TOP SECRET – Fake It Til You Make It

April 1, 2013 — 5 Comments

Wait, stop before you read this. Look around and make sure no one can see over your shoulder. All clear? Ok, then read on.

What I’m about to tell you is one of the most important elements of success in life. It’s enabled many people to become successful at what they want to do. Here it is: Fake it til you make it.

It’s been quite a few years since I’ve heard the term and my mind has certainly let the original source slip. However, it was heard during my days in consulting when a new job required you to be an expert in a certain field.

Consulting was challenging and fun. Only a few months after I sat through a speech by General Tommy Franks at our college commencement address was I sitting in the office of the vice president of a billion dollar company recommending what he should do with his business.

Obviously, I was qualified to give him advice because he paid our company so much money for it! “You need to invest more money into your IVR service to keep call center costs down”. It sounded logical to me now, but a few months before then an “IVR” sounded like something you needed after a long night of partying!

“That makes sense”, he said as he requested a follow up meeting to further discuss the costs. Yes, it did make sense… I guess…

It’s a known fact in the consulting world that at any time you might be called upon to be an expert in an area you may know nothing about. When it happens, you better hope to God you have the right access to information and experts to help you not sound like an idiot in front of the client. If not, well, you’ll sound like an idiot!

Information is one important piece, but the most important piece is how you handle yourself. If I would’ve gone into the meeting with no confidence, I wouldn’t have stood a chance. Sometimes you have to look the part before you can even play the part.

What’s stopping your from doing that thing you want to do? I didn’t get a license to start blogging and I sure as heck didn’t get qualified for our round the world trip. I just started. When I go back and read my original posts on my old blog, I feel bad for the people who had to read through them! I have a long way to go before I’m a quality writer, but my faking it is certainly paying off.

My friend Chris Fagan wasn’t born an entrepreneur and he didn’t get licensed before he started successful business. He just started and faked it until he made it. Now, he’s definitely and entrepreneur.

You can do the same thing.  Many of you already are and have found some success, but don’t ever let the fear of “not being qualified to do something” stop you from actually doing something!

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5 responses to TOP SECRET – Fake It Til You Make It

  1. Great advice. I heard “Fake it, till you Make it”. Did you ever done that?
    I also would like to know why I am confused with the sentence, “Only a few months after I sat through a speech by General Tommy Franks at our college commencement address was I sitting in the office of the vice president of a billion dollar company recommending what he should do with his business.” on your post. Is it my language problem?

  2. The thing most of us never want to admit, but always seem to wonder about, is how much the other people we encounter might be faking it. We’re definitely all faking it, and realizing that made it much easier for me to simply just do the things I wanted to do. Expertise comes with time, but expertise won’t come if you don ‘t try. Besides, mistakes are the best teacher ever.

  3. I love the phrase and you are spot on my good friend. Confidence, carried off well, can give the time and leverage to learn and grow while moving towards your desired success. The key is to keep learning and improving. Then one day you wake up and find you really aren’t faking it anymore. That said, that doesn’t mean the learning stops, we just keep adding to the collective knowledge we’ve gained along the way. 🙂

  4. This is my mantra. I go through life faking it and hoping it all works out in the end.

  5. In major companies “faking it” is when they give you what is called a “stretch” assignment that involves skills you either don’t have or haven’t used. I was at a seminar of several very senior leaders at JPMorgan Chase a while back and one of the panelists told the story of when she was a middle manager and her boss called her into the office and gave her a “stretch” assignment. She told him she was afraid she didn’t have the requisite skills and experience to do it. He told her, “Look, most of us are making it up as we go along, you can do it!” That’s another way of saying “fake it until you make it.”

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