Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Fake It Until You Make It

If you were hoping for a salacious tutorial on how to get a guy in 10 days, that’ll have to be another post. If you’ve started your own business recently or are thinking about becoming a business owner, you could consider this your mantra. Fake it until you make it. Forbes magazine has featured two articles in the last few weeks about more layoffs expected on Wall Street and another 2,000 jobs to be eliminated at Bank of America. CNNmoney.com reported in 2010 that 7.9 million jobs were lost during the great recession, some of which may never return.

Since the beginning of the recession we’ve all noticed an increase in self employment among our friends and family. And if you haven’t noticed it, I myself invested in a rather risky yet exciting endeavor just as more than ten banks were being shut down according to the FDIC’s failed bank list for February 2011. Corporations have let us down making the modern day employee an employer. Before I ever became a statistic of the recession by being laid off in 2008, fake it until you make it has been a survival technique in my family for generations. There’s something unique about growing up too Latino for Americans and too American for Latinos that has made these six simple words a way of life for a Yuppie Chicana.

When my grandmother was a young woman applying for a job as a telephone operator, one of the questions she was asked was if she had a command of the English language. She said yes and was hired. Truth be told, she was not fluent in English but she took a chance and it paid off. Risk taking doesn't have to come with sweaty palms if we remind ourselves that failure is the mother of all success.

If it’s an unfavorable hand you’ve been dealt these last few years, rest assured many people have decided to take matters into their own hands and have become successful entrepreneurs as demonstrated by the recent increase in online businesses. That doesn’t make it easy, but it is possible even if you don’t feel 100% prepared. It is easy to doubt ourselves on the merit that we may not have experience in other industries, or perhaps lack a college degree.

One of my favorite TV shows is Shark Tank on Friday nights. It embodies the American entrepreneurial spirit. Anytime I travel outside the country, inevitably there is always one person that says the United States has no culture. I just smile and ask if they are enjoying their Iphone. It may be made in China, but the technology is as American as apple pie, or should I say Taco Bell? Yikes!

The point is we are a resilient culture. When the pilgrims left England for The New World, someone must have put their hands up and said I hope this is a good idea. Turns out, it was a great idea. When we brought our baby home from the hospital my husband and I asked ourselves, who signed off on this? So next time you feel stuck on the sidelines of life, remember these six simple words and fake it until you make it.

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