Ever feel like you are not good enough? This was pretty much how I felt for the past 30 years.
I’ve always worried that I’d never succeed because everyone else had better chances, better education, higher IQ, better connections, more experience, rich parents, rich boyfriends, better citizenship or more luck. I learned about “imposter syndrome” a few years ago, and this was my state of mind. (Don’t ever put any labels on yourself, by the way).
Every time I’d succeeded at something — winning in the regional literature contest when I was 16, getting a master’s degree in linguistics with honor, setting up a coffee shop, getting a job as a deputy center manager and then working as a deputy director of a big property development & management company, etc.— I thought everyone would soon find out that I was an imposter. That I knew nothing and was worth nothing.
I’d attended so many workshops, read so many books about finding your purpose and all that, and I wanted to puke every time someone would ask me: “What do you think your purpose is?” What if I don’t have one? I am passionate about many things, but I’ve no idea what is my purpose. So, shut up!
When I started asking my successful friends and mentors about this — those whom I thought would have this whole entrepreneurship, passion, purpose, and fulfillment thing figured out already — all of them told me they’d felt like imposters, too (sometimes, not all the time).
Maya Angelou felt like an imposter almost all her life but continued to write. Oprah, Elizabeth Gilbert, Marianne Williamson, they’d felt it too. However, it did not stop them from taking their creations to the next level, putting their time, money, and sweat into what they believed in, and succeeding in it. Every. Freakin’. Day. They all knew what they wanted to do. They were clear about the outcomes and WHY they did it.
I did not. That was the difference that was nagging me all the time. What the f*ck I was meant/supposed to do?
I moved to Bali 5 years ago. My last big job in Russia was doing project management for the Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi 2014. When the Games finished, I decided that before I applied to the next Olympics in Rio, I’d have some time to hang out in Bali with my friend. So, I bought a one-way ticket to Bali and…
I never applied, and I never went back. I stayed here, joined Hubud (as a member), found clients through Hubud and met a lot of wonderful people. Fast forward 5 years, I am working for Dojo and Hubud, designing unique programs for individuals, corporate clients, and even universities.
For a girl, who grew up in the middle of nowhere in Russia it is a pretty cool life, right
BUT, what about my imposter syndrome, my freakin purpose… I’ve done so many different projects with so many different people throughout my life that I felt like I haven’t mastered anything in particular. I felt like a fraud.
I’ve had my own coffee shop, worked for L’Oreal Paris, managed a lingerie store, worked as an art director in a nightclub, then managed shopping malls, worked as a Real Estate consultant for a big international company, and the Olympics. Then in my new life (here in Bali) I’ve worked as a digital producer for an international speaker and coach, worked for a holistic doctor, did events and community management for a “multi-functional” international company and, finally, landed at Dojo.
I’ve always been obsessed with personal development, I read sh*t loads of books on positive psychology, relationships, men, women, group dynamics, leadership, mindfulness, did coaching courses and was certified as a “Wealth Dynamics Master”. I still had no idea what I wanted to do “when I grow up”.
But then I met Sandrine Landrix, the founder of The Smile Road. From the first moment I met her, I always felt this woman was special.
Sandrine is a former attorney. She worked in Paris, France, in the public & private finance sectors for 12 years, in an International Investment Bank and a law firm where she managed their Corporate and Banking department.
She said that one day she lost her smile and decided to take it back. This is how she started asking herself “what makes you smile” and decided to see where it would lead her. She began sharing what she discovered along the way and naturally started helping others discover what brings them joy and craft or realign their work from that.
Sandrine uses stories, she says that if you let your story speak you can find many clues about who you are, what you really want to do and what matters the most to you. She loves helping people craft their work from the inside out and believes that we all have a special gift to share. She is curious, loves exploring possibilities and has a natural talent to see what makes someone unique and to encourage creativity.
Over the years, she has developed tools to help individuals and organizations understand who they are and what they really want to do. She has mixed everything she’s learned — strategy, coaching, storytelling, branding, photography, leadership, and design thinking — to guide her clients on their journey to reconnect with what they enjoy doing, clarify their message, build meaningful brands and share their stories. She believes in long-term relationships with her clients and the power of collaborations and human connections.
Sandrine believes business should be a force for good. She is empathetic and straight-forward with an enthusiastic view and passion that continually pushes her to always explore and learn new things.
She believes that there is always a way when we enjoy what we do, that we must stay connected to the WHY we’re doing it, and deeply care about solving a problem with our business. We just need to look within, build the right strategy and add a dose of courage to own our vision. I love her enthusiasm and how she is able to mix joy, creativity, and work.
Sandrine’s been collaborating with purpose-driven businesses since the beginning of her career and giving back is part of her business model. For the past two years, she has worked with Stella’s Child, a Foundation in Bali that empowers underprivileged kids by giving them education, entrepreneurial skills, and career development advice.
She has designed and taught the program, “Personal Leadership and Career Direction”, and she is now facilitating the next step of the foundation by working closely with the leader to craft the message, communicate the learning journey and programs in a compelling way and tell the human stories behind 5 years of work with the kids and mentors.
Sandrine knows exactly what she is doing. She never takes any BS from haters or naysayers who ask questions like, “Why do you focus on such a weird thing like finding joy in business and life?” She just does her work, making her clients happy because they finally start seeing the bigger picture and enjoying what they’re doing.
This is why I decided that Sandrine is perfect for our women’s retreat called Women on a Mission, which we are hosting this November in Bali. She designed an amazing program, and this is exactly what I needed for myself to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. This is a program for women like me, who want to gain confidence in themselves and finally launch something on their own, something meaningful that brings them joy and makes them jump out of their pants, bed every morning with excitement.
While we were working on our program, I told her how I felt, so she decided to help me figure out my mission. So, we’ve discovered that I JUST LOVE helping creative, talented people access their full potential and perform at their peak. Easy, simple, yet powerful. I am now on my own journey designing a project that brings me joy!
What about my good old Imposter? Gone! Tony Robbins helped a little bit here as well, but this is another story.
Sandrine is THE WOMAN ON A MISSION. And her mission is to help individuals and organizations embrace what makes them unique and tap into their creativity to build meaningful business. She believes joy comes from aligning our work with who we are, our talents, and what we want to create in the world.
It is not an easy job to be a Woman on a Mission. But, here is the thing: Most of the women-led businesses are purpose-driven. Nearly 100% of women-founders, when they start a business, always look at possibilities of how they can improve something in the world. They are either focusing on a positive impact on a particular community, environmental or social issues in their country, or support causes or projects in other countries that would never get attention from men.
Here are more fun facts: According to the data collected by First Round Capital, female-founder companies it has funded performed 63% better than the all-male founding teams it has funded. A research study made by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation found that women-led teams generate a 35% higher return on investment than all-male teams.
Female entrepreneurs are less motivated by money. Male entrepreneurs are eight times more likely to pursue financial gain, and it turns out that, from an investor’s point of view, investing in a profit-driven entrepreneur can be very risky and they prefer to invest in someone who is driven by a bigger cause than money, because people are more likely to perform well on a difficult task if they are intrinsically, rather than extrinsically, motivated.
Despite all the good stuff you hear about being an entrepreneur, a typical business owner earns 35% less than he or she would earn working for someone else. So, when entrepreneurs are motivated by something that moves their soul, they are ready to go the extra mile to achieve higher goals because their business has a higher meaning, and they are contributing to something beyond themselves and their personal wellbeing. This is why the money comes naturally and IS a byproduct of what they do.
I am not saying that all men are driven by money. Only that people who are contributing to the lives of others are more likely to succeed financially and find fulfillment, hence be in the state of joy, excitement, and gratitude most of the time, which is the highest frequency state that attracts even more good and abundance into their lives. A good example is our founder, Michael Craig, who created Dojo because he wanted to create a space that can become a home for a vibrant community of change-makers. This project has never been driven by money, which has been attracting a lot of interest from investors.
Sandrine says that being a Woman on a Mission doesn’t necessarily mean that a woman must be an entrepreneur. She can also be an employee, an author, a public speaker, a volunteer for an NGO, a dancer or even a nun. The main thing is knowing who you are and doing things that are completely aligned with who you are. This is how you tap into your full potential to create good.
If you’re reading this and you are a woman (or a man), and you don’t know how you can build a life and have a project or business that reflects your true self, you must understand that we all, every single one of us has something unique to offer.
Look, your crazy, never-been-done-before idea could be exactly what the world needs right now. You just need someone to guide you through this process on how to craft your mission, vision and start doing what you really enjoy. This can be a mentor, a coach, someone who has done something similar before. Remember, success leaves clues, so if you really desire it, you will find someone who can help or inspire you.
Your heart, creativity and ability to see things differently is a gift and I know that you are capable of building a brand, creating a project or a business you were meant to create.
As Maya Angelou said: “I came as one, but I stand as ten thousand”.
It means all the women from your family, alive or deceased, they are all standing by your side, supporting you, believing in you, proud of you.
Your mission is possible! Don’t doubt it for a second. Own it. Make it happen. And smile all the way through your journey!