We’ve all heard the advice Fake it until you make it?
or Act as if…
This is well intended but it can have dangerous consequences.
Typically when people fake anything they produce more fakeness.
I heard a great story on this topic the other day that puts this in perspective.
A guy named Jimmy white was standing in the hallway outside a conference room.
Waiting to give the biggest pitch of his life at age 23 he had just started his own brokerage firm.
Although opening his own firm was never his plan it was after he had interviewed with 39 other firms and was turned down did he venture out on his own.
And he named it white and associates even though he was the only one in the company.
Jimmy was moments away from trying to persuade a bank to lend white and associates the money to represent 2000 acres of land out of 4000 plot of developed banked owned land.
All of the odds where against him.
He Lacked a team, national presence, large portfolio…
Jimmy knew the bank was already ready to sign with a firm in fact it was one of the 30 who had rejected him.
Of course doubt began to creep in.
And Jimmy resolved that he would just fake it.
Then as the door to the conference room opened he recalled another pivotal conversation that he had and it was in the 10th grade.
And Jimmy was giving a report on a book the adventures of huckleberry fin.
Had Jimmy read the book?
No his dyslexia meant that he had never read a book in his life but he was going to fake it.
One minute into his presentation and his teacher stopped him.
Jimmy, please come with me into the hallway.
His teacher asked, Jimmy did you read the book?
no said Jimmy staring at his shoes.
His teacher said Jimmy I want you to look at me and there’s something I want you to learn here.
The next words changed Jimmy’s life and these are the words I want you to hear.
I’m going to give a chance to do the presentation at a later date but only if you talk about what you do know.
If you don’t know something, be honest about it, if you don’t have the answer say so.
And then instead of faking what you don’t know.
Talk passionately about what you do.
And that last line is what changed Jimmy’s life and what I hope to pass onto all of you here today.
Jimmy was invited into the bank conference room and he knew what to do.
He spoke passionately about that land. He had driven it, he had walked it he had surveyed it himself.
He knew every inch of it.
Were there questions he couldn’t answer?
Sure and he freely admitted it. But it didn’t matter.
Jimmy was so on fire and his passion was so infectious that the deal was his!
But it didn’t end there.
The bank owned the other 2000 acres and wanted Jimmy to have that too.
He then sold the land to developers and then they wanted to sell 12000 lots to home builders then years later when the market crashed and lots went back to the bank Jimmy was there to sell it again.
That one moment where he only talked about what he knew instead of faking what he didn’t know made Jimmy white and associates millions of dilators and now they broker more than a million dollars in land deals a year.
So don’t fake it! Be it!
If you have to channel a hero to generate your Authentic passion that’s fine.
I channel thought leaders and experts all of the time to bring out my inner passion and self right here in these videos.
You’re still having to step into that energy, you’re still having to fully embrace that behavior.,
if I ask myself how would Oprah engage her audience I’m not faking enthusiasm I am possessing it.
I just use that external person as a reference point.
To draw that energy from and then step into my authentic self.
So just be it rather than fake it.