Here’s A Very Bad Piece Of Advice

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Hey there, hero!

I just re-read an article I first came across a couple of years ago in Inc. Magazine, by Jordan Scheltgen, and it was worth reading as I welcome a whole crop of eager new VOHeroes students.

Some of those students have gotten some bad advice, and Jordan tells us why.

The bottom line: here’s why you should never “fake it till you make it.”

And just a reminder that AMA II, Electric Boogaloo is just a few days away, so ask me anything, in the comments, via email or however you like.

Hope this helps!



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  1. The problem with “fake it til you make it” is that it assumes that “making it” is the only potential outcome. The truth is that there are many more potential outcomes, most of which are unpleasant, painful, and potentially dangerous. When the odds of the desired outcome are one out of many, it’s not a good bet.

  2. David,

    Hi! I am responding to your request for questions for your AMA. My question is how do you mark your script if you are using a PDF scrolling behind your Audacity when recording? Thank you for your help.


    1. I might be able to help, Mary. I recommend Foxit PDF Reader. It’s free, and there are several tools available. You can highlight, underline, add text, etc.

  3. I was told to “fake it till you make it” years ago. It was advice given by some very successful people back in the day way before the net. One family member in particular, who became a massive mogul in the entertainment industry, said not to tell people you don’t know stuff and just go for it. It worked for him big time! I think it has changed dramatically with the advent of the internet and smart devices. Then, you couldn’t check on people the same way. Now, with a push of a button, you can check everything in a second. I personally like to train before telling people I know something because it makes me feel more confident. However, I have also just “gone for it” in the past with mixed results. One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was while training to become a Master Gardener. The teacher told us we don’t need to know everything today, we just need to learn how to find the information. I use that advice now and tell people if I don’t know something I’m happy to do some research. It is less pressure and works well for me.

  4. Steven Levitt, co-author of the Freakonomics books, once told his co–author Stephen Dubner on the Freakonomics podcast that the three hardest words to say in the English language were, “I don’t know.” What you’ve shown me, David, is that they can be the most powerful. They can move from ignorance to expertise. Thanks.

  5. This is a great way to look at it. Taken directly from the book “The Tricycle Way.” Great read!

    “Fake it till you make it was an expression that caught on as
    a therapeutic technique to boost the confidence of athletes.
    It allowed them to experience the feeling of having already
    reached their goal, which, in turn, motivated them and helped
    them realize their dream.
    But the expression has been misused, leading people to
    fake their way through life. They adopt it as their ticket to get
    whatever they want. But the fact is, it’s unlikely to further
    their life or career.
    Leading a fake life creates risk and worse — massive
    amounts of stress. If people find out, it can permanently damage
    your reputation and even destroy whatever you’ve built.
    Stop and consider — is that worth it?”

  6. Yes, I was given that advice once and the difficulty behind it was there’s no “experience” to identify with. The best reads happen when there’s an interconnection which evokes some kind of emotion. I was practicing a script with the coach once, and it was a script about a heinous crime. Now I never committed a heinous crime, however he had me think about any event in my life that would give me the same kind of terror in my heart towards a crime of the nature of which I was reading. I thought immediately about an event that happened when I was a child and how it terrified me. I was able to read that script and give that same emotion even though I never experienced what was going on in the script. You can’t make it till you fake it with something like that.