Why “Fake It ’Til You Make It” Doesn’t Work

You can’t fake it to make it. It just doesn’t work that way.

For example, I wouldn’t be able to call myself an amazing accountant.

  1. I don’t have a portfolio.
  2. I don’t have testimonials.
  3. I’m not that good at math.
  4. I got a B in accounting class at a community college (which may as well have been an F in a university.
  5. No one has ever hired me for accounting before.

And the list goes on…

IF I called myself an amazing accountant and went out there to get contracts, people would quickly find out that I’m a sham.

So, if faking it to make it doesn’t work, what does?

Showing humility.

Let’s say I had the desire to be an amazing accountant, which I don’t, but for conversation’s sake, it works in this situation. The better way to achieve this would to be by following this outline:

  1. I’d first approach the top accountants I can find in the world, such as Garrick Saitoand Wray Rives.
  2. I’d humbly tell them how I am inspired by the work they have done in their careers and am in awe of their success. I will then ask them to help teach me some of their secrets. Or maybe just a2a them accounting questions on Quora.
  3. Regardless if they decided to help or not, I’d still have to start my own research in accounting, studying textbooks and taking a few classes on the topic.
  4. I’d start by copying financials of publicly traded companies to learn how the professionals do it.
  5. Then I’d ask if I can help practice on a few test projects and have a real accountant check my work.
  6. I’d learn from my mistakes when the real accountant points out what I did wrong.
  7. I’d offer my services for free or for a low price until I built up a decent portfolio of companies I’ve worked with.
  8. I’d network and tell people that I am an accountant and sign on paid clients.
  9. Then I’d master my craft.

Once I master my craft, then I can call myself an amazing accountant. But calling myself that any time before the process would just be lying. There is no way to fake it to make it in the real world.

For proof, I did just that for my writing.

  • Back in 2010, I studied Copyblogger, Seth Godin, Quicksprout and a few other resources daily.
  • I attempted to make a blog in 2010, but I gave up after 3 posts.
  • By 2012 or 2013, I wrote some long form posts on Facebook to see how they did
  • I got complimented on my writing
  • In April of 2013, I started heavily reading all of James Altucher‘s posts on Quora
  • I decided to give my writing a shot on Quora in May of 2013
  • I wrote one post, thought I couldn’t gain momentum
  • In June of 2013, someone put my answer in front of over 1,000 people
  • I was inspired to write further
  • By December of 2013, I had 2 million views on my content and was named a Top Writer
  • By June 2014, I had 10,000 followers and 5 million views
  • I wrote a book in August of 2014
  • By December 2014, I had 20,000 followers and 10 million views
  • I got invited to a few podcast and had articles featured in Inc, Huff Post, Forbes, etc.
  • I took my Twitter following from 550 to 30,000 in 8 months
  • Then I started to get paid from others for my writing
  • I became an Inc. Columnist

Because of that timeline, I could now claim to be a decent to good writer. But there’s still a long time to go before I could consider myself to be amazing at my craft.

Originally posted on Quora.

0 thoughts on “Why “Fake It ’Til You Make It” Doesn’t Work”

  1. You can FITYMI on a certain chosen subject through progressive elaboration until you become an expert or gain more knowledge. For example, what if you’re already in business and you receive a potential large opportunity. Are you going to humbly say ‘no’ or will you FITYMI through success?


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