Hey baker! Yes, you. The one who loves baking and decorating cakes and cupcakes. The one who started baking as a hobby and now has people willing to pay you to make their cakes because you’re so awesome.
I have a very important question for you…
Do you have imposter syndrome?
Yes, you heard me, imposter syndrome… Let me know if you believe any of these:
- You shouldn’t start a cake business because there are too many out there already and you have nothing new to offer.
- Everybody else is so much better than you!
- You don’t know how to run a business, so you’re gonna screw it up.
- You’re afraid that when people see the cake you made for them, they won’t like it. They’ll want their money back.
- You’ve only baked for family and some friends, so you can’t charge anything other than the cost of materials for a cake order. You’re not experienced enough to charge for more!
- Your cakes aren’t as good as other baker’s cakes, and certainly not as pretty.
If you can relate to any or all the statements above, then you have imposter syndrome.
And I get you. I used to be right there with you when I started cake decorating. In fact, looking back, I charged so little for the first few cake orders that it’s embarrassing.
I’m not kidding, I almost felt like I was paying people to make their cakes, rather than making a profit or cutting even. And it was all because I had imposter syndrome.
WHAT THE HECK IS IMPOSTER SYNDROME?
Imposter syndrome is when you believe that your accomplishments are due to luck or timing, not because of your talents or efforts. You feel like a fraud, a pretender.
Everybody else sees you as their go-to baker and cake decorator. You see yourself like this:
When it comes to baking, you don’t think you’re as good as every other baker out there. So, you wonder if you should be baking for anybody other than your family and friends.
Even worse, when you have imposter syndrome, you might even think that you shouldn’t charge customers for cakes. If you do that, it’s not sustainable.
Here’s the deal, it’s normal to feel the way you do. You’re not crazy. But it’s also important to get it under control.
If you let imposter syndrome take over, it can prevent you from becoming the amazing cake decorator that’s inside of you. That would make me really sad. And I get the feeling it would make you even sadder.
So, don’t do that to yourself. Realize how special your ability is to bake delicious cakes and turn them into art pieces.
You have something amazing to share with the world. Let it out!
WHY YOU’RE NOT AN IMPOSTER
Do you know why designer cakes are considered to be art? Because they evoke emotions from the baker and from the people who see it and taste it.
It’s no small task! And most people can’t do what you do. That’s why they want to pay you to do it for them.
Do you feel like you still have a lot to learn? You’re right, you do! But, do you know who else has a lot to learn? Every cake artist out there. Even the experts.
People get bored if you do the same thing over and over again. So, the major cake decorating experts are still learning and stepping up their game with every new creation. And, most importantly, they all started where you are right now.
Sure, some of them went to culinary school and trained with great bakers. But the majority started in their own kitchen with a few tools. You would never know.
So, if you love what you do and you’re that person that family and friends come to for their cakes, then you’re not an imposter. Better yet, you can even start a legitimate cake business on the side if you want to.
RELATED POST: How to Price Your Cake
HOW TO BEAT IMPOSTER SYNDROME
Like I said before, I’ve experienced imposter syndrome. And still do sometimes. Not about baking or cake decorating, but now it’s about blogging about it.
But I’ve learned that it’s okay. As long as it drives you to do more and improve your craft. Not if it keeps you from sharing your gift.
Self-doubt can creep in here and there when you’re a baker. Especially because the ultimate goal is to please your customer. This applies whether you’re a hobby or business baker too.
Try these 4 tips to beat imposter syndrome. These usually whip me back into shape when my mind starts going down that negative path:
- Positive self-talk – Acknowledge how you’re feeling and talk yourself out of the negative thoughts. You can do this by reminding yourself of the positive feedback you’ve been given by family, friends, or customers. If you can, go back to the text message or email you got from a happy customer, family member, or friend.
- Talk it out with your biggest supporters. There’s the sister, best friend, or spouse, constantly encouraging you to share your gift. Have a chat with them. Sometimes it helps to have others talk us off the ledge. My husband can attest to this. ?
- Always remember that there aren’t enough bakers in this world. You may think there are too many bakers and they’re all better than you. But, every single baker has a style and flavor that are unique to them. And there will always be a group of people that are your perfect match and will become your fans.
- Use the imposter syndrome to drive you to learn more and improve on your craft. Rather than allowing it to stop you, let it push you to more curious and innovative when you decorate cakes.
YOU’RE WORTH IT… REALLY
There’s one last thing I want to mention. This applies if you charge for your cake art.
You really are worth it!
Follow a step-by-step pricing strategy that takes the emotion out of valuing your cakes. Then, you’ll price your work appropriately, even if you’re experiencing imposter syndrome.
The last thing you want is to start a business where you don’t even break even. And keep in mind that underpricing doesn’t just affect you. It also affects bakers in your area in a negative way. I go into more detail about this in this post on How to Price Your Cake.
I can’t tell you how many times you will hear customers say, “well, I know another baker who can make the cake for cheaper.” My response is always to politely recommend they go to that baker who meets their budget.
This is business and it has to be a win-win for you and your customer. Don’t sell yourself short.
ARE YOU READY?
Now that you know that your feelings are totally normal (they even have a name ?). And now that you have some tips to beat imposter syndrome. Are you ready?
Are you ready to let go of those negative thoughts and share your cake art with the world?
Comment below and let me know what you plan to do when you beat cake decorator imposter syndrome.
And don’t forget to sign up for the Cake Decorating Planner (pink box throughout this post). You’ll need those printables for your upcoming cake orders.