Fake it till you make it – brings success

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By Andrew Heathcote

When Kiel Van Daal acquired a stake in fast-growing web development company Sitback, he realised he had a problem: he looked too young.

Van Daal was 22 when he was first required to host sales meetings. Three years later, he still looks young for his age.

Sitback is a serious business, with the likes of Subaru and Virgin Money as clients. So it was important for Van Daal to show that Sitback was up to it. Many young entrepreneurs have encountered similar problems but Van Daal’s solution was more novel than most: he hired an older person to pretend to be his boss.

After arranging a client meeting, Van Daal would get a trusted contractor (aged in his forties) to attend the meeting and give the impression he was in charge. The contractor was familiar with the business but had no authority to make big decisions; this was left to Van Daal after meeting’s end.

Proven performance has meant Van Daal no longer calls on older people to create a sense of seniority, but it’s a ploy worth considering for start-ups.

Copyright© BRW 2012.

The ImageMaker
The ImageMaker
The ImageMaker is a blog that provides short, succinct articles reviewing the key editorial, commentary and opinion pieces in the major international news outlets each week with specialised commentary from an image / brand management and entrepreneurship perspective. Our coverage ranges from front-page news, to Business, Economy, Tech & Science, Life & Culture and anything else that we see fit to comment on. The ImageMaker is also a place for dialogue - we feel that news services today should be interactive and should involve readers. That’s why we offer a prominent space on every page for our regular readers, for up-and-coming players in politics, business, sport or entertainment, and for people who find themselves in interesting places at interesting times, to share their views. Stay informed, and save time.
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