$100 spend in Google Ads and a priceless release from imposter syndrome Cody Lake Dec 6, 2020 · 3 min read

What is truly unrealistic is to doubt my own best efforts in the work that I love

During my eighth grade graduation, I gave my first public speech. I was the class valedictorian. Unfortunately, this was the first time that I felt like I did not belong in my position.

On that day, my hands were unbelievably sweaty. My hair, that I fought with for hours with a straightener, curled and frizzed more with each nerve-wracking minute.

I look back on the speech and only remember my stomach drop when I heard my voice reverberate on the microphone. The celebration came to a close but feeling like a fake in my own life did not pass.

On graduation day for the end of kindergarten, middle school, and high school!

In a Time article, psychologist Audrey Ervin defined people who experience imposter syndrome as anyone with an inability to, “internalize and own their successes.”

The topic of imposter syndrome is as vast as the diverse group of people who experience it. The feeling may linger in the background or it may even present itself during a routine work task.

In college, I joined the USC Student Assembly for Gender Empowerment (formerly the Women’s Student Assembly). Here, and in many associations for underrepresented identities around the world, there exist avenues for talking about and healing from imposter syndrome.

Fast forward to about two months ago and the start of my Google Ads campaign. I received a promotional code to set up an advertisement for my brand new poetry content management system.

“Fun! A little experiment in futility,” I thought. I imagined that I would set up the campaign, run through the free credits, and not much else.

In hind sight, I should not have treated any campaign attached to my payment information with the recklessness of a Roller Coaster Tycoon player on sandbox mode.

I had no idea that people would actually click on the ad. Even worse, I had no idea that once people were on my site they might try to subscribe to my paid content. The subscribe button is not even set up to handle any data!

More photos from the day of middle school graduation

About 100,000 impressions, 1,000 clicks, and 19 conversions later, I am missing about $100 from my account.

I have gained a priceless reminder, though. Imposter syndrome does not define me. I am not a fraud. The genuine effort and care that I put into my projects is not bound to fail. Despite what my mind sometimes tells me, I can succeed.

At the end of the day, who we are as humans is so much more complex and important than the experience of one passing feeling. Thoughts and emotions, even those that we may be scared of, do not control us.

So, today and in the future, I renew my commitment. I am releasing myself from the infinite loop of imposter syndrome.

My hope is that anyone reading this article can remember, too. Remember that nobody deserves to feel like a fraud in a position that they put so much care and effort into reaching.

P.S. if you are one of those 19 failed conversions, I promise that soon there will be a way to subscribe, engage, and support my work. Stay tuned.

1/5/2021 Update: It’s here everybody! You now have the opportunity to engage with my work, watch my short films, and purchase your own piece of art from me. Please visit my site when you are ready for some thoughtful entertainment. Thank you!

Created By
Cody Lake


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