What's Your Secret?

As a successful entrepreneur and business strategist, I am often asked how I got here. People looking to find their own niche and build their own version of a relevant dream house want to know: What is the recipe? The truth is, there are limitless combinations, but if I had to summarize it all (at least in this minute), I’d say: fake it till you make it, but never be a fake.

So many of my early opportunities as a small business owner resulted from my showing up, pretending to be brave until I got brave, intending to provide some value before I was sure I could, and hoping to give answers to problems when I really only had questions. Through some divine set of fortune and benevolence in the world and the people around me, the pattern was the same. I wanted to be of service, and somehow I was. I wanted to help solve a problem, and somehow I would. The point is that I was there. I was willing to show up, raise my hand while my knees were knocking, and do that day after day after day. About a decade later, well into my 30’s, I started to recognize this new, funny feeling: confidence. I knew what I was doing. I had developed an elegantly simple strategic approach to communication and problem solving, so much so that CEO’s and political leaders not only sought my advice for solving thorny problems, but they were willing to pay for it.

It’s a great character trait, the ability to fake it till you make it, if done with the right intention, which in my experience has to be authentic. Without that foundation, you’re just a fake, in service to a giant ego with a gaping appetite for credit, power, fame, recognition or any of the other posers in the quest for basic happiness. So, today I’d say to anyone interested, be brave enough to show up, even if you feel like an impostor.  Remember that you want to help, and serve, and learn. Before you know it, somebody will be asking you, “What you’re secret?”

Sara Flitner