“Fake it ’till you make it”

Initially written on LinkedIn, in May 2023.

We could all probably be easily judgemental about “Fake it ’till you make it”, although we may not realise we sometimes do this ourselves out of fear. It’s always fear, in my opinion – whether you want to please a demanding interviewer or boss, whether you want to be “successful” by external social metrics (image).

Based on what I’ve seen in media and experienced personally, it almost always backfires both on the person faking “it” and on those being faked upon.

Fake = not true; not real. Simply put, lying – to yourself, and others.

Being curious about business and financial markets and money and human behaviour and motivations in general, I watch documentaries on frauds, for example. Not really to learn something, as far as I’m aware, but I find them stimulating and a bit entertaining.

Some examples that come to mind: Theranos, FRANK., FTX, Wirecard, Nikola. The YouTube channel “ColdFusion”, for example, presents them in a way I find appealing, with a calm soothing voice. Mind you, these founders have been on Forbes’ magazine covers.

Now, I haven’t been there so I don’t trully know which facts or perspectives available to us non-insiders are true. But comparing with my personal experience, a commonality seems to be that once you start faking it, you keep pushing for that silver lining where you would be at ease to fake no more. Have any of you found that initially fixed “finish line” not to be moving? When have you actually “made it”?

Being in the presence of someone faking empathy, especially in the office, makes me want to rip their face off, and that’s what prompted me to write this.

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