Fake it till you make it

"Simply visualising your goals or pretending to have achieved them will not be enough; you must take massive action towards them."

Tash Courtenay-Smith | Co-founder | Bolt Digital

How would you explain what "Fake it till you make it" means?


The concept of 'fake it till you make it' is a brilliant approach to acting. It involves pretending to be or have what you want before you actually attain it. This concept is similar to the placebo effect in that it has been shown to be effective. From a business perspective, act as if you have a 100 million pound agency or whatever your goal may be, and behave as if you're already giving talks or achieving your desired outcome.

The key is to embody the behaviour and mindset of the person you want to become. Of course, this should be done within reason; you can't act like Madonna if you're actually a pop singer. This concept is rooted in inner confidence, visualisation, and the idea that thoughts can become things. It's a good idea, but it should be used wisely.

What do you think of the advice?


I love the concept of thoughts becoming things and I definitely believe it to be true. The idea of 'fake it till you make it' falls under the same category, along with the adage, "believe it and you shall see it." These concepts form a useful and helpful family of ideas in my opinion. I am a fan of practices such as visualisation, meditation, and the idea that thoughts can shape reality.

However, it's important to note that taking appropriate action is crucial in addition to shifting your mindset. Simply visualising your goals or pretending to have achieved them will not be enough; you must take massive action towards them. Despite this, filling your mind with thoughts such as "I have a 100 million pound agency" or "I am as famous as Madonna" can influence your behaviour and move you closer to your goal.

That's why I believe in this family of concepts - they encourage focus and behavioural change towards your desired outcome. Overall, I am a big fan of this approach.

Would you give this advice to business owners?


I would give the advice of I mean, the other thing about faking it till you make it is it can be seen as a negative thing, or you can't fake things you actually can't do like, and you've got to there's risk, okay, so you can't fake being a neurosurgeon. If in fact, you've never opened up anybody's skull before. And it'd be hugely dangerous for you to even attempt to do that.

So within reason, I think having a goal to work towards and, you know, doing activities that encourage those goals to become thoughts in your mind, or to some extent your take on that behaviour is a good thing that I would encourage all agency and business owners to do.

However, it's got to be within reason you don't want to do you don't want to be so OTT on, you're faking it till you make it that you cause your clients risk or harm. So it's got to be within the realms of external circumstances as well.

Tash Courtenay-Smith gives an example of when she's bent the truth in the past to appear more credible...


Yes, I recall that question. I tend to be straightforward and factual in my communication, and I don't shy away from telling things as they are. For example, some agencies might claim to have 30 employees, but in reality, they only have 23. As a logical person, I think I could benefit from putting a brave face forward, especially when starting a business. I think many people do this instinctively, including myself when I first started my business. The use of the word "we" makes the business seem more established and trustworthy, even if it's just one person freelancing from their garden shed. This can be a helpful strategy for getting a business off the ground.

Tash Courtenay-Smith's bio

Tash Courtenay-Smith is the founder of The Notting Hill Shopping Bag company and CEO of leading London digital marketing agency Bolt Digital.

A former Daily Mail journalist, Tash regularly appears as a commentator for the BBC and GB News.

She is an ambassador for Meta, board member for the CEW and has expertise and opinions to share on retail, female entrepreneurship, the economy, media and marketing.

She is the author of two bestselling books on digital marketing.
Tash is known for her engaging, witty and provocative points of view.

Humble promo of Tash Courtenay-Smith and Bolt Digital


I always admire people who run and invest in multiple businesses. It takes a special kind of entrepreneur to pull it off successfully. Tash has definitely got it! She's also incredibly persistent in promoting her and her businesses. You would wonder how does she find the time. But she does, and it's that smart time management, relentless energy and belief in a positive future outcome that makes Tash and the businesses she owns and advises stand out. I highly recommend following her business life journey.

Daniel (Polymensa founder)



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