Two Perfect Lessons from My Chat with a 25-Year-Old CEO

Do you ever have a conversation that completely reinvigorates your sense of purpose? That brings back that drive that made you an entrepreneur in the first place?

The latest episode of Bond Appetit was a little bit like that.

For this week’s episode, I had the good fortune to speak to Alda Karen. At 25 Alda has her own company, Alda Karen Inc., has given a sold-out, three-hour lecture on mental health in front of 2,000 people and has done more than most people twice her age.

I’ll be honest — if you’re over the age of 25, listening to Alda will probably make you feel like you missed out in life. But that shouldn’t stop you from listening to the podcast. She has a lot of interesting things to say and our conversation covered everything from imposter syndrome to the toils of emotional labour.

There was a lot of interesting material from our talk — too much to squeeze into my normal bite-sized blog posts. But here are two salient points that I think are worth sharing.  

Trust Your Natural Talents

“I get the worst case of imposter syndrome when I’m doing something that comes naturally to me,” Alda told me, which instantly made me laugh. It’s so true: unless we’re struggling, we don’t feel like we’re making any progress. When we’re doing what is natural and easy to us — interviewing for some people, making sales for others — it feels a bit like we’re cheating in life.

This is foolish, and ties into the whole idea of imposter syndrome. Just because you’re not working — in the sense that you’re toiling and struggling — doesn’t mean that you’re not doing good work. Work doesn’t have to be about pushing yourself until you break. Some of the most successful people in the world feel like they’ve never worked a day in their lives.

Realise You Are Enough

Alda said that people thinking “I am not enough” is the biggest problem in the world today.

I couldn’t agree more. We are exposed to so many things that make us feel that we could do better — your more popular friend on social media, or your old colleague at a conference that is making more money than you — that it’s incredibly difficult just to sit alone with our thoughts and think, “This is it, I don’t need anything more.”

Mental health is a big focus of Alda’s work, and mine as well. Entrepreneurial depression is a real thing, and if we aren’t honest about the struggles we go through than we have no hope of overcoming them.

Here’s an exercise for today: sit for 5 minutes alone with your thoughts and watch them. How long does it take before they go to self-criticism?

Now, how much of your life do you want to waste not realising you are enough?

Listen to my entire conversation with Alda here.

Author: Ronsley Vaz

Ronsley is the founder & chief day dreamer at AMPLIFY. He is an author, speaker & serial entrepreneur.

He has a Masters’ degree in Software Engineering and an MBA in Psychology and Leadership. He is known as the creator of We Are Podcast – the first Podcasting Conference in the Southern Hemisphere, and the host of The Bond Appetit Podcast and Should I Start a Podcast. He has an audience of over 3 million in 133 countries.

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