I’ve been asked about my management style, how I work and how I get things done. My stock answer is the plain truth: I make all this shit up as I go along. 

It really doesn’t matter if I’m designing a logo, working through a positioning exercise, developing a career development plan, pitching new business, getting a handle on the annual budget, I always use the same process I learned in college. 

My mentor in school, Frank, said if you can learn to design you can do anything. That simple axiom has not only been true, but has been the guiding principle in my life. This philosophy doesn’t necessarily make life an easier; it’s just a great tool to help me move forward. It doesn’t change the fact that I still feel like a fraud. 

The day I first heard about “Imposter Syndrome” a couple of years ago and I felt better about life. The article let me know that few others in the world are actually the real deal. Most everyone else is just like me, trying to find our way through the world. 

Seth Godin made me think about it again this week.

I think as life grows increasingly more complicated, more and more of us will be imposters. There is no way one person can be an expert at everything. Just look at the expectations of job descriptions posted on the online boards. There is no way any one person can handle most of the responsibilities and qualifications listed.

My wife’s advice has always been “fake it ’til you feel it.” She unknowingly provided the secret weapon against Imposter Syndrome. 

It’s fine to be an imposter. The same can be said of being an amateur. Or a child for that matter. It’s how you handle that discomfort and uncertainty that matters most.