Using The ‘Fake It Until You Make It’ Strategy Will Put Your Reputation + Biz On The Line!

“Fake it until you make it”, or maybe until you break it? If you’re not familiar with it, lately, it’s being used in the context of pretending you know what you’re doing until you really do! I have a serious problem with this so-called strategy. Not to mention there are people teaching this strategy to new Virtual Assistants. It’s just wrong!

Do You Really Want To ‘Fake It Until You Make It’ With Your Clients?

You’re working in their business – their baby. They trust you can do what you say. Remember, it’s your business and reputation on the line. I’ve heard WAY too many horror stories about Virtual Assistants saying they know how to do something just to get the client. Then, when it comes time to deliver, they disappear leaving the client high and dry.

This damages our industry. Clients have trust issues (rightfully so) because they’ve been burned. The VA industry is a service-based industry, similar to lawyers, CPAs, doctors, dentists, plumbers, and many more. Would you want your attorney or doctor to fake it on you until they learn what they need to make it? I doubt it.

I know that’s not a straight comparison, but you get the idea. Professionals such as attorneys or doctors spend years in school learning their professions plus pass a test before they can even begin working with clients. Virtual Assistants do not.

Faking It Vs. Lack Of Confidence

It’s about ethics and transparency with your clients. If you don’t know something, say so. You might be surprised. Many clients are willing to work with you to help you learn.

And there is a big difference between faking it and a lack of confidence. Faking means you’re not really sure what you’re doing. It’s like saying you know Infusionsoft, but you’ve never seen it before.

Lack of confidence means you have the skills and know what you’re doing. You’ve just not done it enough to be confident yet. For example, you’ve taken classes to learn WordPress, but you’ve not offered it as a service yet.

There are so many ways to learn the skills you need to be successful. Take a class, intern, subcontract, or find a mentor. When I was getting started, I subcontracted for several people to gain confidence and understand how this whole business works. Go with what you already know and offer that—but stop faking it.

Please also read my blog post, The 12 Virtual Assistant Mistakes You Should Avoid At All Costs – Especially If You’re A New VA! if you want to know more about some of the most common errors a lot of new Virtual Assistants make.

What do you think? Feel free to post below and share your thoughts on this strategy. I’d love to hear from you, and all comments and questions are welcome.

Thanks for reading – Susan

PS: Ready to embark on the journey of building a freedom-based business? Join me in Techie Biz in a Box, your comprehensive guide to leveraging systems, automation, and tech. Discover how to streamline your processes and reclaim precious time for the things you love. 

Susan Mershon
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  1. Catherine

    For me, the ‘Fake it till You Make it’ is just a confidence booster, especially if you wake up not feeling very good or a little down in the dumps, I tell myself to put a smile on my face and ‘fake it till you make it’ and after a while, the smile becomes natural and I feel better. If I don’t know something that a client asks of me, I would never even dream of being dishonest and saying I know it, my response to that would be, I don’t know that program or I’ve never heard of that but give me an hour or two and I will research and learn about it. There is so many ways to learn new skills that ‘faking’ that you know something is only going to hurt yourself.

    • Susan Mershon

      Catherine – thank you for sharing!

    • Jodian

      Great info, my question is in terms of lack of confidence, say you have learnt wordpress but not offered it as a service yet , how do you bill the confidence to sell that service? What do you do in that case?

      • Susan Mershon

        Thank you. Build a few websites on your own of varying complexity and use them to create a portfolio to share with your clients.

  2. Loretta

    I see this all the time as well, not just in the VA sphere, but all over the internet as part of some invisible ‘plan’ to get to some imaginary goal. I don’t get it. To me ‘fake it until you make it’ is just a recipe for more stress and anxiety, which would make me less productive and get me absolutely nowhere. Maybe it’s just a personality type thing and this idea actually works for some people where they convince themselves they are a thing and then become that thing, but I guess my brain isn’t wired that way.

    • Susan Mershon

      I hear ya Loretta, I feel the same way.

    • Lizelle

      I agree with you Loretta. For me as an introvert, I have read that the ‘fake it till you make it’ thing feels not authentic to us and that lowers your confidence. For some it works, other is doesn’t. I would rather be authentic. And people do see straight through this façade.

      • Susan Mershon

        Well said Lizelle!

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