How to handle imposter syndrome

20th March 2019

You’re in a meeting with your board of directors.

They start asking you questions about which parts of the business are most profitable, how stable the cash flow is, and what your expenses approval process looks like.

With a nervous intake of breath, you try to answer the questions.

You stay composed on the outside, but on the inside you’re a bag of nerves…

I don’t understand all the questions, let alone know how to answer them.

I haven’t earned my seat at this table… Do I even deserve to be here?

I’m in over my head… They will soon find out I’m a fraud. Is today the day it happens?

If you have ever felt like this, you’re not alone.

That feeling of nerves and uncertainty you have about financial issues, despite being the most senior person at the company – it’s called imposter syndrome. It’s when you feel like a fraud, even though you are patently not….

It’s pretty common among business leaders.

And it’s no surprise.

After all, you didn’t complete any CEO training to get where you are.

You started your company because you were passionate about the product you deliver. You didn’t set it up to handle payroll, financial forecasts or manage cashflow. You have no financial degree.

And yet… you’re the one every employee turns to for answers.

So with every decision you make and every financial report you are asked to review, you secretly question: Is this when everyone sees the real me and I get found out?

Unfortunately, it is hard to grow your company to £5 million or £10 million when you feel this way.

You may feel uncomfortable around finances and yet… you need to understand them, to make well-informed decisions about which parts of your company to invest more in, when to expand your office space, whether you should hire more staff, or which costs to cut.

You need the numbers to scale.

So you have a choice to make.

You can either continue as you are, hoping no one cottons on that you are not really comfortable with the numbers…

Or wait until a disaster happens (like fraud going unnoticed, or discovering that the company you thought was profitable actually isn’t).

That’s when your fear of being ‘found out’ as the boss who didn’t understand the numbers well enough will come true.

Now, you don’t have to become a financial expert.

But you do need to know enough to ask the right questions about the financial health of your company….

…And get answers that make sense to you, and enable you to run your company better.

This is when imposter syndrome disappears.

When you understand how your company’s finances work, you start to feel confident, capable and believe in both yourself and your abilities.

You make decisions for your company based on the numbers - not on gut feeling.

You speak with your accounting team with authority and ask intelligent questions about the numbers, because you understand them.

 And you use this knowledge to run your company in a more efficient way, and ultimately to become more profitable.

This is where we can help.

We manage your company’s finances on your behalf, so you never have to worry about cashflow, payroll or your accounts, day-to-day.

But even more importantly, we work with you, the CEO, to help you get to grips with all the numbers – what they are, what they mean and how they should inform your decision-making.

That way, you can shake Imposter Syndrome, and perform your role as CEO with complete confidence and success.

And instead of spending precious time struggling with your numbers, you can get back to doing what you enjoy most – growing your company and getting excited about the real reason you started it, in the first place.

Just get in touch and let's get started.

P.S. It takes courage to address imposter syndrome. When you finally make sense of finances though, you’ll be relieved you didn’t put it off.

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