How to fake it till you make it

This comes up a-lot. Just fake it till you make it.

Because that’s an easy thing to digest and action!

Exactly how do you fake it till you make it and why should you?

Well lucky for you, I am the absolute master of faking it till I make it and I’m gunna break this bad boy right down for you.

What does faking it till you make it mean?

Well. It’s the act of kinda pretending you are good at something until you get what you want or preferably, become good at it.


When I became a project manager I had no prior skills in it. At the time, I was a business analyst. So I wanted to go from making graphs and doing coaching to managing projects.

At the interview I highlighted all the skills I had that were relevant to the job.

I embellished things that looked like project management and made them stick out more — I faked it. But, having read the job description I felt it was something I could easily do.

I got the job and then I set about learning the job. Not just at work but in my own time too. Two years later I knew so much about that role that I had outgrown it.

I faked it till I made it.

How do you fake it?

There’s this amazing tool that most of the world has access to, it’s called the internet. It will tell you everything you need to know to be able to fake it.

Everything you need is at your finger tips and most of it is free. My mindless Facebook scroll time has majorly taken a back seat to google searches on stuff I’m interested in. It doesn’t take too long to pick things up this way.

I wanted to learn nail art — I used You Tube for tutorials and practiced once a week. It’s taken about 4 years to get good. I’ve spent very little money. Using the internet I’ve researched all the best and cheapest materials so I rarely end up buying things that are of no use.

I wanted to learn to crochet — I used You Tube for tutorials, Pinterest and Ravelry for free patterns. I bought wool at the £1 shop and the cheapest set of hooks I could find on eBay. Turns out crochet wasn’t for me! But, thanks to the internet, it didn’t take me long or cost me much money to figure that out.

I have a friend who loves baking. Over the last 8 years her baking has gotten better and better. Everything she learned came from the internet — and a bunch of food magazines.

Faking it has never been easier. The internet will quite literally tell you everything you need to know.

Some insider pro tips for getting the most out of the internet:

  1. Google has more than one page bitches — when you are looking at popular topics keep going — you never know what gems you might find on the later pages.
  2. If you are looking for a detailed guide on something try using .pdf in your search. So if I’m looking for a beginners guide to nail art I might google: nail art .pdf — This brings up, you guessed it, PDF’s usually free to download from various websites — helpful right?
  3. If you are looking for whole sites or articles on a specific topic try ‘inurl:’ or ‘intitle:’ so back to the nail art example I would google inurl: nail art — for sites about nail art or: intitle: nail art for articles.

Record things you want to remember in a good online note taking app so you can come back to them and boom. You’ve begun the road to faking it.

Trying to make it

A major hurdle for a lot of people trying this approach is impostor syndrome. You start to loose confidence in yourself because you feel like an impostor. Like you don’t deserve this, like everyone else is better than you.

They aren’t better than you. They are doing exactly the same thing. Faking it till they make it. Either that or they already made it and are thinking about the next goal they want to achieve.

If you’re trying your hand at a new hobby it feels far less like faking it than trying your hand at a whole new job. The key to this part is confidence. If you aren’t confident then you’ll need to fake that too. (Again, the internet is your friend.)

Failing at faking it

You won’t always be successful. There are times you won’t get that promotion over and above someone who’s been doing it forever. Sometimes you’ll fake your way into a job and realise you don’t belong there. At the risk of sounding like everyone who’s ever written a ‘how to article’ ever — failures are learning experiences. There’s a reason it’s a trope, that’s cus it’s true.

Why should you fake it till you make it?

I want to be clear here that you need to add a little common sense to the equation. You can’t become a doctor by faking it. You can’t become a pilot by faking it. You will need some transferable skills when you are attempting to fake it or you could be putting yourself and others at risk.

With that out of the way, faking it till you make it feels great when it works. If you can steer clear of imposter syndrome it’s a perfect way to learn skills in a hands on environment. Being able to ‘do marketing’ alongside learning about it has helped me take things in a lot faster.

In the work place it can lead to earlier promotions, innovations, and a fast skill uptake.

Where do you start?

Think of something you’ve always wanted to do. Something you can kinda do but aren’t great at. That’s a good place to start faking.

I always loved writing, I always wanted to earn money for my words. I faked it over four long years. I faked it as an technical author and editor, I faked it as a copywriter, I faked it as an SEO writer — Then I made it and still am making it.

So there is everything you need to know about faking it till you make it.

Good luck!

My name is Kat and I’m here to create a world of beautiful badasses. Join me!

Faking it till you make it goes hand in hand with being yourself. Check this out for more advice and loadsa links.