Fake It Till You Make It!

November 1, 2018


Fake it till you make it... Not sure who is the creator of this saying, or about the true original meaning. What I am certain about is that this advice should NEVER be given to any up and coming anybody. First of all, any advice that starts with the word "fake" should not  be given much thought. "Fake it till you make it" insinuates being something you're not, or someone you're not, as an actual strategy to achieve a goal. Now there are some sayings that are in the same vein as"fake it till you make it" that are a little more logical, and could also yield better results.


1. Look the Part, Be the Part

"Look the part, be the part" or more simply put, "dress for success". When I was younger and still making a living doing manual labor, I always made sure my appearance was up to par. This applies to how I presented myself on and off of the job--within my financial means. I was the only houseman that was allowed to come near the front desk. And when I was actually promoted to the front desk, I showed-up suit and tie the very next day. 


In another of my blog posts titled: How to Get Promoted, I talk about the power of perception. In my book After Attraction: Relationships Are Simple, Right? I wrote a section about how the way a person dresses directly affects the reaction one receives. If a person is constantly disheveled, the world will view them in that way; and also react to them in a more negative way regardless of their education and heart. On the opposite end of this spectrum, putting emphasis into one's appearance can create the perception of intelligence, success and authority. A man dressed sharply in a suit gets more respect than someone in an old t-shirt. Dressing for success can definitely open doors, but after it's open what happens next is up to the individual. 


2. "You must be the person you have never had the courage to be." (Paulo Coelho)


Instead of faking who one is, this is more about getting out of one's own way and evolving into the person they were meant to be. Faking it is the easy road in attempt to yield fast and cheap results. Taking steps to move outside of one's comfort zone and transform into the best person possible to achieve a goal is the road less traveled. However, the yield is much greater.


3. "A man is whatever room he is in."

Thew first time I heard this was from the character Bert Cooper on the show Mad Men. An employee had snitched on Don Draper, the main character, about the fact that he was born as Dick Whitman and was AWOL. Long story short, when Don walked into Bert's office to receive his fate, Bert's only reaction was to say, "A man is whatever room he is in." Don Draper kept his job and position. 


The meaning of this saying, as I take it, is that one has to be able to transform and adapt to different surroundings. This is not the same as being fake at all. When one goes to the parent's house, they don't behave or talk the same way as they do with their friends at the bar. One has to know how to present themselves in the presence of the right people. When I'm at work, my location in the building determines how I present myself. I am one person in the office, and another when I have to work the front desk because my employees expect something different than my guest. "A man is whatever room he is in"means that a person can rise above their past, or problems they may have in their personal life. At the end of the day, results are king.


Fake it till you make it is an ideology that helps no one. Not only is the perpetrator fooling others, but they're also fooling themselves. It's not a strategy success, and possibly... one could go broke trying to keep up with the Jonses. Being fake is like in the movies when a character gets naked because they think they're invisible. They just look foolish in the end. Keep it real, man. People respect authenticity and genuineness. And at the end of the day, skipping a step, or pretending to do so, will not make the journey any easier or shorter. 


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Jarray Davis is an author, blogger, and hospitality professional.

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