When I think back on my career in the corporate world, there is one strategy that brought me a substantial amount of success when building and strengthening a business. That strategy was “fake it to make it.” I am not referring to the sales and marketing companies that enforce putting on a happy face. This is not what this article is about. When it comes to getting promoted, landing the job of your choice, or building your business, becoming a master of “fake it to make it” will increase your opportunity success.
At 26-years-old, I was put in charge of running the New York branch of a fast-growing, woman and minority owned, human capital firm headquartered in San Francisco. By the age of 29, I was recruited out of that company only to work at a firm three times that size for $2,000 more a year. Each time I transitioned to a new job, I secured at the least a 15% increase in base salary. Leading an initiative to re-engineer the sales operations for a staffing firm generating over $100,000,000 a year in revenue did not come from 10 years of experience. It definitely didn’t come from earning my Bachelors in journalism. The achievements I mentioned above came from not having a fear of failure and faking it till I made it.
Some people think “fake it to make it” is just some sleazy way of lying your way to the top or a typical sales tactic. If this is you, I am here to say you’re sadly mistaken. I am living proof, the strategy works. How can you use this to your advantage? By reframing the way you perceive the words. Words create worlds. The meaning you attach to a word will impact your perception. Knowing that fact, you gave power to use words for personal empowerment. To get what you want, start by changing the meaning of the language you use regularly. Create definitions that serves your higher good. In this moment, I invite you to reframe the way you think about “fake it to make it” and take a look from my perspective. Take a deep breath, say the phrase with me and see yourself as a master in the art of creative visualization.
The moment I realized “fake it to make it” was no different from creative visualization, I became unstoppable. When you visualize, your mind is imitating a state or an event. When you are stimulating your mind with creative visualization, you create impressions. In essence, constructing hypothetical future events, fantasizing, combining reality and fantasy in order to get what you want. You bring those impressions to life through taking actions. Intentional action leads to achieving your goal. This is a lucrative tool in the workforce. For example, say you are up for a promotion. So are four other people in your department. On paper, you all pretty much look the same. The main difference between you and them is that you believe in “fake it to make it.” You use visualization as a strategy to create solutions. Thus, validating your keen eye for the business. While everyone else can talk about how they met their quota, you stood out with your “big picture” ideas. Now you just created a want and need. This persuaded the boss to want what you bring to the table and made him or her know they need you for the company to be the best in its industry.
If you are still on the fence on whether or not you can fake it like a champ, you may already be great at it and don’t even know it! Think about it. You’ve actually been faking it to make it for years. Remember writing your college application essay? The majority of it was written to explain to admissions why you wanted to belong to that college. You scrambled to choose the best words to express individuality among the hundreds and thousands of other high school grads. Not to mention how you will change the world with the education they provide. Were you being fake, then? No! You were selling yourself. Painting a mental image so they could see why they want you walking on their campus. You faked it. You put visualization into words on paper in order to get accepted. In the workplace, this is no different. Express what you can bring to the table now and what you will in the future. By understanding your strengths and the support you have from the team around you there is no way you can get into trouble. If you do over promise and under deliver, then there is always another client and a great lesson to learn.
Faking it until you make it is a visualization strategy where you get the opportunity to exude confidence, awareness, and excitement. If you master this, mark my words you will not be forgotten. Next time someone asks you how you became so successful, #fitmi ladies! So tell me, what’s possible?