If you asked a room full of property developers to publicly admit if they often experience imposter syndrome, then I would expect the majority to say . . . Absolutely Not!

If, however you did it in an anonymous poll, then I reckon the percentage would be much higher, in fact, I bet if you could get a completely honest answer from everyone, then you would probably find that most people experience it at some stage

The reason I am so confident in saying this is, recently I met up with a group of people who are very experienced in various forms of property development. Each person in that room said that they had experienced imposter syndrome whilst dealing with a development 

A couple people looked at me and said, “yeah its ok for you as you have been doing it for years, you have a background experience in the building industry to work from”

They were quite shocked when I said I will often lack in self belief when I’m doing something new (e.g. a new build vs a renovation). Amid a project when you are answering more questions that you could have even imagined possible, whilst trying to track down the missing materials and trying to work out why it’s taken Steve the plumber 45 minutes to go to his van to grab a 90-degree waste pipe bend – yeah in that moment, one can question the required eligibility for the role

Obviously the more the do the lesser it becomes. It’s rarely acknowledged, that many people, in most industries will experience this at various points in time. Just some are better at concealing it than others

For me confidence was not something that came naturally or easily, it took years of coaching and conditioning, with a very gradual improvement curve. For every mistake that was made, the feeling of being stupid was often left in its wake. However, another experience was gained, and lesson learned. Over time, I became wiser, when becoming wiser more knowledge was gained – with more knowledge and experience comes a greater self-belief and increased confidence

I always used to feel that the people working with me had a far greater knowledge in property development than myself. The reason for this was that they were specialists in their field. In fact, they were the very best people I could find in that specific trade

Some of these people would speak down to me and tell me how I should be managing the project, what I should be doing with the vision of the property etc

The realisation came to me through a conversation with a groundworker called Mike. I was explaining that one of the guys working alongside me was much more experienced in every aspect of building than myself. Mike turned and simply said “yeah but you are the one who has been doing your own renovations for years, he has been working for other people, doing the jobs they ask him to do”

It took him saying that for me to realise that whilst yes, James is extremely good at plastering, he may well be a better plasterer than I will ever be . . . but does he do his own developments? . . . No . . . he works day to day plastering

Therefore, should I be worried about what he thinks I’m doing in terms of the interior design or the external brickwork? . . . Nope!

Don’t get me wrong, I will always listen to others, even on subjects that are not their specialist fields. Many of my best ideas have come from others (disclaimer, they were their ideas . . . I was just brave enough to implement them)

As a leader (yes that’s exactly what you are), I think humility is extremely important. If I don’t understand something, I’m very quick to ask. Most would feel too embarrassed to ask some of the questions that I have asked an architect Infront of a client. Rather than think lesser of you, most people will be impressed with the fact that you are not pretending to know it all (a HUGE number of builders do this, often resulting in expensive mistakes)

Being humble certainly does not mean that you are a doormat. I used to allow others to speak down to me, even when it was my project, and I was paying their wage. These days I can normally spot if someone has that kind of attitude within minutes, I have turned down some extremely talented tradespeople because they have a rubbish attitude

There is a huge amount of value in how you speak about yourself. I recently spoke with someone who has managed some big, impressive building projects, she is much more experienced than me in certain areas

She said that every time she wanted to say something on site, she would start with “obviously I’m not a builder, but . . . “

This simple bit of language is suggesting that her opinion is inferior to the person she is speaking to . . . its not . . . she was the one managing a whole project, where as, they were a small (but important) cog in a wheel

I will do a whole separate blog on how to create confidence, it’s a MASSIVE subject and something I’m very passionate about

For those of you who are interested in property renovation and development, I have created a Free mini course, it’s packed full of useful info

By the end of the course, you will be able to;

  1. Get yourself in the perfect position to invest in your first property 
  2. Understand how to minimise risk with your first property investment
  3. Point out what REALLY adds value to any property renovation
  4. Maximise the end sale price of your first investment property so you don’t leave any money on the table

>>> Click here to sign up and get started on the journey >>>

As always, if you have any thoughts or questions on this or anything else property related, I would love to hear from you?

Cheers George B


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