
jesse petersen says
That’s a great question and one worthy of a post, not a comment reply. I’m adding it to Drafts now.