“Fake it ’til you make it.”
“Live in your business as if you are already achieving 6-figure success.”
Can I just say ‘AS IF’?
Now, I know my husband is saying to me, “Now don’t get riled, sugar.”
Let me tell it to you straight. YOU ARE LYING… to others and to yourself, if you are living ‘as if’. And that means not only do you disrespect your prospects and clients, but -worse- disrespect yourself.
Although it’s always been a part of the coaching and consulting business, I’ve seen the ‘Fake It’ model being used more and more. Here are just a few of things I’ve heard lately:
- Saying you are a marketing expert, when you have no real training… just what you learned from a free class or two
- Promising to teach you how to sell without a script, then using a script to sell
- Claiming to be a 6-figure coach when you can barely pay your own bills
- Proclaiming you understand work from home business moms now that you have stepchildren (who don’t live with you)
Aretha Franklin (one of the best voices in the last 100 years) talks about respect in her song, and although it’s about her man respecting her, if you read between the lines, it’s about working hard to earn respect. And you ‘ain’t got no respect’ if you are pretending.
Acting “as if” you had more expertise and success than you really do is not only dishonest, it’s also counterproductive. Even if you aren’t immediately found out as a fraud, the deception just let’s you get away with not doing better. Why work to earn real expertise and true success if you can just fake it? Instead of raising your game, you can backslide and then just lie about it. You get so comfortable with fake success, that you don’t take the steps necessary to create real success.
Here are a few tips for running an ethical and honest business:
- Treat people with respect. – You’ve probably been taught to treat people how you’d like to be treated. This ‘Golden Rule’ holds true in business, too. Customers will notice when they are being treated fairly and respectfully. If a customer has an issue or is upset, it’s even more important that we listen to them and ensure they are properly taken care of. Your customer’s reaction is simply a sign that they are frustrated and angry.
- Honesty is the best policy… ALWAYS. – Whether it comes down to a testimonial for your website or deciding what fee to charge for your service, it pays to be honest and fair in all you do. Misuse of information or a testimonial can come back and bite you, and it’s just not worth the hassle.
- Don’t cut corners. – If a customer is paying good money for a set service then they will expect to receive that service to a high level. It’s important to maintain a high standard and not cut corners – whether it’s in regards to products or services. Taking shortcuts can lead to business disaster and a not so positive reputation.
- Give back. – Not everyone will agree that all businesses have a responsibility to their communities and those less fortunate, but wouldn’t the world be a better place if they did? Not every person can manage to start a profitable business or work at a high-paying job. Giving back to the community, even in the smallest of ways, can make a difference to all involved. (For example, in addition to volunteering and donating to charities important to me, I also focus on giving back to my target audience as well. This month, I’m doing a free Q & A call.)
- Stick to your word. – This is a fundamental part of good business ethics. Whether it’s meeting your deadlines or following through with a venture you agreed to, sticking to your word is always the best policy. People will come to respect you for your dependability and honesty. Customers are more likely to want to do business with someone they know they can rely on and you’ll feel better for accomplishing something that is often not easy. Sometimes things happen and it’s difficult for us to follow through but wherever possibly try your best. It will pay dividends in the long run. Not to mention it is simply the right thing to do.
If you are just starting your business, or struggling to take it to the next level, there is one way to act “as if” you are a big success: act professionally, “as if” you had a hard-earned reputation to protect, and “as if” everyone was watching how you behave. That will raise your standards by increasing your respect for yourself and your customers. Do that and you will earn a reputation that attracts more customers and business partners; a reputation that will endure and grow because it is based on your real qualities and performance. And then you will make it without ever having to fake it.
And to help you think… here’s Aretha from one of my all-time favorite movies, The Blues Brothers. She even mentions all those people scamming out there! (Warning! Aretha swears a couple of times in this video!)