Are You Too Scared to Pretend/Imagine Your Success – Sarah Panus – Episode 76

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How much do you believe in yourself?  There’s something about people who are so confident they get what they want—even though they aren’t as qualified. What is it about people like Anna Delvey and Barry Bremen? And how can we drink just a bit more of the kool-aid they’re taking to unlock the next level of our own confidence to excel in our careers and personal lives?

This EPISODE at-a-glance

  • Why are some people super confident and others second guess themselves?
  • Are you unintentionally holding yourself back in your career because you’re afraid?
  • Example 1: Anna Delvey
  • Example 2: Barry Bremen
  • Takeaway to do this week

Full Podcast Transcription

Sarah Panus:
It’s not about faking it. I’m not saying you should be someone you’re not, I’m saying you should stop limiting who you think you are. Stop holding yourself back. There’s something about people who are so confident they get what they want, even though they aren’t qualified. Even though you may think they’re not, even though they may come outta a left field. Right? What is it about people like Anna Delvey and Barry Bremen and how can we drink just a little bit more of their Kool-Aid to unlock the next level of our confidence to excel in our careers and in our personal lives.

Why are some people super confident and others second guess themselves?

Sarah Panus:
Hi, my name is Sarah Panus. I have spent the last two decades driving digital content for billion dollar brands. Now I help content marketers build winning brand storytelling strategies and reduce feelings of overwhelm and confusion. Join me as we discuss strategy, creativity, confidence, and building a better connection with your audience. Think of this as a creative content marketing jam session mixed with chicken soup for the soul. This is the Marketing With Empathy podcast. 

Sarah Panus:
Hey, Hey, Kindred Speakers. Why is it that some people exude confidence while others second guess themselves? And can we all learn to be a little more confident? During today’s quick episode, I’m sharing some extreme examples of people who quite honestly believed in themselves too much to the point of being delusional. Really? But they had huge success doing it, even if for a little while. What you can learn from them to stand out in your next meeting and advance in your own career after a word from our sponsors.

Are you unintentionally holding yourself back in your career because you’re afraid?

Sarah Panus:
Hey guys. So I recently watched the Netflix series Inventing Anna, have you watched it? It’s based on the true story of a fake German Aris named Anna Delvey, which turns out not to be her real name. But it is such a fascinating story to me and it’s something that creatively sparked an idea and a thought that I wanted to come on today and share with all of you. Because I think that in these extremes we can learn from these folks. Anna’s story, Inventing Anna is really fascinating because of a few things. One, she tricked New York’s elite that she was this German Aris including like bank loans, potential bank loans for like hundreds of millions of dollars. Two, it shows insight into the world, so many of us aren’t a part of. You know, the New York elite class. So it’s kind of like this behind the curtain, look at what that’s really like.

Example 1: Anna Delvey

Sarah Panus:
And three, to me, it’s a fascinating example of how extreme self-belief can really open doors for you. And that’s the part that I think is just fascinating if you take all of her craziness aside and just isolate that fact, it really is amazing to see how that extreme self belief opened so many doors for Anna. If you haven’t watched Inventing Anna on Netflix, I do recommend it. Anna, her lies eventually catch up with her. But she does come extremely close to securing millions in funding for her ambitious business idea. She comes across as a brilliant 20 something, competent, rich Aris with dreams to make a name for herself outside of her daddy’s trust fund that she can’t get access to until she’s older. Which she really doesn’t have a trust fund, so she’s just scanning scamming to get all this money to fund the idea of her dreams.

Sarah Panus:
And she does have really good business ideas. So she’s actually pretty brilliant. She goes from this average family to a New York elitist where she’s getting access to fashion weeks around the world, yachts across the globe, lives in expensive hotels without ever paying her bills. High end art decisions with her friends, New York commercial real estate, like buildings. She was planning to buy a building and very rich acquaintances with powerful connections. And it all worked for her until it didn’t. Her lies eventually caught up with her and she ended up in prison and a New York magazine story documenting the process. And this young girl in her twenties though, was like I said, creatively brilliant. Delusional? Yes. But I think a lot of about entrepreneurs, I know myself can relate to the origin story of starting your own business and kind of the craziness that comes with new ventures.

Example 2: Barry Bremen

Sarah Panus:
And Anna Delvey was just very much on the extreme end of it. Yet, the whole time that I watched this series, I found myself kind of admiring how much she believed in her business idea and in herself. And what was possible and that she wasn’t gonna let anybody stand in her way. And that she was gonna figure out a way to get it done. How much she believed in herself and just made her success happen. So then, while my family and I were sitting in Wahlbergers getting lunch one weekend I saw an ESPN story, caught my eye on one of the TV screens around us in the restaurant. And it was about a guy named Barry Bremen. So you may have heard of him, I hadn’t before watching this story. So Barry Bremen was a novelty, good salesman who achieved a kind of flash celebrity in the 1980s as this ubiquitous imposter who would slip past security and get into all these situations that he was not supposed to be in.

Sarah Panus:
And he would fool people. So he would slip past security in fly balls in the major leagues. He would shoot baskets in the NBA. He joined major league baseball, like referee circles at the start of the games. He would even, he even accepted someone else’s Emmy award on national television saying that he was accepting it on their behalf because she couldn’t make it today. And thank you, blah, blah, blah. Only she was in the audience and was like walking up to the stage as he’s saying this. He also snuck onto the floor during warmups before the NBA All Star Game in Detroit wearing a pill for team uniform. And slipped into the sidelines during a football game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins at the time, dressed in a custom made Cowboys cheerleader outfit and a blonde wig, which apparently he like exercised and dieted, lost some weight before he did that.

Sarah Panus:
I mean, this guy was just trying to blend in everywhere and get into all these cool situations and not get arrested in the process. But I’m listening to this story about Barry and I’m thinking, man, here’s another person who clearly threw caution to the wind and just went for it, right? I mean, they’re not overthinking it because if he did, I guarantee he wouldn’t have done those crazy stunts. I guarantee if Anna would’ve really overthought what she was doing, she would’ve realized this is dangerous and I’m gonna probably get arrested and get in jail for these things and it’s not gonna happen. But there’s something really, I think for us to glean from these extremes is what can we as content marketing professionals take from this in our own day to day? What can we as members of our families take from this on a day to day.

Takeaway to do this week

Sarah Panus:
And so I just wanna be really clear here, and I’m not advocating that you become delusional and a con artist and conning people out of millions of dollars or breaking past security to pretend you’re someone you’re not, I’m not saying that. Okay guys. So don’t be sending me any notes about that. But what I am saying is that as content marketers it’s not about faking it. It’s not saying you should be someone you’re not, I’m saying you should stop limiting who you think you are, stop holding yourself back. So I just wanna repeat that, cuz it’s so powerful. And I know all of us do this to some extent. I’m saying you should stop limiting who you think you are. Stop holding yourself back, stop it. We do this, I do this. I have that voice in my head that holds me back on some things.

Sarah Panus:
But there’s something about people like Anna and Barry who are so confident that they’re getting what they want. They’re opening doors, even if they aren’t qualified. So what is it about people like Anna Delvey and Barry Bremen and how can we drink just a little bit of their Kool-Aid to unlock the next level, to our confidence to Excel in our careers and in our personal lives. I want you to think about your week ahead. Is there something you’ve been putting off an idea you’ve been hesitant to share at work, a big meeting you wanna appear more confident in, or just a call with your boss and a moment to step up. Perhaps there’s someone at work you’ve been wanting to collaborate with, but haven’t asked yet. Schedule a meeting. Or a thought leader idea that you wanna get out there, post it, email it, get allies internally at work to see if it has legs.

Sarah Panus:
Heck, maybe it’s even just getting the courage to go live on LinkedIn more. I know that’s something that I’ve been working through is going live more often on LinkedIn. And my personal thing that stops me is like, oh I don’t have my makeup done. My hair’s not done today, I shouldn’t do the video. But really just showing up with my own authority to be able to help my audience in this crazy brand storytelling world that a marketer’s live in is good. And nobody cares if I don’t look perfect, at least I hope you don’t cuz I’m not sure I’m perfect. That’s for sure. So don’t be a fraud. Okay. Don’t be fraud. Nobody wants a fraud. We wanna be our authentic selves. Just be the actual best version of yourself. Because I think that when we hold ourselves back, we’re actually not living up to our full potential.

Sarah Panus:
We’re not. And the, I want you to be like the best version of yourself. Like that one that you kinda hold back because you aren’t sure what happens when he, or she’s out there. Like what will people think? How will they react? What if they say no? What if you hear crickets? What if your boss hates the idea? What if others in the meeting put it down? Blah, blah, blah. Who cares? I guess is what I have to say. Would Anna Delvey and Barry Bremen have ever kind of opened the doors that they did in the beginning if they had worried about sharing an idea? Would any big successful executive or business owner or editorial director at a big large brand or successful brand have gotten to that position if they hadn’t shared their ideas, if they hadn’t tried?

Sarah Panus:
So Anna Delvey and Barry Bremen show me that no door is open without boldly trying. And that’s what I had take away from that. And that’s what I wanted to share with all of you because we’re in tough times and we have been for several years and I don’t think they’re gonna get a lot easier on a lot of fronts. But we all have the opportunity to lift up and help our customers and show the value that our brands can provide through our brand stories. And to do that, you have to have some bold confidence. You have to put yourself out there. So, you know, put a little bit of Anna Delvey and Barry Bremen in your thoughts this week. And I’m curious, so what will you try this week? Think about it. Until next time, Kindred Speakers.

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Sarah Panus:
If you’re hearing my voice right now, you’re likely a corporate content marketer of some kind looking to level up your brand storytelling career. What would it feel to have the skills, confidence, and know how to advance your brand storytelling results and love the work you’re doing? In an ideal world you and your content team are high level strategic thinkers that know how to humanize your brand to drive seven X engagements and actions. You have the right creative mindset to attract your ideal audience and build brand trust and loyalty through storytelling. You’re viewed as top performers in the company and brand storytelling is valued because it’s driving business results and supporting multiple channel teams. But things don’t always go our way, right? Maybe your brand lacks, a cohesive content strategy. Maybe you and your team are asked to deliver a lot for your company and it’s hard to keep up.

Sarah Panus:
You know you need to invest in figuring out next steps in your company’s brand storytelling plans, but haven’t had the time to figure out how yet. And you need help integrating it across the organization. You personally want to level up your skills because you know, you need to know how to do these things to advance in your career. You want your work to be valued so that you love coming to work each day, attracting leads, increasing repeat, and referral actions or creating a loved brand. And in this competitive market, you’re looking for ways to stay competitive, for yourself or retaining and attracting top talent for your company. That’s why I created the Brand Storytelling Academy, a hands on three month group training program designed to help corporate content marketers attract upper funnel leads that drive bottom funnel results through storytelling. For one sixth of the cost to hire a person on the team or onboard a high level brand storytelling strategist, you and up to five people on your team can be developing and accelerating your brand storytelling skills. Think of it like a college certification program for you and your team, but you get the knowledge a lot quicker and your professor, me, has 20 years of hands on experience guiding you along the way. Curious? Fill out the application at kindredspeak.com/apply to learn more and I’ll be in touch to answer all your questions and discuss if it’s a good fit. Go to kindredspeak.com/apply.

ABOUT SARAH PANUS

Sarah Panus is a brand storytelling marketing strategist, Minnesota mom, and owner of Kindred Speak, LLC, a remote consultancy that helps corporations attract upper-funnel leads that drive bottom-funnel results through storytelling.  Her mission is to add value to the world by humanizing brand+consumer connections. Her online courses teach content professionals inside corporations think like Editorial Directors for their brand to drive stronger results while enjoying their jobs more.  She’s spent the last 20 years helping brands including Sleep Number, Starbucks, Nestle Waters, Christos Bridal, Game Crazy, Cone Inc, and others, speak a kindred language with their audiences, driving brand advocacy and millions in revenue and brand engagements. Learn more at www.kindredspeak.com. Follow Sarah on Instagram and LinkedIn.