Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fake It 'Til You Make It

I was sharing this story with a client recently and wanted to share it with you as well.

A number of years ago I was teaching a workshop on networking. In the course of the conversation, the principle of perception was addressed. We talked about being an expert and never appearing desperate no matter one's circumstance. No one wants to do business with a newbie or someone who isn't successful.

One of the workshop participants raised his hand and asked, "So are you saying we should fake it 'til we make it?" I went on to share my thoughts on this point by proposing we're all 'faking it' to some extent since none of us ever really 'arrive,' and that once someone feels he or she has arrived, a decline begins.

The participant agreed with my stand, but went on to state there is a point of 'arrival' when one is considered an expert and money is no longer a primary driver in one's business pursuits. I acknowledged his input, pointing out this perception needs to reside in the minds of the audience and proceeded with the discussion. He wanted more. He wanted me to identify the point of 'arrival' he had proposed. In the course of his quest for an answer he blurted out in a most confrontational manner, "So have you made it, or are you just faking it?"

I replied, "You really can't tell?"

"No," came his response.

To that I only had one thing left to say: "Exactly."

The workshop proceeded.

I'm not suggesting we operate as impostors in our businesses. Being genuine is key to success. I am, however, submitting that no one ever 'made it' by focusing on his or her flaws, pointing them out to an audience of prospects, or apologizing constantly for shortcomings.

Focus on your strengths. Become a real authority on whatever it is you do. Then speak and act with purpose and conviction. If you do this, are you faking it, or have you made it? I suppose that question is still up for discussion.

Bryan Waldon Pope

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1 comment:

  1. I wrote an article along those same lines. I describe how freaked out a client would be if we really showed excitement at getting a great job. is the article.
    So have to fake it even after you make it!