The Danger of Faking It Till You Make It

Sometimes I hear advice along the following lines: “If you want to be wealthy, you need to wear and drive the status symbols of wealth. That’s the only way anyone will take you seriously.” In other words, fake it till you make it. I can sort of understand where this advice comes from. It is hard to land an executive job if you’re wearing jeans and a t-shirt. It’s hard to get a bank manager to give you a loan for some real estate if you show up driving a Pinto and wearing overalls. You do stand a better chance of being taken seriously if you look more like the expected picture of an executive or real estate maven. But there is a very real danger in faking this le

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6 Responses to The Danger of Faking It Till You Make It

  1. Jaime says:

    I love this article. I also take this a step further – as long as you’re clean and presentable I don’t think anyone should judge you by your clothes. I work in a very casual environment, we get to wear jeans and tshirts, but our phone manner has to be very professional. We have clients in many different sectors – everything from legal to financial to entertainment. We ARE professional and clients compliment us on this on every quarterly survey. Yet, when we have a client visit our site, we have to dress up to “prove” our professionalism. I hate, hate, hate this attitude. We have already proven our professionalism.

    People need to break out of that old-fashioned, narrow minded perception that appearance is more important than previous actions.

  2. BlackDiamond says:

    Good article. I agree. If people look clean, groomed and presentable, I don’t see what the big deal is about owning name brand stuff. I couldn’t tell a Prada bag from a bag bought at Wal Mart if you paid me to. And if the woman was doing business with men, honestly, what man is going to recognize designers of womens clothing?

  3. Stephan says:

    This would seem to be a very logical post, but I bet there are thousands of people who do the exact wrong thing. I dont even understand how people can think its a good thing to play the part of being rich. Most people in power will figure out that your not, and then you will be seen as nothing more than an actor. Its a great post though, dont pretend to be someone your not and focus on the things you do well.

  4. one of a kind says:

    Im a staight guy, and I can tell you alot about Cosmo, Vera Bradley, Coach, and Finger nail styles/types….but again, to me the decision is professional, cleanliness, and well carried vs. designers, labels, and car payments.

  5. Sharman says:

    Love your article. Your story explains in simple detail why it is so important to be who you are, where you are. Faking it until you make it caused pain, embarrassment, and sorrow. At the end the outcomes are not worth it.

  6. Steve Miller says:

    Jennifer,

    Great post! When professor Stanley studied first generation millionaires, he found them to be Amazingly frugal. They consistently chose the accumulation of wealth (or the success of their business) over the appearance of wealth. They drove normal cars, lived in normal neighborhoods, etc.

    But in his study, he asked about their present lifestyle. I wish he’d go back and ask about their lifestyle when they first began their businesses. If they’re frugal today, I’d assume that they were even more frugal when they started out.

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