“Imposter syndrome” is the feeling of being discovered for being a fraud, or somehow not qualified to do the job you have. Despite being fully qualified, many suffer silently from imposter syndrome while performing their occupations.
As an entrepreneur, imposter syndrome comes in different shapes and sizes. I battled it for many years before learning different ways to overcome it. Namely, to accept it and find persistent reminders that reinforce self-belief.
These days, I find a different sort of thought going through my mind as I put together Couture Soul. It isn’t imposter syndrome that I battle – rather, it’s the internal knowing that I’m qualified to do the things that need to be done, yet often wish there were somebody to pass the baton to.
When you start a new business, there are a lot of things to do. Many of these things often go overlooked by those interested in the idea.
“What are your terms and conditions?” I often ask clients.
I ask them this question because most of the time, they don’t have any T&C. This often highlights the level of detail it takes to start a business – as well as to understand the costs and time associated with doing so.
In my career, I’ve shipped over 200+ websites, with varying levels of complexity. One thing I’ve learned is that whenever you add one ‘simple’ feature, there are a lot of complicated things require to make that simple feature work properly.
When I set out to build Couture Soul, I wanted to do more than create a website; I wanted to create an experience that felt worthy of the name.
At its infancy, I remember picking the name “couture” because it was bold and felt somehow off-limits for me to use. The mats needed to be as bold as the name, and the website had to be on-par with the bigger brands in the industry. It felt like a challenge and Couture Soul was born.
Prior to starting this endeavor, I spent a lot of time watching Gordon Ramsey – the chef. One consistent theme he stands by is the concept of “elevating” each dish. From corn to crème brûlée, Gordon knows how to elevate every dish he touches. He gets a pass on his grilled cheese, however. I digress.
Whenever I thought about one element of the concept, whether it be the marketing, designs or product, itself – I constantly asked myself how that component could be elevated, so to type. I tried to think of marketing concepts not through the lens of a marketer, but through a new lens – that of an artist.
I battled imposter syndrome with every step of the ideation of Couture Soul. From having difficulty viewing myself as an ‘artist’ to making the decision to launch a brand in a predominantly-female market. Like you know anything about looks and fashion…home schooler.
Those voices of doubt tend to creep up a lot. Especially when you work largely alone and without professional peer feedback.
While I might not know much about fashion or style, there are a few things I have picked up the fashion industry – and fashionistas – in my years alive. Some of these concepts seemed very obvious to me – while surprising me they had yet to make their way into the world of yoga.
Years ago, I was at a party with my friends. That evening, we all marveled at one man in the room; we’ll call him “Wolf”. We were all marveling at Wolf because of the outfit he wore that night; it was exceptional. He wore a custom tailored blue suit, paired nicely with a plethora of gentlemen accessories; cufflinks, handkerchief and belt. He looked sharp.
Then, there was a knock on the door. In came Ali and Marsha – the couple that always shows up dressed to the 9’s and never, ever in the same outfit. In they walked and it felt as if a silence covered the room as all eyes turned to Luc.
“Luc, you look like you read GQ…but he’s on the cover.” I said, as I pointed to Ali – who sported a stunning ensemble in his outfit that looked timeless, chic and bold. Laughter ensued, and the night carried on…
I learned something in that moment about clothing and fashion – the tone of the room can shift in a moment. One outfit or accessory can be the highlight of the night until the next knockout walks in through the door.
Why didn’t anybody take this approach to a yoga mat?
A yoga mat is more than a functional piece of material on the ground. At least, it can be if you have eyes to see it that way.
It can also be seen as a pedestal to house the beauty standing above it. It can be seen as a loving support system that keeps you from falling, or steady during a difficult pose. It can be seen as a loving hand to support you when you’re ready to collapse. It can serve as the inspiration to encourage you during your practice.
The list could go on. A mat is simply not a mat. At least, I don’t see them that way.
The journey to building this brand has been an inspirational one for me. However, it’s also been one that I’ve found to be exhausting, and I am eager to see the hours turn into something that I can be proud of – and Atlas, too.