It’s a common saying in business circles, aimed at promoting confidence. However, an expert in human behaviour tells My Business that if this is you, you’re doing it all wrong.
According to Dr John Demartini, founder of the Demartini Institute, which consults businesses and organisations globally on changing their social dynamics for the better, the concept of faking it until you make it “is not the answer”.
“Don't try to be a know-it-all because that's pretty well guaranteed to be not believable. You end up being a jack of all things instead of a master of something,” he tells My Business.
“The thing to do is to start with your core competence and master your skill and deliver quality service that meets needs. [Then] you don't have to fake anything.
“If you truly care about your customer, you truly care about serving needs, people can pick it up. You can't fake that. It's real if it's real. I would say find out what you're absolutely, truly committed to, don't bull**** yourself.”
Being really successful in business and in life means connecting what you are good at with the people who need those skills, not blankly selling something and hoping people will buy it.
“So many entrepreneurs project their own kind of assumptions onto the market and are doing things that they think the market needs, instead of finding out what the market really needs, and then banging their head against the wall trying to sell an item or product or service that people don't even know and don't care about,” says John.
“Find a need that is really out there. Find out what you would love to do. Find out where the overlap and the niche is. If you’ve found a niche, you're going to take off.
“Caring enough about humanity to find out what [people's] real needs are and then finding out where it overlaps [with your skillet and] what inspires you [will] make a huge difference to an entrepreneur's [success].”
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.