This is a guest post by Robbie Abed. His bio is at the end of the article. We are buds and he is an integral part of the Chicago startup community.
“Fake it till you make it” is a great motto to live by because it gives you confidence that you can do something even if you aren’t sure if you are really capable. If you live by that saying long enough, there is a chance that it will actually stick.
In a new business / startup, these are several situations where you can apply fake it till you make it:
- That first enterprise client that is asking you how many other big companies you have signed up already – Fake it till you make it.
- That investor that is asking what other investors are interested in your product – Fake it till you make it.
- That banner advertiser that is asking you how many page views you get on your site – Fake it till you make it.
For each one of the bullet points, what did you think “fake it till you make it” actually meant? Did it mean that you should tell the enterprise client that you have other bigger clients signed up, or does it mean you tell them that you have bigger clients in your pipeline and they should be signing up soon.
Do you tell the investors that the top investors are ready to invest, or do you tell them that you have still have ongoing meetings with them and have not reached a consensus.
Do you tell the advertiser you have more page views than you really do, or do you tell them the site is in transition and you expect traffic to pick up very soon.
There comes a point in your life or business where you just can’t fake it anymore. If you fake it an ounce more it will all be a lie. A small lie of course, but that can easily turn into the biggest lie you’ve ever told in your life. The biggest problem about lying is you are not only lying to a potential customer / investor / friend, you are also lying to yourself and anyone part of your team.
The moment that a lie comes out of your mouth, evaluate why you told that lie. Why did you feel the need to lie? Stop faking it till you make it, because you have lost touch of what it means. Be honest with yourself. Your company is not as good as you thought it would be. Your really not that great of a developer. Your product sucks compared to everyone else’s.
Own up to it, embrace failure and stop faking it till you make it because it’s ruining your life.
It’s OK to tell someone your site gets 10 visitors a day. I’ll take 10 real visitors a day, then a perceived 10k visitors a day. The only person you’re fooling is yourself.
Robbie Abed is a technologist and career aficionado. He is the CTO of Technori and Author of Fire Me, I Beg You. His mission is to help talented people find a better job through his blog. Robbie loves fan mail and will respond back to almost anything sent to him. You can contact him here.
tip of the hat to Instapundit. Thanks for the link.