Why 'Fake it Till You Make It' is Ass Backwards WPCP: 058


Have you ever had one of those moments when a thought comes to you and you feel like you’re in a V8 commercial? (getting bonked upside the head like “DUH!”)… that’s what happened to me with this idea (and for anyone outside of the U.S., V8 is vegetable juice and the commercials are always about people getting bonked on the head after they realize they ‘could’ve had a V8’).

I used to like the “fake it till you make it” idea. It always seemed like it went along with intention, the right use of will, the law of attraction… all the things that are near and dear to my heart.

But then I realized what a disservice it is to ‘fake it till you make it’.

Bear with me on this because it might not be as easy to explain in writing (which is why I did the video) as I think it is or makes as much sense as it does in my head.

First, let’s look at what ‘fake it till you make it’ is all about (or at least my interpretation). Let’s say you want to be a successful online entrepreneur (like how I dug deep to find something unique for that example? <sarcasm> Although hopefully, I can be more clear in using this as an example).

When you’re first getting started you’re super excited and everything seems full of possibility. You absorb as much information as you can, ideally, you implement on some of the ideas you’re learning and start seeing some results, regardless of how big or small the results are.

If you were to ‘fake it till you make it’ you might decide that you shouldn’t share the frustrations, challenges, weepy moments, pissed off at everyone you know moments or even how many times you thought that maybe a getting a job would be easier. Instead, you paint a perfect picture of how effortless it is to build an online business.

(*Note* I also had an ‘a-ha’ moment last week about “doing the work” and “hard work”. For me, “doing the work” to build my online business has NEVER been as “hard” as some of the long, physically demanding, and frustrating days I spent in retail management. Start thinking about ‘doing the work’ as opposed to ‘hard work’).

You only share your successes.

You’re thinking that if you were to share those ‘less-than-perfect’ moments it would hurt your brand and business. People might not hire you because you’re not quite the expert they thought you were.
Does any of this sound familiar?

OR… maybe instead of only sharing your successes you keep everything very ‘safe’. You create content that probably appeals to your audience, are nice about everything, and never take a firm opinion on anything if it differs from the masses (or more importantly, your community).

The problem with this second scenario?

People become indifferent. They don’t love you OR hate you.

They simply don’t care.


Just the thought of that makes me cringe a little bit.

I know I played it very safe for the first 5 years I was in business. I didn’t want to ruffle any feathers (which might seem odd to those who know me personally, although I think it depends on the subject and our comfort level) or take a strong stance on anything.

And quite frankly, it was a little boring. 

Not that I’m going to start writing controversial posts or going out of my way to piss people off (mainly because I have made a conscious choice in my life NOT to focus on the negative… ever). It’s actually kind of funny when I think about it… I mean how pissed off can you get with WordPress? 

Recently a mentor of mine asked me what it would have been like for me had people that I looked up to and respected had shared some of their struggles? (not my current mentors, this is going back a few years).

My answer?

It would have been HUGE!

It would have made a significant difference!

During those times of frustration I wouldn’t have felt like I was alone or like I was doing something wrong (which I wasn’t, but you don’t know what you don’t know, right?)

So.. what does all this mean?

Show up EXACTLY where you are, RIGHT NOW.

Not where you want to be or plan to be, but exactly where you are at this point in your business.

Share what you’re doing.

Show what you’re doing and who you do it with.

Don’t worry about planning out this strategy… you don’t really need to go that deep. You’ll know what you’re comfortable with and what makes sense to you. I can guarantee you that this gets easier each time you do it.

And the rewards will amaze you.

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  1. This post echoes my current thinking. This is one reason why I paused “blogging”, or “putting out more content”.

    I wanted to reflect. Really I did. I wanted to think long and hard about what it all means to me, and *why* I’m doing what I’m doing (blame John Reese).

    Anyway, this podcast episode helps to put things in some perspective for me. It’s helped me ask myself some even more difficult questions, but at least it puts things in perspective.

    There’s so many “experts” out on the internet, putting out wrong content, misguiding, and generally treating people poorly (especially newcomers). I don’t know if its a recent trend, but I’m not sure I like it. If everyone is perfect, and no one is a starter upper, then where does that leave the entire internet? Is it just a community of “perfect experts”? Boring.

    That said, there are a few real people, with real ideas; and this is one of the many things which I admire about your work.

    Let’s just say it “mission accomplished” for this particular episode.

    You rock, Kim!

    1. Thanks so much CJ – and thanks for sharing!
      I’m kind of in the same place right now (reflecting). I’m definitely going to be doing some re-structuring of my business, as well as where I spend my time and energy.

      What’s unfortunate is that what makes people stand out from the crowd is simply to be themselves yet there is a fear of appearing one way or the other (I felt this too when I was getting started, but stuck with it). Just because something worked 5 or 6 years ago doesn’t mean that’s the way it’s supposed to work today (I remember reading that example about cars… good thing someone broke that mold or we’d still be riding horses! 🙂 ).
      Whatever direction you go in CJ- the best advice I could give would be so just show up as YOU! Wherever you are!
      Thanks so much,

      1. Thanks Kim. Great advice.
        I intend to continue “showing up”, in the ways that seem right to what I’m about; and with my own personality, no less.
        Certainly hope my first comment didn’t sound like throwing in the towel, cos I’d die on the threadmill first. It’s just that your post hit home; and on a topic that few people are addressing.
        Awesome 🙂

        1. OMG – not at all CJ!
          I think stepping back and evaluating is not only helpful is necessary! I know for myself it’s getting clear on what I don’t want that helps me get really clear on what I do want.
          Your comments & sharing are complete validation that I’m on the right track- so thank you for that.
          Have an awesome weekend!

  2. Great show! I used to be a regular listener, but there were too many podcasts and too little time, this was one of the good ones that fell off my scope. This topic is a pet peeve of mine (not to be negative!) and I’m glad to hear someone else saying it.

    I’m back and subscribed again. Keep up the real business talk.

    1. Thanks John, I really appreciate the feedback. I have a handful of these shorter snippets I’d like to share and the validation that someone else wants to hear the real business talk was great validation for me!
      I know exactly what you mean in terms of too many podcasts and too little time. 😉 I think too many podcasts focus on sharing theory or just the sunny side of things. I LOVE the ‘behind-the-scenes’ stories where everything isn’t perfect- it’s so much more relatable to me.
      Thanks again,

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