Life Skills #1: Big talk and promises, Fake it till you make it

in life •  last year


Once I read a story of a form one dropout who became very senior in our Kenyan government by forging documents. As much as I disapproved of his methods; I was awed. You can read his story here. What is even more interesting is that this was not the first time he had been caught. So while I admired his guts, I figured we must have either the following situations

  1. We have very poor verification methods for people and who they say they are
  2. We are corrupt so people can bribe their way into anything
  3. No due diligence or vetting is done while hiring.
  4. The guy in question can talk his way almost into anything.

Either way this person surely sounds like a really convincing guy. The counts of forgery he was arrested for are too many to have gotten away with too easily. I can say he talked himself to success save for a little verification exercise that had him flushed out.

Experience with a closer in sales

Years back I worked with a sales manager who was termed as brilliant and a closer. Everyone in the firm wanted ever so often to attend meetings with him. John we can call him - he did not disappoint- in terms of activating your senses into the possibilities that the computer tools we were offering to your organization. He simply sold the moon when all we had was a rocket that still needed some work. We got several deals and with time refined our systems with the pre-payments to deliver our clients to the moon.

Sitting with John he shared a few trade secrets.

  1. He welcomed challenges and springboards to the next level of excellence.
  2. Convince the customer by all means and work on delivery- this is said takes in his words "a sh*t load of practice"
  3. Keep moving, the moon is not too far to reach, You can see it in a vision, you can dream it them you can achieve it. The only distraction is yourself and your brain.
  4. Opportunities are everywhere -you need not to let even the minutest one pass you
  5. Remember to stop and breath, relax, enjoy the moments, they do not last forever.
  6. Reflect on your mistakes, do not ever let them define you. You talked too much and felt that was your undoing, practice not to talk as much next time.
  7. Have a mentor, surround yourself with like minded people (birds of a feather) and give back in lessons what you learn you are not a mountain or stone that you will leave forever, whether in your family or at work, train for succession, we are all feeble and on the road to the grave.
  8. Fake it till you make it. - HIS GOLDEN RULE

Fake it till you make it

Now the first guy with all the forgeries really took this phrase for its literal meaning. He forged everything including his name. Maybe he used a convincing language and money under table so he talked big and still managed to deliver, especially as he had experience doing this before as well as the jobs he took. If this were the case, he chose education not to be a hindrance to achieving his goals. Who knows maybe if he had come clean after the first time he would still have a job. FAT CHANCE? maybe.

Then there is John, teaching us to fake it as in confidence, positivity, and competence. A stress on confidence and positivity. At the beginning of branding one self or a product there are always doubts. One often wonders - in very loud monologues in the head;

  1. Am i good enough
  2. Can I deliver
  4. Is this the right fit
  5. Do I look Okay, do I seem nervous to them as I feel right now?
  6. I am an idiot
  7. I think I can do this
  8. Get up M you can do this. Naaaah! You are lying to yourself
  9. My self-esteem is so low

I know I have not captured all those questions and answers your ask yourself in the head carefully providing answers for yourself. Some are very negative and only serve to get you more nervous and recked.

I experienced this a last month when I had to give a presentation after not doing that for a while. I felt I was out of practice and could not handle it. I have always been very confident on the outside, as most people are. It is something I practiced and harnessed while still in school. But this time standing up in front of all those eager faces, i forgot all the tricks and started laughing. Thankfully it was only a dry run. By the time we came to the actual presentation I had already figured out how to answer all the monologue questions with a positive answer. I had to be or look confident, buy in before selling, and know what I was talking about.

You see with practice you can teach your brain to eliminate most of that negativity. You can learn to be confident. The same way we say in exercise to tell your brain you are not tired. To push yourself. You can do that in every sector of learning. It just takes practice. However, for some it comes easy for others it takes more time. So as a young man you are finding it so hard to ask a girl out yet some others just go and blutter the ask out. You can learn to not choke on your words. You can learn to talk big(in confidence) or even promise the moon. Only be sure to follow it up and actually deliver or you will be labelled a fraud.

Some things that will help you deliver a big talk(promise), help you look the part and achieve success

  1. Dressing: Dress the part, research on the type of meeting or gathering and dress the part. You do not want to be overdressed or underdressed.
  2. Language: Both your body language and the actual language you use matters. Knowing your audience will help you choose the language of delivery.
  3. Know your stuff: You are presenting in front of an audience or meeting new people. Topics that you do not know are a no go zone, people can tell when you don't know. Worse still you might make a fool of yourself. This takes me back to a discussion between brain dead and death we had sometimes back. A friend of mine argued with a person she was meeting for the first time- not knowing he was a doctor. See where I am going with this?
  4. Know your audience: To allow you know how to deliver the content simply and direct people don't usually have a lot of time. Dive directly to the value add. Or how to interact with people in a social gathering. Networking events are pretty scary for some of us. It would always be good to know at least a number of attendees if possible so you are not for example stuck with your colleagues. You could then do a bit of research to know their interest topics to allow you to break the ice with that. For the not so serious stuff you can try your luck with cheesy lines. Just don't go overboard you can earn yourself a sneer or worse a slap.
  5. Relax: each person you meet and talk to has a beating heart just like you. Respect everyone and do not waste people's time. But most importantly, learn to relax. Try to imagine of the alternative or what change the chance of talking to this person might bring. Most of the times its either a big chance or no change. So you either win or you remain the same. SO no loss.

I will stop there as I do not want this to be so long. I will continue on this on a later post.

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I like the tips that John shared. I'm used to be, and still am from time to time, afraid of sales presentations, especially when I know a lot is counting on it. However, what I usually do is switch the language in my mind and perceive the session as sharing instead of selling, and suddenly, it becomes a lot easier.

fake it till u make it is such good advice, especially when it comes to confidence. It's definitely what I do. Sometimes it feels weird being told by others that I appear confident bc I know deep down my self-esteem isn't the best, but the only advice I could give is what you said here. you gotta be a fake bitch sometimes to be the boss bitch! haha

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Hello @mutitum! I have some reflections on the topic you're writing about. 'Fake it till you make it' is a rule which isn't very convenient to follow, but can work really good. I have some experiences which prove this right. I think it's about practice making things perfect and getting out of one's comfort zone. Both require courage and diligence. Thank you for this post!
All the best,

So much value packed in this post. I believe in faking it till you make it. And instead of negative self talk, I have some printed affirmations that I say every morning. Here are some.

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