Momentum Podcast: 471
Stop Faking It
by Alex Charfen
The phrase, fake it until you make it, is probably just about as old as entrepreneurship or human achievement in and of itself.
However, there's an argument for why it really doesn't work, and I have an argument for why you should consider stop faking it and start telling people what's really going on.
“Fake it until you make it”You’ve probably heard this phrase, it’s said all the time. It’s one of the most toxic phrases thrown around in the entrepreneurial world today. When you fake it, you are putting up a wall between yourself and the people around you who can actually help you. When you fake it, you repel the people around you and drive them away. When you’re real and grounded, people see and hear you in an entirely different way. Vulnerability might make you feel small, but when you show vulnerability to other people it makes you look stronger and more capable. True connection comes from sharing your truth.
If you’re ready to make your greatest contribution and lower the pressure noise around you, let me help you. Momentum Masterclass is designed to help entrepreneurs going through massive transitions not just survive, but thrive and grow – momentummasterclass.com
Full Audio Transcript
Alex Charfen: The phrase, fake it until you make it, is probably just about as old as entrepreneurship or human achievement in and of itself. However, there's an argument for why it really doesn't work, and I have an argument for why you should consider stop faking it and start telling people what's really going on.
I'm Alex Charfen, and this is the Momentum Podcast. Made for empire builders, game changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers and creators of all kinds. Those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure, we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny, we define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop, and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority. The few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future and instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution and we always will be.
If you've been to a personal development seminar, an MLM meeting, a conference of just about any kind, you've probably heard the phrase, fake it until you make it. And it's said all the time. It's brought up all the time. You know who it's usually brought up by, it's usually brought up by the goal setting experts, not the goal achievement experts, but the goal setting experts. And whenever one of those guys gets in front of the room, I walk out because I don't need somebody to stand in front of the room, jump up and down, tell me to write down the biggest number I've ever heard of, cross it out and double it. Because here's what I know about goal setting experts, they're not goal achievement experts because if they were, they would have people set goals a lot differently.
And this phrase, fake it until you make it, I think it's one of the most toxic phrases in entrepreneurship today. I apologize if you hear some background noise. Cadey and I are actually in a car being driven to the airport and we're going to Donald Miller's Story Brand Conference this week. So I'm sure I'll talk about it on the podcast. I'm really incredibly excited about it. But I was just inspired to pick up the phone and record this episode because I absolutely think that fake it until you make it is actually hurting entrepreneurs, getting them completely and totally stuck and leaving them stranded on a desert island without help. And that may sound like an exaggeration, but let me tell you why I feel this way, and I'm going to tell you from a very personal place and a place it's actually really hard to talk about.
If I go back to four or five years from now back and look at the transition that Cadey and I were making the out of our real estate product and really trying to get into more entrepreneurial business coaching, not just real estate products, we had a really hard time. I had a really hard time. I had a hard time making that transition. I had a hard time figuring out what product to sell. I had a hard time figuring out what I could really put out there and I had a hard time selling the same thing over and over again. We were doing a ton of one on one consulting and one off events and getting paid to speak. And our business looked like the typical sub one million dollar business only. We were doing as some years a little bit better than a million, but it still didn't matter.
We were acting like a sub one million dollar business. It was like an Afghan bizarre. I was all over the place. We were going to masterminds and we were going to meetings and I was going to places where I could have gotten help. But you know what? I was stuck in the place of faking until you make it. People would say, how are things going? And I would say, Oh, they've been unbelievable because that could be unbelievably good or unbelievably bad. And I didn't want to be transparent with people and I didn't want people around me to really know what was going on. I was going to meetings where it appeared that everybody else was doing really well. And I was in that place where I wasn't sharing what was really happening. And a little, let's say early 2017, I reached out to a friend of mine, Russell Brunson, and asked for help because I was stuck. I was stuck. I couldn't figure out what to sell. I couldn't figure out how to market it. And there was a point where Russell had told me that we had better content for entrepreneurs at anything he had ever seen.
And early in 2017, he tried to buy the entrepreneurial personality type content from me. So I knew if anybody could, he would help me. And I remember reaching out and saying, "Hey Russell, I need help, which one of your program should I get into?" And he just got in touch with me. Russell's an amazing guy. And he and I had been friends since 2013. We'd been in another mastermind together. It was amazing for him to just reach out and say, hey, let's do this. And then within a day or two, Cadey and I signed up for the inner circle and joined Russell's highest level mastermind.
I was fortunate that I knew him and I was allowed to start at the top. And within a few more days, he invited us to an event that he was doing in Las Vegas. Where it was a mastermind with some of the most successful people in online marketing today, was amazing. Alex and Layla [Hormozi 00:05:26] and Brandon and Caitlin Poole and Ezra Firestone and Ray Higdon. I could go on, and Trey Lewellen, I could go on and on. It was just such an amazing experience. Each one of us got up and shared really transparently where our business was and what help we needed and what was going on. And I remember for me to get up, I had to share it, I was struggling, I was having a hard time and I couldn't figure out what to do next. I finally dropped all the faking it until you make it, and I was just real about exactly where we were and what was going on.
And then I shared some of our entrepreneurial personality type content and everything changed. It took one meeting, one mastermind of dropping the pretense and forgetting about faking it until I made it and telling people exactly what was going on and being completely transparent and honest about where we were. And here's the result of doing that. I just want to show you how dramatically our lives changed from me finally just saying, hey, here's what's really going on. Russell and a few of the other people that were there gave us incredible advice. In fact, Russell pulled me aside personally a few times and gave me really directed clear advice and I followed it. I Trust Russell, that's why I reached out to them. That's why I joined the inner circle.
I would argue that he is the best marketer living on the planet today. And anybody who would like to take up that argument, I think it would be really interesting because you can argue that Russell's changed more independent business owners lives than just about any product or any service out there in a way that actually created massive revenue. And he did the same thing for me. And so when he made that suggestion, we followed it. And here's another thing that's amazing that happened at that event. I got up in front of the room and told everybody we were struggling. We were having a hard time and things were not going well and how difficult that it had been. And at the same time I shared who I was and what expertise I had and what I had done in the past because people asked. And at the event, where I shared how terrible things have been going for us, Alex and Layla Hormozi hired Cadey and I to coach them.
And so here I was being real and honest and transparent and incredibly vulnerable. I had a hard time even sharing, and we got hired by two of the most intelligent and most incredible business people I've ever met in my life. Alex and Layla in the past two years have completely changed the entire independent gym industry and they've created a company that was a couple million dollars when we met in July of 2017. And last time I talked to Alex, they were over, over a 550 million dollar run rate. I've grown companies fast, Cadey and I put businesses on the INC 500 list. We've grown companies like breakneck speed. What Alex and Layla have done is like almost the impossible. And they hired us at an event where I was real and I told people what was really going on and I was completely transparent and honest.
So when you summarize what came out of that event, one, we got the help we needed and we had this massive switch. So here's the result of the advice that I got from Russell and from the other people that were there. We put together, we stopped what we were doing. We completely shifted our focus. We had put out this podcast, that was one of the first things we did. We had it out within 10 days of being at that event. Even though this podcast has had some ups and some downs, we are up to over 100,000 downloads a month. Now we're at around 60 or 70,000 downloads a month. We're going to hit a 1.5 million downloads sometime in the next month or two. So that means in the past year, 1.5 million people have potentially downloaded a 15 minute keynote from me and listened to it. It's changed everything for us. And then we created the coaching products that we talked about with everybody there.
And we went from absolutely nonexistent consistent run rate, we bounced all over the place. To now, we're over a two million dollar a year recurring billing run rate and we're adding them in. Our actual run rate as a company is approaching three million dollars a year because I dropped pretense and I was real and I stopped faking it until I made it. And I told people what was really going on. And so when I say that fake it until you make it pushes entrepreneurs out onto a desert island where they end up stranded, I'm not kidding, I'm not kidding. Here's what you can do. Go to any mastermind you want and observe the people in the room and I guarantee you there is a high percentage of people in the room who are not saying what's really going on, who are not sharing where they really are, who are not telling everybody vulnerably what's really happening for them and getting the help they need.
Instead, they're putting up the persona, the impression, the facade that we all create that makes it so that we put space in between where we really are and the people who are around us, who would want to help us and who can help us. And here's the thing that happens energetically. Energetically, when you fake it until you make it, you repel the people around you. You drive them away. And anyone who is connected, anyone who feels the people around them, anyone who has a high level of success is most likely going to be repelled by you, driven away by you because of that fake it until you make it desperation energy. But here's the converse of that. When you're transparent and you're real and you're grounded, and you tell people where you're really coming from, they hear you and see you in a completely different way because vulnerability makes you feel small.
But vulnerability to the people around you looks like confidence. Vulnerability makes you feel like you're the smallest person in the room. But when you're vulnerable, you look stronger and bigger and more capable to the people that are in the room. So much so that after one of the most vulnerable times I've ever shared in a mastermind, and one of the hardest times I've ever shared in a mastermind, I got hired by two of the most intelligent and skeptical and incredible entrepreneurs I've ever had the privilege of working with. So if you've bought into fake it until you make it, I want to give you an alternative route. What would happen if you took the next six months and did a massive experiment in your life and you were just honest with people? And that doesn't mean that you blubber all over people and that you overshare and that you do things like that.
But maybe you just tell people what's really going on and when somebody says, hey, how's it going today? Instead of saying it's great when it's not, say, I'm really struggling. I had a frustrating day at work today, but I'm trying to make it better today. And let people around you know what's happening because you change the energetic field of communication between you and another person when you drop pretense and you create massive transparency. We are so worried about what we say to each other that we will be judged or looked at as less than or not make the connection we want. And if we were more concerned with how we energetically said stuff to each other and how we shared and how transparent we actually were and how real what we were saying is, that's where true connection comes from. That's where you cause bonds with other people energetically with you. That's where you as a human being become magnetic.
I want you to have the success you have always known you should have. I want you to answer the call from that quiet voice in the back of your mind that's always said, you are meant for more, you should do more, you should be more, you can leave more behind. You can make more happen here. But in order for you to do that, you're going to have to face the fear of sharing with people exactly where you really are and what you really need. And when you do, not only will you answer that call, you will go so much further than you ever thought it was compelling you to.
If you're ready to make the greatest contribution in your life and lower the pressure and noise around you to the point where you feel stable and vulnerable enough that you can share what's really going on, let me help you. Our course, Momentum Masterclass is meant to help entrepreneurs who are going through massive transitions to not just go through the transition but to thrive and experience and grow and get to the next level in this game that we call business and this thing we call life. So if you're ready to accelerate your learning of where you are right now and what you need next, if you're ready to understand how to move forward and create momentum on demand, and if you want to lower the pressure and noise in your life dramatically, irrevocably and permanently right now, go to MomentumMasterclass.com and check it out. It will put you in a place where you are clear enough and stable enough and know what's going on in your life at a level where you're actually okay with sharing people exactly where you are. MomentumMasterclass.com.