Some people will tell you fake it til you make it is horrible advice. However, I think if done correctly you will help create your companies tipping point and then there will be no more faking.
Before I made a dollar in business I would always state “we” or “us” versus using “I”. Now, my business has a copy writer, assistant, graphic designer, and web developer. I started with nothing but just my MacBook, but the world did not need to know that. Susan Greg Koger, founder of Modcloth, said when she was in class receiving business calls from big companies she would pretend to be her assistant. Even Blake of Tom’s mentioned in Started Something That Matters, that when Nordstrom’s called it was him and three interns. The head of Nordstrom’s shoe department wanted to speak to the head of their buyers department. There was no such department at the time.
Susan Kare, who helped design font for Apple, knew nothing about it when she first got her position. She virtually faked it. In the March issue of Fast Company, she discusses how she brought graphic books to her interview just to seem like she knew what she was talking about.
Dress The Part
One of the perks of owning a resale company at the time was I would wear my designer pieces I had at meetings. Living in downtown Dallas I spent a plethora of time in Highland Park and Preston Hollow. A majority of Texas billionaires live in this area. I had to look the part when sitting down at meetings. However, I refused to go super broke looking the part. I already had a love for thrift, vintage, and consignment shops. Shopping those places helped me so much. When I wanted a high-end bag or nicer pair of luxury shoes I would go to Neiman Marcus Last Call. The one in Dallas is amazing. Got a Chanel 2.55 for $1200! In addition, Barney’s Warehouse sale is still one of my favorite places to invest my money for designer pieces for a fraction of the cost.
Professional Website & Headshots
Everyday I am amazed at that amount of people I meet who don’t have a professional website or headshot. This is huge no, no if you want people to consider working with you. You can launch on Squarespace for less than $8 a month. It is super easy to create your website, in less than a 48 hour time period, giving you the credentials you need to appear bigger than you are. If you cannot invest in a professional photography session reach out to your local Art institute and pay a college student $50 for a couple of shots of you with a nice outfit on.
One of the smallest things people don’t consider is their business card. Creating a business card that wows is not hard anymore. You can hirer freelancers off of Fiverr or graphic designers such as Amy of CJW Design Company. If you don’t want to go that route, companies like Minted and Tiny Prints have amazing pre-made cards. The paper matters just as much as the design. My current cards are from Minted and I have received so many compliments on them.
Hear me out on this one. Money might be tight but if your able to hire someone do it. It frees up your time and is definitely worth it. Having an assistant answering emails saves me a lot of time, and creates boundaries now instead of later when my company grows even bigger. You can hirer a freelancer to help you with task. Need an assistant for your business? You can hire someone from Taskrabbit, Fiverr, or another online platform for less than $100 a week.
Fake it til you make it is a great plan if you are consistent and constantly striving to be better than yesterday. Your business will flourish and you will make it. How have you faked it to help your small business?