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How to Fake Your Own Success

How to Fake Your Own Success

There’s a tiny little gap between suck and success — that place is called “fake it till you make it.” Throughout my entrepreneurial career, I’ve learned how to artfully master this paradise. Even in my lowest moments — I’m talking being so broke I couldn’t even afford Netflix and boxed wine — these quick tips helped me climb my way up the success ladder and fool even my toughest critics.

Dress the part.

Don’t show up to happy hour in a three piece suit. But whatever you’re wearing; own it. Put on your best look. No matter what, you must be comfortable in your own skin. When you look good, you feel good. When you feel good, you can conquer even the most awkward conversation or situation with ease.

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Speak just outside your listener’s realm of understanding.

Let’s say you’re at a cocktail party for your boyfriend’s law firm. Pick a topic that’s just outside the crowd’s realm of understanding. Don’t dive deep into corporate law. Chances are, your listener probably knows more about that topic than you do. On the same end, don’t go so far outside their realm that you find yourself talking about Beyonce’s greatest hits.

Allow one or two degrees of separation between topics. For example, you’re at a law firm. Law firms need to be organized, and stay on top of paperwork. Paperwork can be a pain in the butt, so bring up the digital atmosphere, and how going electronic with your filing heightens productivity.

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Speak with confidence.

It’s better to not speak at all than speak with hesitation. If all you can do is muster out a shaky voice, stay silent. No matter how earnest you are, insecurity isn’t convincing.

Don’t be a know-it-all.

You don’t know everything, and you never will. The most successful people accept this, and openly admit their shortcomings. Let’s say I went up to Mark Zuckerberg right now and asked, “Do you consider yourself a social media expert? Do you know everything there is to know about social media?” He would probably say, “No. That’s why Facebook is always changing.”

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Challenge the naysayers.

When you appear confident, some people will question you. They’ll try to catch you off guard, and make you look “less than” in front of a crowd. Focus on flipping the spotlight back in their direction. Redirect with questions like, “What makes you say that?” This will force your confronter to be candid about their thought process.

Get good at self-policing.

Know when to call BS on your own progress. Admit when you’ve fallen short and dropped the ball. When you call a spade a space; no one can hate too hard on your error. But, if you’re trying to cover up all your mistakes, people will easily find fault and question your authenticity.

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Conquer mini projects.

Set small goals that pack a big punch. Instead of saying, “I want to be a writer,” say “I want to be writing for Entrepreneur Magazine by December of 2016.” Then, conquer these goals.

Take long pauses, and think before you speak.

I used to be a fast talker. Like seriously — I would trip over my own words, trying to catch up with my own brain. As a young 20 something, I tried to rush in every last thought, just so my voice would be heard. In all actuality, this was doing just the opposite. When you take your time, people pay attention. Bonus tip: Eliminate passive language and unecessary adverbs.

Create a sense of mystery.

You want people asking, “Who is that?” For them to have this burning sense of curiosity, you need to stay somewhat mysterious. Don’t go throwing your business card every which way when you attend a function. Keep your contact information exclusive. Imagine yourself to be more important than you actually are.

If you believe you’re worth the success you crave, everyone else will too.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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