Despite runaway success, many accomplished people struggle with feeling like they deserve recognition for their achievements. They might think that their success was a fluke or that they are just one step away from being exposed as fraudulent.

This inner fear may keep entrepreneurs — and would-be entrepreneurs — from taking that step, sharing their ideas, or going after their dreams. This is called imposter syndrome, and it’s something that many business professionals struggle with.

Stephanie Tran, CEO and Founder of Tutor Route, struggled with this syndrome as she created her 6-Figure Tutor Masterclass, which teaches educators and counselors how to start their own business and earn the compensation they deserve in just 30 days.

The ‘edupreneur’ found techniques to overcome these negative feelings and created her course — aimed at helping educators take tutoring from side hustle to an entrepreneurial business — which was received gratefully by the teaching community.


Identifying Imposter Syndrome

You might be asking yourself if you suffer from imposter syndrome. Among the classic hallmarks of the syndrome — officially identified in 2008 — are feeling inadequate despite apparent success, chronic self-doubt, and negative emotions about oneself and one’s success that don’t correlate with reality.

The period of developing her masterclass was not Tran’s first brush with imposter syndrome. She had suffered from it for most of her life. However, the breakthrough she experienced in these feelings last year was so profound that she felt motivated to share what she learned with other entrepreneurs in hopes that they too will quiet these inner voices and go on to create new products, businesses, and services.


Tran’s Struggle

Tran’s history with imposter syndrome can be traced back to her childhood. An Asian-American with immigrant parents, she became an elite competitive figure skater in her youth before suffering injuries that kept her off the ice and dashed her dreams of Olympic medals.

Skating became a touchy subject with her parents, who reverted back to their risk-averse ways after their first failed venture. They then preferred Tran to choose a safer and secure path for her future endeavors. Through this childhood experience, she already felt like an imposter whose achievements were not worthy or valuable compared to academic studies.

Once she could not compete anymore, she felt lost and lacked identity. It took her time to recapture her equilibrium. At which time, Tran realized that her true goal was success via entrepreneurial endeavors.

But, it still wasn’t easy. “I had so much going through my mind at the time. ‘If I can’t be an Olympic figure skater now; what will I do? Who am I? Was I ever good enough to go for gold in the first place? What if my next career choice is a bust?’ Later, when I started my business, the imposter syndrome came back ten-fold: ‘Who am I to run a business? Do I know what I’m doing, even if it’s working? Are people going to see right through me?’” she shared.

After going through a dark period, Tran found ways to quiet her inner saboteur and pushed through to the success she knew was ahead of her. Today, she wants to share those steps with others.


Recognize a Common Feeling

One of the things that Tran found extremely helpful was to remind herself that feeling like an imposter is a pervasive feeling that many people experience at least a few times in life. Even Albert Einstein and Maya Angelou have suffered from these feelings of inadequacy and spoken openly about them.

For many of us, taking life’s significant steps: going to college, starting your career, buying a home, getting married, and having children can set off a period of feeling fraudulent or as if you are playing a role that you did not earn.

“Nobody fully knows what they’re doing at first. This is what I’ve come to realize whenever I learn anything new. It’s about getting comfortable with being uncomfortable when we experience paralysis by analysis. Then, start and take daily actions until you build a momentum of successful habits and reach your goals,” said Tran.


Internal Pep Talks

It’s beneficial to talk to friends or other entrepreneurs about how you’re feeling, but your harshest critic and most important audience is always yourself. So check in with yourself and ask why you’re feeling this way. Was it feeling unprepared for a meeting, was it a perceived slight, or the inability to juggle five tasks at once?

Once you begin to explore the route of these feelings, they dissipate. Try asking yourself ‘why?’ five times. Ask why you’re feeling like an imposter. Take that answer and ask ‘why,’ and so on. Often you’ll get to a base emotion — I’m trying to do too much, I’m underslept, I’m worried about my child — that will truly explain these negative feelings bubbling just under the surface.


Reinforce the Positive

“Celebrate all of your wins no matter how big or small you may think it is. Give yourself the recognition you deserve and acknowledge your gains in this process,” said Tran.

Once you’ve done that, begin listing all the reasons you know you aren’t an imposter. For example, being appreciated for your ideas, winning an award, getting a promotion, or providing for your family all run counter to the rhetoric from your inner saboteur.

Calming these toxic inner monologues with facts can help to calm you and assist you in seeing through the storm of emotions standing in your way. From there, it’s not too difficult to convince yourself to continue moving forward toward your dreams of further success and entrepreneurship.


Master Your Destiny

Though Tran’s 6-Figure Tutor Masterclass is, at its surface, designed to help educators increase their incomes, many of these ideas are built into the course as well. Lessons are designed to eliminate doubt, quell fears, and embrace success.

“I want to empower education professionals to push towards their personal and professional goals — to believe in themselves as they redefine themselves as entrepreneurs by beginning with a successful side hustle,” Tran said.

Among the course’s lessons, educators will learn about minimum viable brands (MVB) and how to create one, creating a service around your target audience, have the confidence needed in negotiations, manage business administration, and produce content that gets attention.

Tran has mentored 26 Tutorpreneurs, earning rates ranging from $25-$200 per hour. In fact, one of her masterclass students, Amanda Paez, founder and CEO Teach Inspire Transform LLC, a team of three certified teachers who help scholars’ close the reading gaps through innovative tools and practices in self-confidence.

“Stephanie’s masterclass is ideal, direct, and well-thought-out for aspiring and current entrepreneurs. After searching six months for the right program and mentor, I’m relieved I invested in Stephanie,” said Paez. “Her consistent guidance, reassurance, and authentic expertise continues to exceed my expectations, and helps my company scale up to new heights.”

Another masterclass student, Nyla Gibson, a certified teacher with an MBA degree and almost a decade of teaching experience, is the founder and CEO of Learning Legacy LLC. Gibson’s company supports other educators to create academic achievement for all students through consulting and sharing her knowledge at local and national conferences.

“Because of my experience and background, Stephanie’s masterclass suited my needs perfectly because created a beautiful hybrid baby of business and education.” said Gibson. “Her program gave me practical implementation and provided daily actionable steps that made it easy to apply. I am excited to keep leveling up my brand with Stephanie.”

Tran’s course work to teach students about business and help them find the positive inner dialogue that will lead them to success.


About Stephanie Tran

Stephanie Tran, Edupreneur, Founder, and CEO, mentors educators to become successful Tutorpreneurs with her masterclass by creating, launching, and growing their tutoring businesses.

Tutor Route is a team of certified teachers, counselors, consultants, and masterclass instructors serving students, professionals, and entrepreneurs. Tutor Route’s goal is to support lifelong learners throughout every step of their journey. For more information about Tran’s 6-Figure Tutor Masterclass, please visit or download the Tutor Route App on Apple or Android


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