Growing with ‘fake it until you make it’ as your motto?

Think again. Why showing up with an honest, open mind is where real success lies

Lindsay Harle-Kadatz“Fake it until you make it.”

This is an entrepreneur motto that gets some people motivated, up and out the door (so to speak – COVID-19 protocols and all), and committed until they’ve become the person, business or thing they set out to be.

But this sentence makes me cringe every time I hear it.

Some people use it as an internal motivator but, in truth, it eliminates a crucial component of successful entrepreneurs: real connection.

The very idea of ‘fake it’ goes against what any successful business knows: being your original self is what connects every time. And if you’re not connecting with your intended clientele, you’re not converting them into loyal, paying customers.

What to do instead of faking it until you make it?

Be sincere in how you show up

Very rarely does someone know how to do something right away. The first articles I wrote weren’t great works of art. It’s not about faking that you know how to do something. It’s about being courageous and vulnerable enough to ask questions, listen, engage in learning and try again.

How can you cultivate sincere engagement as you move forward?

First, understand what impact you ultimately want to have, since this will guide the intention you bring to each day. Show up each day with a positive attitude, ready to be held accountable for your actions, while committing to a growth mindset in the face of challenges and obstacles.

Pick the right behaviours

Every day you make the decision to show up. More important, though, is that you’re demonstrating the right behaviours when you show up. This is understanding where you want to go – or, at very least, what version of yourself you want to operate at that day – and then aligning the right behaviours with this.

How can you align your behaviours?

Identify exactly what you need to work toward that day in relation to your larger goals. Recognize which behaviours are required to achieve your daily work, write down which of these behaviours are priorities, then act accordingly.

Within this, uncover what motivates you to actually do these behaviours. Again, this aligns to your larger goals.

For instance, if you want to be a business owner whose goal is to never eat lunch alone, are you making the effort to schedule lunch meetings? Even more, do you have specific goals for these meetings, such as gaining or giving an introduction to your network?

It’s about aligning the right behaviours and then performing them correctly.

Celebrate the gains

A concept from Strategic Coach called “the gap and the gain” helps improve motivation on the way to achieving a goal. You look back to see where you’ve come from rather than looking forward to see how much further you have to go.

How can you celebrate along the way?

Recognize that there’s no winning and losing in business, only success and lessons. As you work toward your goals, look back and see what lessons you’ve learned as you moved forward. This allows you to celebrate your dedication and hard work, seeing the grit required to keep you motivated.

With this, you’re able to celebrate when you overcame challenges, when you pivoted, when you took a risk that paid off, when lessons were learned and so much more.

All of these mini celebrations help remove any self-limiting beliefs that may be tied to your capabilities. The result is the confidence you need and a feeling of certainty going forward to help you achieve the larger goals you set out.

“Fake it until you make it” has no real benefit in the world of business. Being sincere and original in who you are is the first thing you need to do on your business journey.

Finding mentors, colleagues and industry leaders you want to emulate is crucial to push you further.

However, cultivating you, your purpose and your voice along the way will be strong determinants in whether you make it.

Faking it will never result in success.

What did you do in your business to grow into the original brand you have today? Share your insights and questions with Lindsay. Contact inthetrenches@troymedia.com

Lindsay Harle-Kadatz is a brand and content strategist supporting small businesses in the mental wellness of their business brand. Follow Lindsay on LinkedIn and Instagram.

Lindsay is a Troy Media Thought Leader. Why aren’t you?

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The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.

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