Fake It ’til You Make It

Members of my career mentoring site know that I believe that the old saying, “fake it ’til you make it,” is great career advice.  If you are nervous about being accepted – in a new job or work group, by a new client, by a community that you want to join – act as if you are confident of being accepted.  Think, “Of course, I’ll be accepted.”  This will give you the seIf-confidence to act in a manner that assumes acceptance – even if you’re faking it at first – and people will be likely to accept you.

Here’s what one of my favorite philosophers and essayists, Ralph Waldo Emerson, has to say on this subject…

“The virtue you would like to have, assume it is already yours, appropriate it, enter into the part and live the character just as the great actor is absorbed in the part he plays.”

He’s right.  If you play a part long enough, you become that part.

Dottie Walters, who passed away on Valentine’s Day, 2007, is a great example of this.  You probably don’t know who she was, but in certain circles – professional speakers – she was a legend.  Dottie Walters was one of the pioneers of the speaking business.  There is no aspect of it that she didn’t touch or influence.  Her book, Speak and Grow Rich, is one of the all-time best sellers in our industry.  She also produced several audio recordings, books, booklets, and her news magazine for speakers, Sharing Ideas.  You could even hear her being interviewed at 30,000 feet, as she often was highlighted in the airlines audio programs.  Dottie Walters was a true icon.

However, I’m not writing about her here because she influenced the lives and careers of many professional speakers, mine included.  I’m writing about Dottie Walters here because she was one of the most optimistic people I know.  She truly believed that she would be accepted in whatever she did.  And she began by faking it till she made it.

In 1948, she was a stay-at-home mother of two.  Her husband’s dry cleaning business was on the verge of collapse due to a recession, leaving them with little income and $5,000 in debt – a sizable sum in those days.  Dottie became a saleswoman for a newspaper; first ads, then circulation.  She founded a business, Hospitality Hostess Service, kind of like Welcome Wagon.  She built it into a four-office, 285-employee business with 4,000 continuous contract advertising accounts.

She began reading everything she could about sales.  She found that all of the books she was reading were written for men.  She went to the library to find some a book on sales that was written for women.  When she asked the librarian where the books for women in sales were she was told, “There are no women in sales, so there are not books for them.”

That night, in her mind, Dottie saw a copy of a book that had not yet been written sitting on a library shelf.  The title was Never Underestimate the Selling Power of a Woman!  She decided to write that book. It was the first book every written for women in sales.  Dottie Walters expected that her book and her ideas would be accepted — and they were.

Tupperware bought out the entire first printing.  They booked Dottie to speak at their big rallies around the country.  Many other direct sales companies followed suit.  She went on from there to become one of the founding members of the National Speakers Association.  Dottie Walters became a legend because she believed in herself.  She acted as if she expected to be accepted — and she was.  She faked it ’til she made it.

In The Power of Positive Thinking, Norman Vincent Peale makes an interesting point about being accepted and liked…

“The fact is that popularity can be attained by a few simple, natural, normal and easily mastered techniques.  Practice them diligently and you will become a well-liked person.  First, become a comfortable person, one with whom people can associate without a sense of strain.  A comfortable person is easy-going and natural.  He has a pleasant, kindly, genial way about him.”

This is great career advice and where acting as if you expect to be accepted comes in.  When you expect to be accepted you don’t work too hard at getting people to like and accept you – you become a comfortable person; someone who is easy-going and natural with a pleasant, kindly, genial way.

The common sense career success coach point here is simple.  Successful people build relationships easily because they are self-confident.  They fake it till they make it.  Remember, when you appear to be self-confident, others will treat you as if you are.  In turn, this will boost your self-confidence.

Your career mentor,


PS: I write this blog to help people create the life and career success they want and deserve. Now I’m going one step further. I’ve created a membership site in which I’ve pulled together my best thoughts on success. And, as a reader of this blog, you can become a member for free. Just go to https://budbilanich.com/join to claim your free membership. You’ll be joining a vibrant and growing community of success minded professionals. I hope to see you there.

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