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“Imposter syndrome.” With Candice Georgiadis & Andrew Morgans

There are many downsides of Imposter Syndrome, but the short answer is that it can limit your ability to perform and keep you from realizing your potential. A real-life example would be not speaking confidently during a speaking event or an important pitch because you have doubts about your intellectual competence. As a part of […]

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There are many downsides of Imposter Syndrome, but the short answer is that it can limit your ability to perform and keep you from realizing your potential. A real-life example would be not speaking confidently during a speaking event or an important pitch because you have doubts about your intellectual competence.


As a part of our series about how very accomplished leaders were able to succeed despite experiencing Imposter Syndrome, I had the pleasure of interviewing Andrew Morgans.

Andrew Morgans is a thought leader in the Amazon Branding space. He is a resident mentor at UMKC’s Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and guest lectures at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management. Andrew found early success as an internal corporate e-commerce manager. In less than a year he launched and scaled corporate brands new to Amazon topping over $1 million in new sales and repeated this more than once with several different businesses. With this success, he launched both the Landlocked Co Apparel brand, and Marknology™ (www.marknology.com), an Amazon Brand Accelerator. Marknology™ has worked with over 300+ global brands and managed sales of over $150 million. Marknology is also an Amazon Advertising Partner and has worked with clients all across the globe. Andrew is featured on a weekly podcast, Startup Hustle and speaks on e-commerce, branding and Amazon at conferences and events all over the United States.


Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’?

I was born in Canada, then raised in Africa until the age of 16. I returned to the United States, where I lived in Hawaii for my first two years in University. I moved to Kansas City in 2006 and started my degree in computer science and my first business. I was touring the United States in a band, but it was there that I first learned about branding, product development, marketing, b2b marketing, and sales. 2011 — present could really be summarized as falling in and out of love, trying a career in networking and security that I hated. Picking myself up time and time again, and ultimately going from a bartender to educating CEOs and founders on e-commerce best practices in 2020. Even with a lot of blanks in my story, I’m sure you can see how one could deal with Imposter Syndrome in a big way, and why I want to share some of my tips and mindset to overcome it.

Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take away’ you learned from that?

In the particular space that I am in (Amazon Consulting), there has been a lot of doubt in regard to its importance in e-commerce. It seems so straightforward now, but in the early days, my enthusiasm for this platform was met by naysayers constantly. Oftentimes, I was confronted by someone with more experience, more knowledge, more education, more social status, or simply more financial success. Proven success allowed me to slowly gain more confidence to speak to my area of expertise, and regardless of who I was speaking to, speak confidently and boldly about my experience and belief in the Amazon platform as a major player in many consumer goods e-commerce strategy. I started in corporate America and was an E-Commerce manager by title for a medium-sized company. The story that stands out, is one that had me leave that job and its safety, for entrepreneurship and uncertainty. The company was showering me with false promises of further education, or leadership positions, and at the same time ignoring much of the advice I was giving around e-commerce. I was falling in love with e-commerce. It was the perfect blend of creativity and data for me, and my experience made me a natural fit for it. The owner would shoot down my ideas, then go to a conference six months later and come back with a master plan. I knew that if I wanted to be great in this industry, I needed to take a leap into the unknown and that meant working on my own. Brands and companies everywhere were overlooking Amazon, but I was lucky enough to find enough brands to keep me going in those early years as an early adopter of Amazon. I look back at my time at this company as one full of learning, and I look back with pride because it was there that I gathered enough courage to believe in myself and choose to invest in myself when no one else would.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Marknology stands out because we operate with integrity and continue to innovate where others dare not go. Amazon is hard, and because of that, we have found a lot of success taking on these hard challenges on behalf of brands worldwide. I can’t begin to tell you the number of “firsts” that we have been a part of on Amazon. We are one of the first Amazon Advertising Partner Agencies. We were the first to put high-end neckties on Amazon; the first to add fresh steaks on Amazon; the first to expand internationally with clients. The list goes on and on. I think that by being a company that keeps innovation and hard work at its core, you will always stand out in a crowd where “easy” is the easy path to take.

No one achieves success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful to who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

I am thankful for my sisters Veronika, Brooklyn and RhoDana. They are absolute geniuses and we have built this great team and company on their backs. Yes, we are a family team, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. When they decided to give up their careers to move to Kansas City and help me scale this agency is when we really started to grow, and the vision grew exponentially.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the experience of Impostor Syndrome. How would you define Impostor Syndrome? What do people with Imposter Syndrome feel?

I would define Imposter Syndrome as “Feelings of inadequacy despite evident successes.” People that have Imposter Syndrome feel like they don’t belong where they are figuratively or literally. They feel unusually high amounts of self-doubt, or intellectual fraudulence despite there being proof of their competence.

What are the downsides of Imposter Syndrome? How can it limit people?

There are many downsides of Imposter Syndrome, but the short answer is that it can limit your ability to perform and keep you from realizing your potential. A real-life example would be not speaking confidently during a speaking event or an important pitch because you have doubts about your intellectual competence.

How can the experience of Imposter Syndrome impacts how one treats others?

I think most of us would agree that the way someone treats others stems from the way that a particular person feels about themselves. We project onto others our feelings, our insecurities, our bias, and once you are aware of this, it becomes so easy to see in others. I can see areas of insecurity in others because I myself have had to overcome so many. When I see people not being confident with their words, or how they’re perceived, it reminds me of my own insecurities and my own internal struggle with Imposter Syndrome. For me, I think it makes me a better listener and allows me to remove my judgments of a person and allow me to hear them fully. If someone hasn’t overcome Imposter Syndrome, it can cause them to question others, force justifying answers, and create an environment with others that’s not open and safe.

We would love to hear your story about your experience with Imposter Syndrome. Would you be able to share that with us?

I have done a lot of things in my life, and pitching to 100-Million-dollar CEO’s, or companies like Adidas or Marvel is not anywhere I thought I would end up. Imposter syndrome is very real and depending on how far you’ve had to climb to where you are now, the effects can be even stronger. Even as a serial entrepreneur now, I deal with imposter syndrome and I’m not sure that it ever goes away. In order to keep growing and keep moving forward, I have come up with little habits or techniques that help me get confidence for that million-dollar pitch. When you’ve been a warehouse worker, or a bartender making $3 an hour, and make the leap to $200+ an hour or even more, the leap mentally that you deserve to be in the spot you are in is overwhelming at times. As someone trailblazing an industry, I face a little bit of Imposter Syndrome every single day. What if I give this CEO the wrong advice, or I claim to be an Amazon expert, but I get my facts mixed up, or what if I don’t know the answer to how to deal with a global pandemic? Does that make me an intellectual fraud? We know that everyone makes mistakes, but for many competitive people that are really hard on themselves, this is our worst nightmare. As I said, I battle Imposter Syndrome and other insecurities every single day, as I think many of us do. The key is to gain perspective around knowing that the real battle is internal, and no one can stop you but your own mind. If you are able to control your thoughts, and just keep putting one foot in front of the other, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.

Did you ever shake the feeling off? If yes, what have you done to mitigate it or eliminate it?

Yes, I did get rid of the feeling! I used to be unable to speak in front of people, and now I speak at conferences around the world and with very successful CEO’s almost daily.

I am not sure that I will ever eliminate it, but I do know how to mitigate it. I surround myself with people that encourage me and have developed daily habits that strengthen my fortitude as well. Simple things like positive affirmations and continued education play a big part in my growth.

In your opinion, what are 5 steps that someone who is experiencing Imposter Syndrome takes to move forward despite feeling like an “Imposter”? Please share a story or an example for each.

1. Be as Authentic as possible. Try to only speak to what you know for certain, and don’t let anyone force your conversations to have you speak things that are not true.

2. Write down the negative things that you say to yourself in your head. Even if you write one a day, you will quickly gather quite the list. Now read over those things and tell yourself the counter of each one. Focus on the next time that it happens, or you hear yourself whisper that self-doubt internally, and this time bring awareness to it, and try not to say it!

3. Practice answering people’s objections. Sometimes the fear comes from someone saying something that we won’t know the answer to. This is inevitable and will happen eventually if it hasn’t already. What we can do though, is preparing for the unexpected. Get someone you trust and go over your topic and have them try to pick it apart. Any questions or objections that you didn’t have an answer for, study, and find ways to steer conversations in the direction you want them to go.

4. Focus on your strengths. For me, this was a hard one, but once I got it, I really saw a ton of improvement in all areas of my life. Instead of focusing on all of the things I was bad at (Like public speaking, or the written word), I focused on what I was good at. Building relationships, storytelling, being authentic, the list goes on. Maybe I’m not always the best speaker in the room, but I do have knowledge that they don’t have on a topic that they all need to know! When I focused on being able to help people, by sharing my knowledge with them, it allowed me mentally to move forward. If I made mistakes it was okay because I knew my intentions were in the right place.

5. “Comparison is the thief of joy”: A cliché quote, but one that I think carries so much value. If you can stop comparing yourself to others, you will find so much more confidence in yourself. There are people that started businesses in college years before I did or didn’t get married and then divorced before their thirtieth birthday, or that don’t have kids, or that found success in their first year of business. That doesn’t matter to me, and it shouldn’t to you either. What matters is: “Are you a better version of yourself today, than you were yesterday?” Can you do better, achieve more happiness, work harder, relax harder, dream bigger? For me, the answer has always been, Yes. When people say I work too much, I simply smile, and respond with: “Compared to who?”. I know what it will take to achieve my dream and looking at someone else’s dream has never helped me one bit.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

If I could inspire a movement, it would be one perhaps with VR capabilities. Where we as Americans could live in the shoes of others for a single day and experience their perspectives. I believe it would educate so many people and open hearts and minds for more understanding than ever before.

We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them 🙂

Gary Vee — I want to know his personal and company’s approach to selling and branding on the Amazon platform. Specifically, around his endeavors to get his wine into the Amazon marketplace.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Instagram: @andrewmorgans

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/andrew.morgans

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuFlipj-HkO0whZJPVyCgSw

LinkedIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amorgans/

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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