I don’t know why but the phrase “Fake it until you make it” has always rubbed me the wrong way. I understand why people utter this phrase and I’m even tempted to throw it out at times myself, when offering a bit of advice, however I can’t. It bugs me too much.
I often hear this phrase used among other entrepreneurs and freelancers. From people that I greatly respect and who are trying hard to make it on their own, because they know that they have something to give. Each time these words drip from someone’s lips I find myself nodding and cringing at the same time. I nod because I get it. I get that there are more people working for themselves than ever before. I get that with the increase of contractors, people who are able to offer a variety of skills and be able to do them relatively well, will most likely pick up a job before those who only know one thing really well. I see that in an age of social media, where brands, organizations, businesses, people all have multiple social pages to maintain and numerous other time-consuming ways to engage, that it’s tempting to “fake it until you make it” to land certain jobs. This all makes sense to me, but the damn phrase still bugs me.
Yet it’s not the words that I don’t like, it’s the concept behind the words that bums me out. I wish that the state of the world was more accepting of people’s talents and more compassionate about those actions that still require some learning. Many of us who utter these words, or at least understand and perhaps even think them are one-people organizations. One-people organizations doing the work that if within a brand, would be covered by a handful of people, if not a whole department. I’m not asking for a pity party, I’m merely acknowledging further that, I get it.
But what if we didn’t have to utter these words. What if I could admit that perhaps my strength and passion is not social media, but in storytelling and listening? And that I’m better after a long run, versus responding to every email the second that it arrives in my inbox, despite the fact that it was marked urgent. And that sometimes, I just don’t know. How would brands respond? How would the world respond?
I have a feeling that the response would be a mixed bag. A mixed bag that would result in a loss of some clients and a potential gain in stronger relationships with others. I have a feeling that if the phrase “Fake It Until You Make It” were never uttered again, and we actually stuck to those talents and gifts that excited us, thus showcasing our passion, that a wiser and more perfect life path would appear. Perhaps this is a pipe dream, and perhaps not.
Either way, I’m willing to try it out.