“I was honest about my lack of tenure in the business, but talked about my educational background and the fact that while their advisors were planning for retirement, they were also planning their own. However, I would be able to work with their families through retirement and with their children too. I also had the time and energy to spend finding new strategies for them, since I was younger.”-Vikas Mohindra, Financial Advisor, Merrill Lynch
There’s a moment where you commit completely to yourself and your dreams. It’s the moment you say to the world, “Fuck everything that you’ve told me I should care about.”
Maybe you had an idea, maybe you discovered a talent you have, maybe the market showed you a need within it. At this point, you’ve started a business around, well whatever you want. You’ve quit your job, and now you’re on a timeline to build your business before your credit card debt gets too high for you to keep going.
You look around and all of a sudden, you’re on your own. You know the names of some very successful people who could help you become successful as well. Or big names that you need to make a connection with for your business. But they get approached by hundreds of people like you every month. People who want to be successful and haven’t accomplished anything on their own.
How do you show them you’re different? What can you do to get their attention?
It’s called fake it til you make it.
But when I say fake it, I don’t mean lie, and I don’t mean exaggerate.
I mean commit entirely to becoming the version of yourself that has already succeeded, and leveraging the unique talents you have through your inexperience.
I talked with a good friend, Forbes 30 Under 30 member Vikas Mohindra to learn about how he got his start as a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch.
Vikas has an incredibly unique story because he was able to leverage his youth and his inexperience to gain clients, and became massively successful in his first couple years of fundraising and continued this trend as he matured in his industry. This required him to build a lot of trust with people much older than him, as well as maintain a presence that he would manage their money well, despite his youth.
Vikas’s “fake it till you make it” moment was in his confidence in himself and his ability to manage money. After this, he didn’t need to lie or fake anything to find success; he simply turned what others would see as his weaknesses into strengths, and he believed it because he believed in himself. And over time, he proved that he was for real with results.
Going into any field, “fake it til you make it” revolves around having confidence in yourself. Such confidence that you actually believe you’re as good at what you do as people who have been around for a while. However, you must also remain self-aware enough to know that you are inexperienced.
What you do with your weaknesses or youth ultimately will define what kind of entrepreneur you will become and how successful you will be. When you get your 30 seconds with the person who can make or break your business, will you be able to convince them that what they see as your weaknesses will actually give them an advantage they didn’t have before?
Published July 28th, 2016