Trying to fake it till you make it in your entrepreneurial journey? Building a successful and lasting brand requires a strong foundation, and faking it may not be the most optimal way to achieve it. Especially if you’re faking it for the wrong reasons.
I come from pretty humble origins. I took me time to psychologically come to terms with that.
To get from point A to point B, I faked it until I made it in many areas of my life. I did this because it was effective; it worked, with most crowds of people.
However, there are two kinds of fakers:
- The kind that
haveno intention of growing into their own persona.
- The kind that do.
The difference is in motive. Some people lie because they lack the strength to live in reality. This makes them become genuinely malevolent over time.
Meanwhile, others lie only as they feel they need to. This is because of what they’re emotionally attached to, time-constraints, and social pressures.
I was the second kind. I faked a persona only as I felt I needed when needed, in different contexts. For instance, I once exaggerated my ability to speak Mandarin Chinese.
However, I did actually teach myself basic Chinese. Then, I eventually took a college class, which led to me eventually living in China and speaking it on a daily basis.
I became legit, even if I wasn’t fluent.
But, considering my social group at the time, I would lie to gain respect. And with respect came social benefits that got me access to mentors. And with access to mentors, I learned how to legitimately become a better person over time.
Following this pattern got me out of the ghetto. I was smarter than almost anyone I interacted with.
Intelligence and Wisdom Aren’t One and the Same
However, intelligence and wisdom are two completely different things. I was intelligent enough to know that I needed wisdom that I didn’t have.
This set me apart from most of my other African-American peers. But, I wasn’t qualified for the social groups that had the wisdom I needed.
So, I analyzed their communicative patterns, mimicked them, and then projected status. I was able to do this because even though I was an outsider, I was actually smarter than most of them.
I was born with immense talent, but I lacked the benefits of all those who had a father. And I had to compensate.
If you think of the brain as a computer, then I was fortunate enough to have been born with a very powerful processor. However, I had bugs in my operating system with key missing files that I had to become a hacker to attain. You could say I hacked into different “computer networks” or social groups in which I didn’t belong. Then, extracted key files I knew I needed to complete myself and operate properly, to get to where I wanted to go.
Once I got those files, I learned, “Oh. Wait. Okay, I can stop this behavior now. Because I want to, and I am not a not a victim. And personal responsibility is the key to getting where I want to go.”
The Wrong Side of The Force
It’s also kind of like being born a Sith, but wanting to become a Jedi. So, you develop dark force powers by nature of your environment. Then, you cloak a light-side persona, and then eventually get taken in by a legit Jedi.
As a result, you eventually become a legit Jedi yourself. But, only because that’s what was truly in your heart the whole time. And you did have legitimate talent with the force. None of that was a lie.
You were just born on the wrong side of the force.
This created strain on my mind, but it was a healthy strain. You could say that I lied into sparking my own psychological growth spurts.
Though, this does not excuse the fact that I had the tendency to exaggerate my own abilities; a liar is a liar. And I did the same when I first entered the marketing industry four years ago.
I got out of the military. Then, I got a business degree in Internet marketing. But, that’s all I had. I didn’t have the experience needed to win different jobs with the salary I needed to provide for my family.
Faking It to Self-Actualize
I would see a great job offer posted online. Then, I’d apply while exaggerating my
As I felt the pressure to perform, I double-timed it to gain the legitimate knowledge I needed. Sometimes, the real me grew to match the persona in time; other times, I failed.
In either case, I would eventually gain the legit knowledge and experience. But, this would come from the experience. This means that I had noble intentions; I would just lie to beat the competition.
Then, I’d eventually grow into the persona I projected. Doing so would then render my
But, first came the falsehood, and first came the pressure
There was never a moment in which I lacked the intentions to become whom I said I was if I wasn’t so at the time. I faked it only to buy time to become whom I said I was
If I could go back and do it all again? I’d tell myself not to develop that habit. I’d be the mentor I needed to my younger
Growth Comes with Pain
It took great pain over years to take responsibility for my own life, to become a better man. That’s why I’m not one of those marketers who flashes the perfect life on a beach as I make these videos
I didn’t rent out a house or car that I couldn’t afford to project success that I didn’t have for my videos. Yet, I am making legit money online, because my knowledge is real. If you don’t believe that, check my Upwork account. You can see a lot of what I’m making publicly.
I don’t get every client through Upwork. However, you can see that I do know what I’m talking about
And as I make these videos, work on building my brand, and scale products, one day very soon, I will have the means for the status items
Faking It Till You Make It when Building Your Brand Is a Gamble
So, this is what I’m doing for you, right now. I’m being the mentor for you that I didn’t have. I’m telling you: Don’t fake it until you make it. That is a high-risk strategy for success. Some people make it, but it’s a gamble
Just demonstrate patience. Become whom you want to be, and then just make it. Your brand will reflect
You’re going to have to admit to yourself and others that you’re not a perfect person. This means you’re going to have to let some opportunities go
The reason why you want to do this is for the sake of your reputation. It’s much better in the long-term to just take your time
Because when the public tests you, and they will, it only takes one failure to lose the people who love you, forever. And you need them, more than you think. You need their support to get to where you want to go in life.
And this is true for either your personal
Mike Norton is an American award-winning marketing strategist with a BA in Internet marketing from Full Sail University.
He’s also a writer, entrepreneur, and a physicist studying part-time at the University of York who is a veteran of the United States military and the 7-time winner of the USS Dwight Eisenhower award for essays about world peace and respect.
As a mostly self-educated vagabond, he gains inspiration from a myriad of experiences wrought from the adventures of his nomadic lifestyle. He prolifically writes and journals where ever he goes in the world, from one country to the next.