11: Canva Evangelist Guy Kawasaki on Never Having Imposter Syndrome


I met today’s guest, Guy Kawasaki, on my first trip to South by Southwest (SXSW) in 2011. He was the featured speaker at a networking event and I scored a signed copy of Enchantment. His inscription read “Amy, resisting you is futile.” He says otherwise, but I’m certain he writes that in everybody’s book. Fast-forward three-plus years and I made a video tutorial of the web app, Canva, where Guy is the Chief Evangelist. As a thank-you for doing the video tutorial, Canva sent me a free T-shirt and set up today’s interview with Guy. Over the next 30 minutes, you’ll hear him deny he’s ever had Impostor Syndrome and explain why he reads every email pitch even though he hates them. If I had more time, I would have asked him how the hell a guy born in Hawaii and living in Silicon Valley becomes a huge hockey fan. Maybe next time.

 LISTEN: Guy Kawasaki, The Marketing Lifestyle Show ep. 11

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Tweetable Moment:

Impostor Syndrome doesn’t exist for me. You may be full of shit, but I’m not full of shit.

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About Guy:

Guy Kawasaki is one of those guys who seems to have done everything in life. So his decision to jump aboard the up-and-coming web app, Canva, really fascinates me. He said his attraction to the company was based on his belief that by “democratizing” the world of graphic design, Canva has the potential to become the next Adobe. In addition to being Canva’s chief evangelist, Guy is an executive fellow at the Haas School of Business at U.C. Berkeley. Formerly, he was an advisor to the Motorola business unit of Google and chief evangelist of Apple. He has written 12 books, beginning in 1987 with “The Macintosh Way” through his most recent effort, “APE: How to Publish a Book.”


The Chat:


A First Thing:

You would think that with all his success, Guy doesn’t need to spend time reviewing the thousands of email pitches he receives from entrepreneurs and wannabe innovators. But he’s so worried about missing that one great idea that comes along in every 1 out of a 1,000 email pitches that he subjects himself to a ton of crap. He reads every email pitch he receives. The ones he rejects he forwards to a separate email account he established just for bad ideas. From there, his assistant actually replies to the sender with a “heartfelt, personal response explaining that we can’t do it but we wish you all the best.”


A Big Thing:

So on the heels of last week’s podcast when many of my assumptions about SEO and YouTube were challenged, this week I found out that Impostor Syndrome might just be a myth. At least it is to Guy. Impostor Syndrome is that feeling you are unworthy of success and aren’t really as much of an expert as you claim to be. Not only has Guy never suffered from this affliction, he’s so confident about his speaking abilities and knowledge base that he spends little to no time preparing for presentations. Not that he wings it; he simply believes that his 27 years of public speaking in addition to his career experience and publishing credits is more than enough preparation for any company or industry presentation. No argument here.



Don’t forget to add #canvaconvert to your Canva creations when you share on Facebook and Twitter so you may get a copy of Guy’s book APE! Hello!? Why would you not?


Book Recommendations:


Find Guy:



More Episodes:

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