The saying “fake it ‘til you make it” is used way too often by way too many people posing as experts when in fact they know very little about what they’re doing.
Fake It ‘Til You Make It…
can be highly unethical. Would you want someone to rebuild the transmission in your car if they knew next to nothing about transmissions, had never worked on one before, and would be relying on a manual for every single step? You would not.
Want to get surgery from someone who pretends they’re an experienced doctor, when in fact they are not a doctor and you will be their first patient? You would not.
Some of the people who adopt “fake it ’til you make it” are committing fraud.
Fake It ‘Til You Make It: Beware Experts
They are all over the place, in every field imaginable. Health. Wealth. What you should do with your life. How to be wildly successful as a ________.
Fake It ‘Til You Make It Can Be Useful…
in many instances. Scientific studies have shown that “fake it ’til you make it” can have positive benefits. For example, choosing to smile even when you’re not happy will often improve your mood. Assuming a strong and confident posture when you’re feeling nervous can make you less nervous.
Freelance Writing Fakers…
I pay special attention to the “experts” telling you how to be successful as a freelance writer. There ARE experts out there, experts who have spent many years as freelance writers, have very successful careers, and are dedicated to helping others follow in their footsteps.
The fakers, though, are the ones who have been freelancing for six months, a year, maybe even two whole years. They say they’ve made X thousand dollars in a month and you can do so too, if you just follow the formula in their expensive course.
Usually they know about only one specific type of writing, which may not be the type of writing you’re suited for. And even if they are honest and do make a good income in that niche, it doesn’t mean that you will too (although, to be fair, you just might).
Making It Without Faking It as a Freelance Writer
Everyone starting out in a career has to emphasize their strengths while downplaying their weaknesses. But as a professional freelance writer, for example, you must not represent yourself as something you aren’t; potential clients have the right to know your experience and qualifications, and you shouldn’t take any projects that you feel you won’t be able to complete in a professional manner.
That doesn’t mean you can’t get those important first assignments or seek writing projects in niches that are new to you, just that you must not misrepresent what you can do. And if you know you can do a good job on a project, there is no need to point out that you haven’t done that specific type of project before. Just be honest with yourself and make sure you can produce high-quality results.
When you’re just starting, you will likely get lower-paying projects that match what you’re currently able to produce. And that’s fine. Over time you’ll gain more expertise and command higher rates.
How do you react to “fake it ’til you make it”? Tell us in the comments below.