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
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.