Shall we dump the "Fake it till you make it" recruiting routine?

How often have we heard it spouted from the front of the room?

“Fake it till you make it.”

Over the last 15 years, I’ve known countless guys who, upon hearing this mantra, have begged, borrowed and stolen money to buy their Armani suits, shoes and belts (whose expensive buckles they are often seen fondling in front of the room).

Some have bought cars totally outside their budgets so they could be seen arriving in style. And of course, they imply clearly that these wonderful toys were the fruits of the business they were promoting.

Has this mantra gone too far?

It’s one thing to do whatever you have to so that YOU feel good (and if buying that Armani suit, shoes or belt does it, well then do it.)

But if it’s all borrowed money that bought it, or if it came from another source, and NOT from the business you are promoting, is it right to pretend these success symbols came from your business? You know, so as to entice folks to come into the business with you?

Isn’t that false pretenses?

In a previous post here, (“Don’t Believe the Hype (He Says That’s What It Is)” May 28, I reported what a well known entertainment promoter said in his deposition (he was being sued by the people who bought his company based on his misrepresentations).

Mr. Simmons wanted to give a good impression to those who were about to put up their money and time to buy his company, so he wanted the business to “look good” to them.

“Here’s how you develop an image for a company,” he says in the deposition. “You give out false statements to mislead the public so they will then increase in their mind the value of your company.” He explained the difference between his statement on CNBC that his company had done $350 million in sales when in fact it had done $14.3 million like this:

The $350 million “accurately reflected my optimism – or my brand position statement – a good brand positioning statement.” And he adds, “I was hoping it would sound good – I was hoping that maybe by that year the gross numbers were there, I don’t know.”

Would you buy anything from this man?

Cut back to us in network marketing.

How would you feel about coming in to a business based on seeing such “success” flaunted as what they “got”, and later find out they hadn’t earned a dime – that the “success” they showed you was part of that person’s “fake it till you make it” strategy? And you bought in, thinking that it would be easy, too, like it was for our faker?

Do you agree that we should dump the faker philosophy as a recruiting tool?

Perhaps women haven’t used it as much as the boys, since they don’t tend to brag. But if you do use it, I suggest wiping it from your speaking repertoire. Period.

Evolved males: Dump it.

It’s just lying, isn’t it? And worse, it’s cruel and unusual seduction of some unsuspecting woman (or guy) who needs to believe in something real, and who doesn’t have any way of knowing that your story is fake, until it’s too late and they’ve spent their money – and usually more than they can afford.

Would YOU knowingly buy from a faker?

Is that any way to promote goodwill or good word of mouth in our industry?

We can do better, can’t we?

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About the author

Kim Klaver


  • Kim,

    When I started, I was really into personal development – used to meditate 2-8 hours a night.

    I told one of the guys earning a lot of money that I wanted to work with others who had similar interests.

    He said “don’t ever tell anyone you do that, it will put them off and you’ll never have a business. Pretend you’re into it for the money”

    Well, I (stupidly) thought he must be right, because he was successful.

    All that happened though, is that I could never talk to people about the business.

    Two people at that time who joined for the money, turned out to be a priest and a heavy meditator.

    Funny hey?

    Now I feel a lot more in integrity. And listening to your nylon woman calls, I’m getting just how “me” I have to be!

    It’s the only way!

  • Fake it till you make it was meant for
    the “mental , emotional, energy journey and not the “action” journey.

    In other words, do what ever it takes for you to change your THOUGHTS and FEELINGS so that you FEEL wealthy.

    It’s not about taking actions
    while you are feeling scarcity, that’s
    digging a deeper pit.

    Inspired actions taken ONLY after
    you FEEL wealthy , have Belief first
    will lead to ” Making it”.

    Marcy From Maui

  • Natalie:

    Isn’t it amazing how often we, as women, assume the guys must be right, and just suspend our own approaches and try to adopt theirs.

    It’s a gender difference, where different things seem to work for each of us.

    Just in NM, women have not been thought of as requiring different approaches – and I think we’ve learned that we do – and trainings and recruiting methods should speak to both men and women – differently.

    Like shopping for shoes. Go to Men’s for their shoes, and Women’s for ours. That’s all.

    Isn’t that how we shop?

    Thanks for the good comments.

  • Hi Marcy!

    I hear you. Only that is not how it’s been interpreted by many people who have gone into debt to show others how they’re making it (no one knows they’re faking it).

    I see your point.

    Thanks for the comments!

  • Kim –
    My Kudos to you girl! You so nailed it. Thanks for being so strong as to speak out about this, so intuitive to name it and so articulate to describe it in terms everyone can understand. You are a wonderful educator. I’m so proud of you. Thank you again and again for who you are and for all you do for the field. I’ll be taking a refresher class after I get relocated.


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