Fake It Till You Make It. That’s the best advice I got out of college, and it came from a guy selling knock-off perfume. He put an ad in the paper that got me to show up, along with a dozen others, to the basement of a church he rented out recruiting people off the street to sell perfume door-to-door.
He had a mullet, a New Jersey accent, pressed pants, and a bad complexion. But he gave a good presentation on perfume. He called it the piss in the bottle.
I did it for a day, actually sold some, and when I returned to the church he looked surprised I came back, couldn’t remember me.
Now I deal in construction which is funny, because I don’t really like construction. I see things like light poles and bridges and frankly, I don’t want to think about how they got there.
Construction is hard, because it involves digging. The digging part’s hard, but it’s what you find when you start digging that gets interesting. It’s also hard because you have to work around a lot of experts: engineers, inspectors, designers, landlords, permitting agencies, trades-people, low voltage guys, paint stripers.
I never knew about saw cuts, raceways, weep holes…or slurry. Even the difference between concrete and asphalt. But I fake it. Like when I carried a box of fake perfumes down the street, I’m faking my way through meetings (often leading them), which is a good way to feel old fast.
Faking it is a form of pretending you know what you’re doing. But how can you know what you’re doing…before you do it?