A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from February 15, 2013
“Fake it till you make it”

"Fake it until/’til/till you make it” means that one should act successful until one actually is successful. That means having the right clothes or the right car. A similar proverb is “Dress for the job you want, not for the job you have.” A person who looks like a failure gives people the impression that he or she is a failure.

The company Dare To Be Great, Inc. was sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 1972 for essentially running a Ponzi scheme. Dare To Be Great’s success seminars told people to buy expensive clothes and an expensive car, such as a Cadillac—even if they couldn’t afford it. The company’s slogan was “fake it ‘til you make it,” Participants ere financially rewarded by bringing others into the Dare To Be Great program. The SEC lawsuit was successful in shutting the company down, but its slogan became nationally popular.

Glenn W. Turner (who owned Dare To Be Great through Glenn W. Turner Enterprises) was profiled in Life magazine on May 28, 1971, but the saying does not appear there. “I played the big man and decided to fake it until I made it - again!” was printed in Turner’s book, All Things Are Possible (2007).


Wikipedia: Fake it till you make it
“Fake it till you make it” (also called “act as if”) is a common catchphrase that means to imitate confidence so that as the confidence produces success, it will generate real confidence. The purpose is to avoid getting stuck in a self-fulfilling prophecy related to one’s fear of not being confident..., e.g., by thinking, “I can’t ask that girl out because she would sense my lack of confidence.” The article How You Too Can Be an Optimist in Prevention points out, “In research at Wake Forest University, for example, scientists asked a group of 50 students to act like extroverts for 15 minutes in a group discussion, even if they didn’t feel like it. The more assertive and energetic the students acted, the happier they were”.

The phrase is a simplification, or generalization, of Aristotle’s notion that acting virtuous will make one virtuous. The phrase was introduced into modern language in the late twentieth century.

MLM Legal Cases
SEC v. Glenn W. Turner Enterprises
Case: SEC v. Glenn W. Turner Enterprises (1972)
Subject Category: Security
Agency Involved: SEC
Court: Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit (D. Oregon)
Case Synopsis: The Court was asked to determine if an injunction was proper because part of the program “Dare to be Great” was found to be a security under federal securities laws.
Legal Issue: Is an injunction proper when a sales program is found to be a security under federal securities laws?
Court Ruling: The Court of Appeals held that the injunction issued by the District court, prohibiting the distribution of the program “Dare to be Great” and freezing the assets of Glenn W. Turner Inc, was proper because the part of the program was a security that had been sold in violation of federal securities laws. The District Court held that Dare’s source of income was from the selling of the program, and people were attracted to it by the opportunity to earn money selling others the opportunity to sell the program. In buying into the system, the investor buys a share of the proceeds of the selling efforts of Dare, but puts in some individual effort in recruiting potential new members to hear the sales pitch.
(...)
The “salesman” is also told that to maximize his chances of success he should impart an aura of affluence, whether spurious or not-to pretend that through his association with Dare he has obtained wealth of no small proportions. The training that he has received at Dare is aimed at educating him on this point. He is told to “fake it ‘til you make it,” or to give the impression of wealth even if it has not been attained. He is urged to go into debt if necessary to purchase a new and expensive automobile and flashy clothes, and to carry with him large sums of money, borrowing if necessary, so that it can be ostentatiously displayed. The purpose of all this is to put the prospect in a more receptive state of mind with respect to the inducements that he will be subject to at the meetings.

Newspaper.com
24 February 1971, Morning Sentinel (Waterville-Winslow, ME), “TV Key Previews,” pg. 5, col. 5:
DREAM MACHINE, C10, 12, 8:30 p.m.—“Success” is the theme of the show tonight, so there’s plenty of fun and satire, light and heavy, on display. (...) On the bitterly satirical side, there’s a segment on a real-life corporation, “Dare to Be Great, Inc.,” led by a man who was inspired by the movie, “The Carpetbaggers,” to give the little man confidence on how to become a success.

Newspapers.com
17 December 1971, The Evening Press (Binghamton, NY), pg. 5-A, col. 1:
Bad Check
Count Trips
NYC Man

(...)
Authorities said the bus trips were made in connection with promotional activity of Koscot Interplanetary, Inc., a sister organization of Dare To Be Great, Inc.

Both corporations are subsidiaries of Turner Enterprises, a Florida corporation with many subsidiaries, authorities said.

Koscot and Dare To Be Great both operate by selling “self-improvement” courses to persons and convincing them that through systems of multiple-level sales they can boost themselves into $50,000-a-year incomes, if not more.

Both firms are reported to be under investigation by the office of the State Attorney General.

Newspapers.com
9 January 1972, Miami (FL) Herald, pg. 6-B, col. 1:
Texas Sues Florida Company
AUSTIN, Tex.—Attorney General Crawford Martin has filed suit to halt the “Dare to Be Great” sales program in Texas of Glenn W. Turner Enterprises of Orlando.
(A photo of Glenn W. Turner is shown.—ed.)

Newspapers.com
16 March 1972, The Columbian (Vancouver, WA), pg. 51, col. 1:
Fake it, then make it’
called motto of program

PORTLAND (UPI)—A Salem woman, who had enrolled in the Dare to be Great program, testified in Circuit Court Wednesday that she was encouraged to sport flashy clothes and $100 bills and to lure other customers into the program.
(...)
Attorney General Lee Johnson has sought an injunction against Dare to Be Great and its president, Glenn W. Turner of Florida.
(...) (Col. 3—ed.)
Miss Ward said enrollees were instructed to “give a false illusion” of their financial success. “Fake it until you make it,” was one of the mottos often voiced, she said.

“That, in Dare to Be Great language, means Cadillacs, flashy clothes and $100 bills,” she said.

16 March 1972, The Oregonian (Portland, OR), “Dissatisfied customer tells court of Dare to be Great” by James Hill, pg. 43, col. 2:
She said she attended a sales training course in Albany, where she was encouraged to “fake it until you make it” by wearing flashy clothes, flashing $100 bills and driving a Cadillac if possible.

18 May 1972, The Oregonian (Portland, OR), “‘Dare To Be Great’ investors usually realize only loss, SEC says,” pg. 20, col. 5:
The suit quotes what it says is a defendants’ slogan, “Fake it ‘til you make it.”

Google Books
Regulating Transactions in Securities:
The Expanding Impact on Corporate Managers, Investors, and the Financial Community

By Jeremy L. Wiesen
St. Paul, MN: West Pub. Co.
1975
Pg. 236:
He is told to “fake it ‘til you make it,” or to give the impression of wealth even if it has not been attained.
(About Dare To Be Great, Inc.—ed.)

OCLC WorldCat record
Fake it til you make it : inside Amway : what your soap distributor may not have told you
Author: Phil Kerns
Publisher: Carlton, Or. : Victory Press, ©1982.
Edition/Format: Book : English

22 September 1986, Beacon Journal (Akron, OH), “Table turn on a truthmonger: The downfall of a Wall Street columnist,” pg. B7:
He lived the credo `Fake it until you make it.’

OCLC WorldCat record
Fake it before you Make It
Author: Gary Stix
Edition/Format: Article
Publication: Scientific American, v278 n3 (199803): 36-36
Database: CrossRef

OCLC WorldCat record
Entrepreneurs - “Fake It Till You Make It” - The Roberts brothers’ tidy empire of malls, television stations and wireless.
Author: Tomas Kellner
Publisher: [New York, N.Y. : Forbes Inc., 1918-
Edition/Format: Article : English
Publication: Forbes. (October 16, 2000): 170
Database: ArticleFirst

OCLC WorldCat record
Fake it ‘til you make it : collected stories
Author: Ian C Dawkins Moore
Publisher: [S.l.] : Airleaf Pub., 2005.
Edition/Format: Book : Fiction : English

Google Books
All Things Are Possible
By Glenn W. Turner with Mark A. Paulick
Xulon Press
2007
Pg. 153:
I played the big man and decided to fake it until I made it - again!

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Friday, February 15, 2013 • Permalink