#2: Unmasking Imposter Syndrome

Summary

This episode from Design Imposter focuses on ‘imposter syndrome’ – feelings of self-doubt and inadequacy despite evidence of success. Co-hosts Jessica Valis and Monique Jenkins provide background on different types of imposter syndrome aligned with perfectionism, expertise, intelligence, independence, and effort/achievement. They share personal stories of imposter feelings and strategies like transparency, balancing skills with team support, setting client expectations, and focusing on genuine audience value over polish. Key takeaways emphasize embracing your power and voice, trusting your abilities, and continuing to create fearlessly.

Chapters

Defining and Categorizing Imposter Syndrome

Jessica outlines 5 types of imposter syndrome tied to perfectionism, expertise, intelligence, independence, and effort/achievement. These manifest via self-doubt despite evidence of competence and success.

Common Imposter Characteristics

Key imposter characteristics include inability to evaluate skills accurately, externalizing success, self-criticism, worry about achievement, overachieving, self-sabotage, self-doubt, and unrealistic expectations.

Imposter Syndrome in Action

Jessica and Monique share examples of imposter feelings in their work – comparing themselves to peers on LinkedIn and taking on big clients despite self-doubts.

Strategies for Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

They suggest strategies like transparency about struggles, playing to strengths with team support, setting expectations with clients, and focusing on genuine audience value over polish and perfection.

Parting Words of Encouragement

In closing, Jessica and Monique urge creators to embrace their power and abilities, trust their voice and intuition, and continue working fearlessly. They emphasize the Design Imposter community stands ready to support fellow entrepreneurs.

Action Items

  • Analyze 10 academic articles in my field over the next month to identity key value words for specific journal or reader community codes.
  • Compare writing focused on communicating my ideas versus oriented toward changing audience thinking – track reader reactions.
  • Research 2-3 academic communities I am targeting for publications to deepen understanding of values, assumptions, and doubts.
  • Aim for reader-defined value not original or new knowledge.

Transcript

Jessica Valis: Welcome to Design Imposter. Last week, we gave you guys an opportunity to meet myself in Jessica. And this week we want to talk a little bit more about what Imposter Syndrome is.  

Jessica Valis: So did you guys know there are five different types of Imposter Syndrome? There’s the perfectionists, the in -house guru, the genius by nature, the one man band and the ultimate human. And each one of those types of Imposter Syndrome might align with who you are and what you’re thinking.  

Jessica Valis: So just to give you a quick rundown of what each of those are, if you’re a perfectionist, you feel like you could have did things better. Given any situation, unless your performance is absolutely flawless, just like Beyonce, you tend to doubt your own abilities and it makes you feel like a fraud.  

Jessica Valis: If you’re an in -house guru, you feel like you all have the knowledge, your skills because you’re not an expert in the field and there’s always more to learn. You are a genius by nature. You don’t inherently think you’re intelligent or competent and you might suffer from this form of Imposter Syndrome.  

Jessica Valis: If you’re constantly doubting your own abilities, you might even feel like a fraud or that you can’t master skills in order to achieve immediate success. If you’re a one man band, if you had to ask for help, you might feel like an imposter because you should know all of the things and asking for help is really a sign of weakness.  

Jessica Valis: And if you’re the ultimate human, you’re feeling like a fraud when you don’t put in the most effort or achieve the most success. And that might be your form of Imposter Syndrome. So with all of those different versions of Imposter Syndrome, Jessica is going to run us through some characteristics of imposters.  

Monique Jenkins: There are multiple characteristics of imposter syndrome. There’s the inability to objectively evaluate one’s own level of skill and confidence. You blame success on circumstances outside your control.  

Monique Jenkins: You critically evaluate your own work. You worry that your achievements won’t be sufficient. You’re constantly overachieving. Or you’re self -sabotaging. You’re plagued with self -doubt Or you set extremely high expectations, which are then followed by crushing disappointment when you don’t meet them.  

Monique Jenkins: Here is a frequent example of an imposter that I see a lot, especially among my female friends. And that is when they are looking to apply for a new job and they’re looking through and they take like eight out of 10 boxes for the job requirements.  

Monique Jenkins: And they’re like, oh, I don’t have those other two. So I can’t do it. I’m not qualified. That’s them feeling like an imposter. But statistically, men are more likely to apply for those jobs than women.  

Monique Jenkins: I guess maybe implying that women are more likely to have imposter syndrome.  

Jessica Valis: Yeah, I’ve read a multitude of articles about the fact that women will apply to a job if they don’t see like they align 100% to all of the expectations. I think it’s like 95 to 100% of all the expectations where men only have to align to 60% of the expectations of the job and the rest of it.  

Jessica Valis: They’re like, I’ll figure it out. I will say a couple of years ago after I read that article, I just applied to jobs. I’d be like, I don’t care. I’m not qualified. I don’t got 25 years of experience doing this.  

Jessica Valis: I don’t care. I’m just gonna apply. They gonna tell me that I’m not aligned to their expectations. I’m not going to do that to myself anymore because like entry level.  

Monique Jenkins: with 10 years experience. Exactly.  

Jessica Valis: I’m like, look, here I am in all of my glory. You tell me if you think that I’m right for this job. And if they think that you’re right for this job after going through the interviews, I’m willing to say it till I make it.  

Jessica Valis: Like I’m willing to be like, hey, I’ll put in the extra work, I’ll do the extra like knowledge gathering, I’ll spend the hours in there. If this is something that I really, really want to do in order to become proficient.  

Jessica Valis: Because I think that you’ll always talk yourself, you know, autos, being the number one candidate. And I think like even when you get the job, you know, your imposter syndrome escalates that much more because you’re in there and you’re saying like, how the heck did I make this happen?  

Jessica Valis: Like one of the examples of imposter syndrome was all about like not thinking that you have enough context or information and you don’t have the knowledge or the skills and you feel like a fraud. I’m not gonna feel like a fraud.  

Jessica Valis: You’re gonna tell me if I’m a fraud after you have me there for six months. But at that point it’s on my resume, so we’re good to go. But yeah, I’m not gonna do that to myself or I don’t do that to myself anymore.  

Jessica Valis: I apply and I let the company tell me yay or nay as to, you know, if they think I’m a fit or not. And I think that’s true in your business as well. Like there are some clients that you work with and you think like, this is a $200 ,000 project.  

Jessica Valis: Like this person isn’t gonna seriously pick me as like this four person agency. Like I don’t know what I’m doing or I don’t know how to work this out. Or I’m like, nope, now I’m like, I’ll figure it out.  

Jessica Valis: I’ll get in there and I’ll do the work and I’ll figure it out. And I’ll be much smarter, you know, the next time a job like this comes along because I’ll have the experience under Matt Bell as opposed to being like, this isn’t something for me or turning down an opportunity that you very well might be better at than a bigger agency just because you don’t think that you’re qualified for it.  

Monique Jenkins: Yeah, I really liked the explanation of different types of imposter syndrome because I think we can all relate to the perfectionist, not being a guru, not being the genius, doing it all by yourself. And over the past couple of years of just owning an agency, which should not be a one person show, you learn to offload the things you’re not good at.  

Monique Jenkins: What is it? Like, Jack of all master of none. So when I first started, I special, I’ve always specialized in website design. And when I first started, I would connect the URLs. I was doing everything with the DNS.  

Monique Jenkins: And I was like, this is my least favorite part of this whole process. So then I was like, I can do it myself and struggle for hours, not really struggle, but you know, like get through it or I can just hire somebody.  

Monique Jenkins: So now I’ve got a great developer who every single project, that’s what he does. He connects it. It doesn’t mean that I’m not adequate. It just means that I have a specialty elsewhere. And if you have a question about connecting your domain, that I’m going to pass you off to the person who is the expert.  

Jessica Valis: Yeah, I think that’s where we go wrong when you additionally start your business. Like there is some portion of time where you’re gonna be a solo designer at your agency. It’s just gonna be yours. And by all means create a bunch of emails and make yourself an admin and a developer and all that jazz in between.  

Jessica Valis: But I think that you get to a specific point in your business where you have to start doing what you said, which is making sure that you are holding onto the things that you love to do as a designer and business owner and that you’re relinquishing the things that you’re not good at that someone else can be more efficient in and kind of pass those things off to another person because it is their skill set and it’s not yours.  

Jessica Valis: And I think that’s where most people get it wrong is that for a very long time you try to hold onto all of the cards and then eventually you end up dropping something because you can’t. And I think that we spend a little bit too much time being a solitary person in your own business and you have to realize very quickly what you’re good and what you’re not good at.  

Monique Jenkins: Well, yeah, go ahead. I was good. I was going to say with the perfectionist too. Um, I think when you’re the perfectionist, you kind of set yourself up for failure. If you’re going from the client, ask me for ABC and then you do the work and you, you want to show them ABC, but you don’t just show them like first, I’m going to show you a, is a approved.  

Monique Jenkins: Okay. He loves it. He loves how a looks. So let’s do B. Okay. You looks great. Let’s kill, keep going, go to C, but like if you do all the work up front and you don’t know how.  

Jessica Valis: Ha  

Monique Jenkins: your clients going to react, you’re kind of almost setting yourself up for failure a little bit. Yeah. So it’s, you need to get that, that feedback, which we talked about in the first episode. Um, and you’re not going to be perfect.  

Monique Jenkins: And your clients idea of perfect is also different from yours because looking back at some of my very first projects, I’m like, I am not happy with how this turned out. Like I cringe, but these clients have come back and they said, like, we still love it.  

Monique Jenkins: Yeah. We want to do, you know, can we add on to this? And you’re like, Oh, great. Yeah. I’m glad I don’t, you know, I’m not my own client.  

Jessica Valis: But I think that’s an industry thing. Like our measure of like when something is perfect or complete is based on everything we see around us. So when you’re looking at Apple’s website, there’s like a niceness and a sleekness and a coolness to this.  

Jessica Valis: And that’s what you’re trying to give to your clients, but that’s step 17 or 18. And you just need to start at step one with them. So if they’re going from a website that they’ve had since, I don’t know, 1999, and you’re trying to get them up to, you know, present day, as far as some of their aesthetics is, you’re not going to get there in one fail swoop.  

Jessica Valis: Sometimes you’re going to have to baby step your clients through that process and order for them to feel comfortable relinquishing a little bit of the design control to you so that you can accomplish, you know, what step 17 is later.  

Jessica Valis: What you’re doing right now is you’re specifically designing something based on whatever goal that they’re trying to accomplish. And that’s what their intent is. Like redesigns don’t happen because redesigns are fun.  

Jessica Valis: Redesigns are not fun. They look nice. I love the branding section of it, but no company that’s had a redesign. Like it is something like, this is amazing. I absolutely love redesigns. It’s the best.  

Jessica Valis: It’s we’re redesigning our site for a purpose and that purpose is to attract more clients. That purpose is to get more email signups. That purpose is to whatever the case is. And the design is in service of those things.  

Jessica Valis: So if you’re not spending time, if all of your effort on the design amounts to no new, you know, net gains for this company, is it going to be worth it to them? Do they see your services being worth it?  

Jessica Valis: Which is where I think people get confused. Nice aesthetics might not ultimately drive more conversion in someone’s business. And conversion is the thing that they are, you know, hiring you for potentially.  

Jessica Valis: Sometimes it’s a facelift and it very much purely is aesthetic. But sometimes and most times it’s for a purpose and that purpose is to get an audience member or user of their site to do something specific.  

Jessica Valis: And I think that when you don’t think about that or you try to rush that process and go from zero to 360, that’s where you start to fill a diversion between you and your client and understanding what their goals are upfront and having those conversations.  

Jessica Valis: 100% important. Like the questionnaires that you’ve given at the beginning of working with your clients. Incredibly important and to facilitating what they actually want. And I don’t think clients always know what they actually want.  

Jessica Valis: They tell you what they think they want or what they think they need. But I think they leverage your experience to be like, Hey, is this right? Like to gut check that feeling.  

Monique Jenkins: Yeah, you can’t be a perfectionist if your client doesn’t even know what they want yet. And these are all things you kind of learn with every client. You go back, you edit your proposals so that the future ones include or don’t include this.  

Monique Jenkins: Or you change your contracts. Or you include or you change like what’s included in your scope of work. How many, you know, versions, how many edits because your client might not know and it’s your job to help guide them through.  

Monique Jenkins: And when you know what they are, what their expectations are, then you can set expectations for yourself and kind of get rid of that imposter syndrome a little bit. So,  

Jessica Valis: So, Jessica, tell me, how has the imposter syndrome affected you and your business?  

Monique Jenkins: Oh my gosh. Well, I get most of my clients off of LinkedIn and I’m specifically marketing towards financial analysts or financial advisors because that’s where my background from Wells Fargo comes from.  

Monique Jenkins: And there are other individuals who have defined this as their niche as well. And when you look at their LinkedIn’s and you’re like, oh my gosh, they have so much content. They have, um, you know, the best looking designs and they’ve got this and oh my gosh, they’ve got so much content.  

Monique Jenkins: And I’m like, I’ll look at how many followers they have and you’re just like, am I worthy? Um, but then I will, I will talk to people randomly who will quote my LinkedIn back to me and tell me how much it resonated with them.  

Monique Jenkins: And so these people that on LinkedIn that I’m like, oh my gosh, they’ve got like 500 comments on this. I don’t get comments per se. But it’s something special when it’s quoted back to you or it’s referenced.  

Monique Jenkins: Um, so that always helps me kind of overcome this idea of imposter syndrome. And then there’s just the relationships that are built from that. If I was, I gotta remind myself if I was an imposter, I would not have clients coming back and renewing contracts or coming on retainer and being on retainer for several years.  

Monique Jenkins: So, um, because over a couple of years, I’m sure they’ve had time to go and look and see what other people are doing. Um, and you and me, we just went on a call with a client last week and, um, we were talking about a website refresh, which is a little different than a website redesign because we’re not entirely starting from scratch.  

Monique Jenkins: They absolutely love the first version of their website. And they were like, oh yeah, we show other, other people in this industry, the site that you built us and they absolutely love it. And I’m like, well, well, tell me who loves it.  

Monique Jenkins: So I can get those referrals. But you, you don’t necessarily know that people love your stuff until you talk to them. And once you know that, like, oh yeah, like other places that do what we do have really given us props for this.  

Monique Jenkins: And you’re like, okay, maybe I’m not, I’m not faking it till I’m making it. Maybe I actually know what I’m talking about.  

Jessica Valis: You’re always with LinkedIn. That is not my gift. I, on the other hand, do not use LinkedIn or other social media for my business, although I’m trying, okay? I’m gonna do it. But keeping up with social media and me, we are just not aligned.  

Jessica Valis: If you want a funny meme, you come to Monique. But if you want consistent posts on social media, you go to Jessica, because that’s not my gift. Oh, well.  

Monique Jenkins: Real quick, if you don’t see me posting on LinkedIn, it’s because I’m busy with clients. And if I’m posting all the time, it means I’m slow. And I know there’s a lot of like AI out there that’ll do your social media for you.  

Monique Jenkins: But I’m very committed to the genuine voice that is on my social media. So I don’t like to like schedule a year in advance because I just don’t think it’s authentic.  

Jessica Valis: Jessica’s different than me. I’ll schedule that thing out for the next five years. I don’t care. Let’s get in there. As long as it’s consistent, I’m on it. But I don’t leverage social media in any of the ways that you do.  

Jessica Valis: Like all of my clients come from referrals or from networking. So I think I mentioned this in the first podcast episode where we talked about getting to know us. But I have a lot of clubs and activities and things like that that I’m a part of.  

Jessica Valis: I talk to a lot of designers one -on -one. Jessica and myself were both teachers at Tulsi University. So, you know, students come to me and tell me that companies that they’re working for are looking for designs.  

Jessica Valis: So that’s some of that. I was on the board of AIGA for a couple of years. And if you don’t know what AIGA is, it is the American Institute of Graphic Artists. I’ve sat on their board programming events in Baltimore for probably about three years at this point.  

Jessica Valis: I no longer do that. But… Sat on the board didn’t even know the acronym. Yeah. Sorry, guys. I can barely remember my own name one some days. But, you know, I did that for a little bit. And then I did LWD Baltimore, which is Ladies One in Design.  

Jessica Valis: So networking and doing events and being out there in a community and getting to know people has helped me immensely in my business. So I don’t use social media because I don’t have to. I’m getting a lot of my clients from referrals.  

Jessica Valis: I’m getting a lot of my clients from networking. So I have a very good, like, in -person communication style that people feel comfortable enough to come to me and be like, hey, I’m having problems in this area of my business.  

Jessica Valis: Are you able to support that? And that works much better for me than leveraging, you know, Facebook or Instagram or LinkedIn in order to gain those clients. Not that I’m consistent in any three of those social media sites, but I will try.  

Jessica Valis: I’m trying. It’s my goal.  

Monique Jenkins: Does it make you feel like less of an imposter when people come to you or does it make you feel like an imposter when you see that people are like, I’m using social media to leverage, but you’re not.  

Monique Jenkins: Like that makes me feel like an imposter that I have to use social media and you’re just getting word of mouth referrals. So, yeah.  

Jessica Valis: So I flip it for me. So I feel like an imposter when I’m on social media being like purchase this product for me guys Although I understand the importance of social media in order to like gain and retain clients I find much more commonality in a one -on -one space like if I’m sitting down and talking to you I’m genuinely invested in what you’re saying to me and I want to to grow your business when I hear about how passionate someone is about their business and they’re articulating what they do and how they’ve done it and how long they’ve been in business like that Makes me feel like oh, this is awesome And I think I’m relatable like I think people don’t see me as like you know This big kind of person that they can’t come up and like talk to probably because I’m not and I feel like people are Valid in there thinking that like hey, I can go up to her and have a personal conversation and it could be about their business Or it could just be about their life Sometimes Brian is with me Brian’s my husband And he is I don’t know cracking jokes in the back of some type of networking event because he has no decorum He opens up the gateway for people to be like oh, they’re really approachable Let me go talk to them like his co -workers Asked me all the time like hey, can you design a t -shirt for my kids birthday party or something like that sometimes I’m like, yeah sometimes I’m like My hourly rate doesn’t align with that But he’s able to like talk on my behalf and attract businesses to me I’m able to articulate to people that like hey I’m just a super cool like down earth person like if you come up to me and you want to talk we’re good We can have a conversation and I always find that like if you go on my site you can you know Book time with me on Calendly like a 15 minute session or something like that those things don’t never last 15 minutes for me I’ve been on phone with people for like six hours every single person in Baltimore has my cell phone number I don’t know how don’t know why because I gave it to them probably but like everyone can communicate with me I have been to graduation parties and family cookouts and all these other things with people who I just met through networking Like I literally just went to a graduation Zikia For her master’s degree at University of Baltimore That’s a conversation that we had two years ago where she was like hey, you know I’ve not seen many black women who are in the ux space I want to talk to you before I sign up for this program Can you tell me what your opinion is and we just had a conversation?  

Jessica Valis: And maybe one day she’ll come back to me and she’ll be like hey I’m working for this super awesome custom company You know they have some graphic work that I’m doing or they need a more experienced ux professional Are they want to hire an outside firm and those people come back to me?  

Jessica Valis: So? Baltimore is is big and small at the same time and because of all these network connections that I’ve made and all of these clubs that I’ve put myself into I’ve been able to Take those relationships and turn them into you know profitable things for my business at some point or another Which is different like I think that you’re Like LinkedIn for you like every time I see you post on LinkedIn I’ll be like dang I should probably put something on there like Jessica’s on it like she’s always like posting something and it’s related It’s cute.  

Jessica Valis: It’s about your family or it’s about like things you see out there in the world And I certainly have those thoughts as I’m kind of like working through Life, but I don’t post about them like you do like I’ll see I mean maybe I’ll text you like if I see a pizza menu and the Kearnings off.  

Jessica Valis: I’m like just like this. This is ridiculous. Oh my gosh  

Monique Jenkins: My husband can’t, he can’t because every time we go out to eat, I’m like, oh honey, look, they forgot to put the dollar sign in front of this or this was bolded on this line, but this one wasn’t. Oh, and he’s like, they don’t care.  

Monique Jenkins: Nobody cares. You’re the only one here.  

Jessica Valis: I can’t say my Brian. He’s like, Monique, stop it. Nobody cares. Like, well, we took a road trip this weekend and I was like, looking at people’s like box trucks and I’m like, oh, the kerning over here is just a little bit wrong because they could read as this and this.  

Jessica Valis: And he’s like, baby, no one cares but you. You and Jessica are the only two people in this world going around critique and kerning wherever you guys are. And I’m like, it’s because we’re professionals.  

Jessica Valis: Okay. We’re trying here.  

Monique Jenkins: So I have a couple examples that I just thought of while we were talking. And so when you’re giving the type of imposter syndrome, there’s the perfectionist. And for some people, like especially for design, you’re thinking like, oh, this design could be better, this could be better.  

Monique Jenkins: But as we’re talking about like the use of social media, I tend to stutter and like get flustered over my own words where I second guess by word choice, I’ve got like this really awkward lull. And even though I’ve got a bachelor’s in communication, and that includes like oral public speaking, I still get very, just like that, I still get very self -conscious of how I speak because I am not perfect.  

Monique Jenkins: And I think that is why I’m on social media, because I want to overcome that, I don’t know, that influencer model and show that I’m just a real human being and I’m stuttering over my words. And here I am, I’m recording a video and I’m in a really nice top.  

Monique Jenkins: Oh, but by the way, it rained today, so I’ve got my hiking boots on and this is just the world I live in. But I am constantly going back and feeling the need to rerecord things or just not posting things I’ve recorded at all, because I just cannot get over my own little stutter or second guessing of my words.  

Jessica Valis: I would agree with that. I think if I was going to use social media for my business, it would have to be in a very genuine way. Like I can’t keep up with the Joneses guys. Like it’s not my thing. I don’t want to do it.  

Jessica Valis: There is literally a half eaten Chick -fil -A sandwich next to me right now. Like I can’t be a part of the like influence world. I’m almost never wearing makeup cause like I don’t have time. Okay, I don’t.  

Jessica Valis: I don’t, I mean, my husband bought me a very nice $100 palette is still sitting in the drawer from three years ago. I don’t have it. Okay. I can’t do it for you. I can’t make it happen. If you see me at an event, I’m not wearing makeup.  

Jessica Valis: It’s just not my thing. And I can’t get on camera and be like, look at this dolled up version of Monique because she doesn’t exist. Okay. I’m just going to put soap and water on my face and then I’m leaving.  

Jessica Valis: Um, and that’s where I am. So I, it’s like,  

Monique Jenkins: Every time I go to the hair salon, which is very seldom, it’s a treat for me. But the stylist will be like, so what do you normally do with your hair? And I’m like, I let it air dry. Yeah. And then I wake up and I brush it and I go.  

Monique Jenkins: Well, do you style it? No, I don’t have time. I’ve got two kids. I’m like, when do you want me to do this?  

Jessica Valis: I’m like, that’s not what’s happening here. But like, I think that being genuine on social media, so like getting out of the idea of perfectionism, like I think showing people naturally what’s happening, like I get the most, I have the most, the influencers that I think that I watch the most are people who tell the truth about their business and tell the truth about the things that are happening in their life.  

Jessica Valis: Like I have a friend, Jessica Lingley, she is an amazing muralist in Baltimore. If you don’t follow her, you should. And she posts like at the end of the year, every single year what her salary was, what she spent on expenses and contractors and supplies.  

Jessica Valis: So like how much her business brought in versus how much it actually netted. And like talking about salary and being transparent and talking about your business, like those are the things that I love about people.  

Jessica Valis: Like I don’t like all the secrecy. It’s not that big a deal. Let’s just say what it is. Like I think that that level of transparency on social media is important to me. And because I think about social media perfectionism as being like super polished, I can’t be a part of it.  

Jessica Valis: Like I probably certainly could be up there and be genuine Monique. I’m still not gonna be consistent because genuine Monique ain’t. But like the level of like polishing that has to go into social media or the amount of retakes that you have to do in order for things to be polished and full.  

Jessica Valis: And I get it from like a client perspective, like you want that, I don’t have that in me. If you want polished, you better go to jinkinscreative .com and you can see a polished website and that’s still not polished all the time.  

Jessica Valis: But if you like catch me on social media, I might be twerking on a yaw yaw. I can’t say, I can’t call it, okay? Or finishing a workout. Exactly. I might be sweating and work it. There might be throw up on my shirt.  

Jessica Valis: Like I can’t be a partner from the baby, from the baby. Exactly, from the baby. But I’m like, I can’t call it or my dog might be in the video, like I don’t know, puking on like, it just, I can’t do it.  

Jessica Valis: That level of perfectionism, that type of imposter syndrome, I can’t get down it. I’m not gonna be able to do it. But like there is a certain level of like it for in, you know, in the type of like imposter syndrome, like in house guru where like, you know, if you don’t feel like you know everything about social media, you don’t feel like you can leverage it properly.  

Jessica Valis: And in that respect, I’m like, that’s not my thing. I don’t want to do that. I can talk when I want to people. But I think the difference between your businesses and mines is like, you can do LinkedIn from the comfort of your own home and gain clients in that way.  

Jessica Valis: I have to put myself out there by networking and go into an event and being out there if my business is gonna continue to be sustainable because it’s predicated on me being out and in front of people, which I have a love hate relationship with.  

Monique Jenkins: So, okay, another example of imposter syndrome, which is actually going to lead us kind of segue into our next episode, is the ultimate human where you feel like if you don’t put in the effort or achieve a certain success that you’re an imposter.  

Monique Jenkins: And this made me think of like, if you don’t put in the certain amount of work, so if you’re getting paid per hour, or if you’re charging per project or per your level of expertise. So if you’re going to charge, for example, $1 ,000 for a logo, but you’re like, well, I made it in an hour and the client loved it immediately.  

Monique Jenkins: I must have done something wrong, or I don’t deserve this. Is it the fact that you don’t deserve it or that you’ve been doing this for so long that you have the expertise, you did the research, and you just knew what you were supposed to do.  

Monique Jenkins: So there’s also that, where people are like, especially when you’re just starting out. Well, I’ll do it by the hour and then you get caught up in the perfectionist, the in -house guru, the genius, all the different elements of a design imposter.  

Monique Jenkins: And next thing you know, you’ve done a thousand dollar design, but your own personal hours, you’ve probably spent $5 ,000 of your own time. So you negative 4 ,000. You know, like you’ve done more work than what you.  

Jessica Valis: you should have. And I don’t think of that in my entire design career that I’ve ever given someone a quote and stayed within a certain amount of time. Like I always go above and beyond and I’m like, oh, I just need a little bit more due diligence here.  

Jessica Valis: I’m just going to do a little bit. Oh, it’s not that big a deal. And then like you said, you look up later and you spent, you know, 100 hours on a project that is only netting you $1 ,000 and you had to buy a specific fund.  

Jessica Valis: So that cost you a couple hundred or something like that. So like, you have to balance that out. And I don’t think that we always do that. But get your money up front, though.  

Monique Jenkins: Well, thanks for kind of diving into what an imposter was, different examples of it. And next episode, we’re going to kind of deviate a little bit away and talk about pricing your work so that you earn what you deserve.  

Monique Jenkins: As we wrap up our captivating journey on today’s episode of Design Imposter, we want to leave you with an empowering message. Self -doubt may be universal, but should never define your worth or potential.  

Jessica Valis: Embrace your power, embrace the power of your unique voice, trust your intuition and abilities, and continue creating fearlessly. Remember, you belong in this space and your contributions are immensely valuable.  

Monique Jenkins: Know that you are never alone on this journey. We stand by you, ready to support and celebrate you, your business, and everything along the way. Thank you.  

Jessica Valis: Thank you for joining us today and being an essential part of the Design Imposter community. Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review to help other imposter find us. Until we meet again, keep those headphones on.  

Monique Jenkins: on and stay inspired.