Everyone has heard the phrase “fake it ‘till you make it.” To some, this might feel like a negative term—as if “faking it” is a bad thing.

That couldn’t be farther from the truth. This phrase is pure gold, and there is nothing wrong with faking it until you make it. In fact, it’s probably the best way to get what you want in life. We all have to start somewhere, after all.

Let’s break down this phrase so you can see what I really mean.

Step 1: Faking it
The first part is, obviously, “faking it.” Now, the word “fake” is generally bad. It means you’re lying or tricking someone. But in this case, you shouldn’t think of what you’re doing as faking.

When you “fake it ‘till you make it,” you’re not really faking it. What you’re actually doing is working towards the skills you need. You’re constantly learning so that you can eventually acquire the skills you need to stop faking it.

The only difference is that in the beginning, you need to act as you have them. Ultimately, this is what gets you in the door and gives you the opportunity to learn and advance in whatever you’re doing in life.

So, stop thinking of it as “faking” and think of it as “learning.”

Step 2: Making it (and keeping it)
The next step is, of course, “making it.” But what does that really mean?

Most people would say it means that you’ve become successful. And to an extent, that’s true. But we can get a little more granular than that… 

If you break it down and combine it with the faking portion above, “making it” really just means that you’ve learned the skills you need to accomplish your goals. Once you have those skills, you’ll be successful.

But there’s one more aspect to this that most people forget. Once you make it, you have to keep it.

Your job isn’t over once you gain the skills and acquire the knowledge you need. The far more important part—which no one seems to talk about—is retaining that knowledge, learning new information, and constantly improving upon your skills. 

This will be different for everyone—but the lesson is that whatever business you’re in, whatever job you have, whatever you’re trying to be the best at… You can always learn more. There’s always room for improvement. This could mean reading books, listening to podcasts, or staying up on the latest trends in your industry.

So don’t just try to make it. Everyone can make it—but only the best of the best can keep it.