When I started my first business, I wanted to learn everything there was to learn about being an entrepreneur. I had no base of experience or education about business ownership, but I knew that knowledge was power. I was committed to taking in as much knowledge as possible in order to learn fast and create success. I started reading books, watching videos and attending webinars on entrepreneurship. Throughout the first few months, one recurring phrase really stuck in my mind…”Fake it ’til you make it.”
It was the answer to my biggest insecurity as someone brand new to sales and recruitment. How was I supposed to convince people that I knew what I was doing, that I was going to be successful, that they could trust me to help them achieve their goals? Simple. Fake it. Until I make it. I did just that. And it worked. It really did. For awhile.
I used social media as a platform to grow my business. I made posts about every little freedom my job allowed me. I shared about how rapidly my team was growing. I posted about all of the wonderful aspects of this job and all of the opportunity it created, for someone who was successful in doing it, which wasn’t me quite yet. But it did work. People saw my excitement, my commitment and my faith in what I was doing and they joined it. It really didn’t take that long before I was actually successful.
The fake-it-til-you-make-it approach worked so well that I started teaching it to my team. Well, not just teaching. Perhaps more like preaching. It became part of my training model. I expected new team members to make these types of posts regularly because, if they wanted to be successful, this concept worked. And it worked relatively quickly.
What I didn’t realize until much later is that faking it doesn’t actually work at all. Why? Because it’s a lie. It’s inauthentic. It’s not sustainable. Sure, I did find actual success by faking it in the beginning. But in the process, I lost part of myself. I became this other version of myself on social media, and even beyond. I was no longer able to clearly distinguish what was part of the lie and what wasn’t. I felt a constant need to uphold an image, an ideal of what life was like, in order to attract people to what I was doing. It was draining. Eventually I started to disengage from my business because I had come to feel so inauthentic about who I was being. I didn’t want to do it anymore. And I didn’t know any other way to do my job.
After some time “off”, a lot of personal development and time soul searching, I realized that there was another way. A better way. I decided to start fresh and make it until I made it.
Confusing? Maybe a little. Let me explain. I just realized that instead of pretending to be this or that, I just had to start making my life the way I wanted it to be until it was the way I wanted it to be. It’s simple, really. Just get to work. Start creating. Start doing. Start being.
“What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create.” -Buddha
When I adopted this new approach to my businesses, and to my life, I found a completely new kind of freedom. A freedom in being fully present to the passion and purpose behind my goals. Having access to that created the space for so much more success and possibility. Perhaps more importantly, that methodology has allowed me to be wholly at peace with where I am at any stage, with any endeavor while feeling completely empowered to design my life as I want. That is true freedom.
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