Is “faking it” OK?

I bet you’ve heard the expression, “fake it until you make it.” In no uncertain terms am I advocating faking your expertise or fudging your credentials.  But, in terms of becoming business savvy, I’m slowly becoming a fan of this method.  Why?  A show if confidence is more important than any new entrepreneur can imagine.  Image is important.  When you’re starting out it is only natural that you should feel on shaky ground.  You may have asked yourself, “why should people listen to me?  Who am I in the grand scheme of this field? What if I lose a lot of money? What if I fail?”  This line of thinking is fear-based, and if you hang on to it for too long, it can destroy your chances at success.

Here are some simple confidence-building tips to keep in mind when starting out:

1)      Indeed – fake it until you make it – In Latin, “confidence” literally means “with faith.” Faith isn’t easy.  It’s a leap, state of mind you just have to trust.  Good professional actors really do become their characters, if only temporarily on a stage.  You can become the person you want to be if you learn to wear their metaphorical skin and attitude.

2)      Failure can be good – Most successful people know how to fail, fail and learn and get up to do it all again. Many entrepreneurs lose a lot of money before they make it big. The difference between them and their unsuccessful counterparts is that they didn’t give up.  Thomas Edison said that success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. You have put in the elbow grease.

3)      Focus on your client base – if you know in your heart that you can help people, nothing should be able to stop you.  Your success is more about them than about you.  Love for what you do will drive the fear away.

4)      Knowledge is power – It’s important to stay curious and always keep learning – keeping your mind open will lead you to new markets and opportunities you may never have thought of before. Improving your expertise by learning, keeping up to date, will only help your confidence grow.  Believe in your resume.  Knowledge is power, after all.

5)      Be authentic – if you’re a nerdy know-it-all, don’t try to be the corporate suit. Being who you are and being straightforward with it inspires trust.  The pretense of trying to project an image you are not will ultimately fail.  Be yourself, and good things can come.

Believing in yourself is easier said than done.  Tackling your insecurities early on is an essential hurdle to cross in order for your business to succeed.

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