Fake It Until You Make It: Instead, Learn and Do It Right


How often do you see a CEO or business owner who simply does not get it? You say to yourself, “How does this company survive; he or she has no idea what they are doing?” As a business owner and former attorney, unfortunately, I have seen it more often than I would like to acknowledge. 

Starting a business because you have a blind passion without really putting enough time and thought into developing a business plan does happen. However, hopefully at some point early on, you realize you do not know everything necessary to run a company. A truly smart entrepreneur finds and surrounds themselves with the right people with the right skills to help them. Just as important, is actually accepting the help and guidance of others.

Unfortunately, not everyone asks for help and even worse, not everyone accepts the advice they receive. Some people think they know it all and other people will never listen. Why do people act this way? A bit of stupidity; a bit of arrogance or is it the fear that they will be found out? This fear is particularity prevalent with women.  Research shows the lack of confidence increases for women the more education and experience they actually have. For women business owners it is unlikely that they have the personal constitution to “fake it until they make it”. 

Women tend to wallow in their lack of self-confidence alone as they do not generally have the external network or peer to peer advisors who they can turn to for guidance. Without a support system and a business network, where do you turn for advice? Too often women need all the facts; need to do all the research; double and triple check everything and then think about it again before making a decision. A decision, that is far too often made in a vacuum, and in business, you do not always have the luxury of unlimited time to make a decision.

While I am not an advocate for reckless abandon, I would propose you need to believe in yourself and your intellect. Seek the answers and support you need from your internal and external teams. By acting as if you know the answers, you are in fact relying on your internal expertise, trusting your gut. Although you may be pushing beyond your comfort zone, you do know what you are doing and have a solid foundation for moving forward. Being pushed may be a bit unsettling; however, having a good team you trust, and who has the experience and expertise you need, should make those decisions easier and more confident.

Remember, it is ok to take risks. You were crazy enough to start a business without knowing all the facts, so do not be afraid to fail. Failure is good, it teaches you things. Use the new found knowledge from a failure to move forward. Stupidity is making the same mistakes over and over again. Instead, own up to your mistakes and learn from them. Always try again.

While you are faking it, you are learning behind the scenes and turning the new found knowledge and insight into the next step of your personal development and your company’s growth. Keep in mind that no one is perfect. Almost every mistake is fixable as long as you know about it, own up to it and take action. Do it right, experience, learn, and grow.

August 5, 2019

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