Faking it does not always lead to making it (come true)!
As a kid on ranches in the mountains of Colorado, dressing up like a cowboy was not some pretend game, but how we lived. I was riding a horse, with help from my dad, before I could walk. I had stepped in more manure by the time I was five than a politician can spread. Boots and a hat were not fashion statements and I NEVER wore a belt buckle the size of a Ford Pinto hubcap . . . ever.
When we moved off the ranch, a new quasi-reality presented itself. One where the other kids pretended to be cowboys, just like in the movies! They strapped on cap guns and funky felt hats. Wore spurs on tennis shoes and rode broomstick horses. Some even believed it so much that, as they grew up, they thought by faking it all those years they were the real deal!
We called them Rexall Rangers. The wannabe cowboys that were all hat, no horse. In other words, they could dress the part. Even talk a good game. But didn’t understand what it took to actually DO it.
In business, we often hear people talk about the fake it until you make it concept. There are books published, seminars held, and a plethora of websites telling people how -easy- it is to be in business. You don’t have to understand how to build a business. Just dress the part, tell everyone you are. They will believe you, and voila, you are making the big bucks!
Sounds great, right? Well gosh, and golly, let me join a website and become an expert entrepreneur! I can be rich by New Years Day – it has to be true I read it on the internet!
Reality check. Just like the want-to-be cowboys, faking it doesn’t mean you will ever be one. Living a false reality only serves to limit what you could do.
We want to believe that in some alternate reality life really can be like the movies. You play the part and ride off into the sunset a winner, residual royalties are in the contract. What we don’t see is the years it took to learn how to act. The bit parts and stand-in roles that barely bought lunch at the studio canteen. All the call-backs from auditions that never came, careers doubted, and for some, lost.
Faking it does not prepare you for the future. It only lets you escape – briefly – from the lessons you must learn to move ahead. Sure, you can fool a few people along the way. Even the Rexall Rangers manage to impress a few girls at the bar.
If you want to live a better future, learn what it takes to achieve it. There are no instant shortcuts.
It begins by understanding that you don’t know what you don’t know. That the path ahead will not be – easy – or short. It will be filled with obstacles to overcome, lessons to be learned, and yes . . . failures along the way. It will be far easier to quit than to take that next step. But take it you must. The lessons may seem brutal and hard, even ugly at times – but needed.
My saddle now rests on a rack. Old and dusty, much like me. I spent my youth in a world far different than the one in which I find myself today. Those Rexall Rangers? When they got – bucked off – that broomstick, they ran off to another game. I had to get up and try it again. . . and again . . . until I managed to figure out what I was doing wrong. Yeah, they can still wear the hat and boots, but will never know that feeling when you finally DO stay in the saddle. Which is something I took with me when I unsaddled that last time, walked out of the arena, and headed off on a new journey in business
Believe in yourself enough to get back up when life tosses you off the path. Take the time, forget the shortcuts, and figure out what is needed to continue. Don’t run off to another game when things get tough. Make the commitment to yourself to do what it takes to sit tall in the saddle.
No, I’m not some – expert – entrepreneur with a long string of amazing success stories over the past 30 years. Just a man on a journey without a distinct destination. Still learning that there is much I do not know. I do, however, know two things:
- That I will continue to make mistakes and fail in some aspects.
- That I will get back up, dust myself off (probably while cussing profusely), determine what worked and what did not, and try again.
Decide that you are no Rexall Ranger. Don’t get caught up in faking it, start making it . . . come true! Let’s see how wild the ride can be!
With Sincere Thanks
“The only limits we have are those you impose upon yourself. Remove the limits!”
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