When Faking It Ends Up Breaking It
Fake it ‘til you Make it.
It’s often the mantra of a small, services based business. It’s not as bad as it sounds, and in some aspects really is a necessity to grow your business. It can also do more harm than good if the mantra is misunderstood or taken too literally.
There are lots of opinions
regarding the need to imitate
success in order to reach success. For those of us who suffer from imposter syndrome, which simply put is an inability to accept our accomplishments along with an unreasonable fear of being discovered that we aren’t the competent business owners that everyone thinks we are. It’s a common issue that plagues everyone from highly successful business owners to celebrities. It is also a known fact that it’s something that high-achieving women deal with. (Tina Fey, Sheryl Sandberg and Maya Angelou have all admitted
to feeling like an imposter at some point in their careers.) Part of dealing with imposter syndrome is to ‘pretend’ you have confidence in yourself, even when it’s something you are struggling with.
And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
We tend to focus on our failures rather than our successes. The truth is, often what we think of as ‘faking it’ is simply acknowledging our successes and abilities. For example, maybe we pulled together that proposal just minutes before a call with a potential client. The client is impressed at how organized we are, and we immediately feel like a fraud. Yet, just because you created the proposal in the final minutes doesn’t take away from the fact that our proposal was in fact organized. Taking the compliment, or allowing it to become a selling point for your services even when you feel like you don’t deserve it is an example of ‘faking it’. It’s not sneaky or a lie. It’s just pushing your own feelings aside and embracing the way others see you.
But some people take it too far. There’s a difference between ‘faking it’ and outright deception.
If you’ve been a part of the online community for any length of time, you’ll know what I’m talking about. The internet marketers who make claims that are later found to be false. Business owners who claim to be experts at things, yet seem to disappear when asked for detailed opinions or worse end up making a mess of things for an unwitting client. “Thriving” business owners who are always on social media and industry forums, leaving little time for actual work. These individuals have crossed the very thin line to the dark side. It is one thing to push past your own irrational doubts and quite another to lead someone to believe something that is totally false.
Of course, making totally false claims only lasts so long. Eventually someone learns the truth and lets the cat out of the bag. Word travels fast in the age of social media. And suddenly faking it, breaks your business.
So where exactly is that line between faking it and deception?
You know where it is. We all do. In the case of the organized proposal, we might not have felt organized, but it was our proposal. We did the work, even if we didn’t feel we spent the time on it we should have. There’s also no problem with calling the ability to pay the bills with your business income a success. Not all successes come with six figures. So while you might feel a little ‘fake’ using the term successful business, it’s most likely because you’re comparing it to Richard Branson, rather than acknowledging your level of success.
You also know when you cross the line. Telling someone you know how to do something you don’t, or claiming to be an expert when you’ve only read about it or dabbled slightly. Bragging about six figure incomes when the first two figures are zeros. These are falsehoods. And unless you belong to a small percentage of humans with some sort of inability to tell right from wrong, you know that these aren’t exercises in ‘fake it to make it’ but rather they are purposely misleading people.
So while there is nothing wrong with imitating success and pushing past your own unrealistic expectations, always stay on the right side of that line. Fake it, don’t break it.
Did You Catch the Latest Biz Buddies?
My co-host and Biz Buddy Vicki Voisin had surgery in August. Although she anticipated being back up 'running' (so to speak) within a week or so. She found out that recovery took a lot longer than she anticipated. When she was finally ready to return to business as usual, we decided the best topic could we choose was dealing with 'bumps' and disruptions to your business, both planned and unplanned. You can catch it here
, or subscribe to the podcast here
During the show we announced the winner of the Amazon gift card that was given away in honor of our one year anniversary. Congrats to Pamela Starr, and a big thank you to all of our listeners and fans!
Our next Biz Buddies show will be recorded on November 14, 2013. The topic? Holiday Gifting Tips and Ideas.
Learning the Headway Theme for WordPress, Finding Clients & Overcoming Objections at Virtual Assistant Survival School
Several new classes have been added to the Virtual Assistant Survival School
curriculum since the last newsletter. The Finding Clients & Overcoming Objections was a live class, filled with all the bumps and unpredictability of a live event. Still, it was fun and we’ll do it again. If you missed it, Live Event recordings are now a part of the curriculum. You find the video of this class and several audio recordings of tele-seminar events available to students.
We’re also plugging along teaching students how to create amazing websites with WordPress. The third unit on the premium Headway Theme went live yesterday focusing on using the Design Editor portion of the Visual Editor. It’s a long one, split into two video classes with a third just on using the multiple Wrappers feature. If you’d love to learn how to create websites in WordPress and/or the Headway theme but don’t need the classes on starting a virtual professional business, as a Tech Student
you get access to all the WordPress/Headway related classes as well as the more techie Branching out classes on things like creating eBooks and holding webinars.
And if you haven’t been by the website
lately, it got a makeover, complete with our new tagline—Stop Struggling; Start Succeeding.
Trick or Treat!
Guess who's trick or treating as Cindy Lou Who?
Happy Halloween everyone! May all the candy in your trick or treat bag be chocolate.