044 The art of self-promotion

Have you ever struggled with the idea of self-promotion? You know you need to put yourself out there, but you don’t want to be one of those guys. This episode will help you develop the art of healthy self promotion.

The art of self-promotion

This week’s Inspire Me quote is from Sir Isaac Newton:

“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.

In last week’s episode, Leary and Armin had the opportunity to interview sales guru Stephan Schiffman. Stephan made the point that selling is actually an act of service, whether you are selling a product or selling yourself. When you look out for the interest of others saying, “I have something for you that can solve xyz,” then selling becomes a noble endeavor.

So, when you’re trying to sell yourself, how do you do that in a way that doesn’t come across like you’re self-promoting, slimy or being arrogant? The key is in knowing that there is a difference between healthy self-promotion and selfish self-promotion. If we are going to have our work recognized, it should be recognized as a contribution to someone’s future work. It shouldn’t be pointing and directing everything back to us. It’s important that our work acts as seed for ideas out there, that others can build upon.

So what’s the difference between healthy self promotion and selfish promotion?

  1. Healthy self-promotion seeks to benefit others first. It’s not about what we get out of it, but it’s about the belief that we have something that can help another.
  2. Healthy self-promotion invests from your giftedness. You see yourself as a steward of what God has given you versus believing that your gifting is from you alone.
  3. Healthy self-promotion is never inflated over its contribution. There is a recognition that you are building on the shoulders of others and it’s not about drawing attention to yourself. This can be looked at in two ways:
  • Arrow-thinking says, my creation displays my brilliance. There is a secret hope others will take notice and if they don’t you are disappointed. It’s a straight line arrow that points directly back to you.
  • Circle-thinking says, my creation builds upon the works of others and contributes to the works of others. It’s a life cycle that you are a part of.

There are three steps in the creative cycle: curation, cultivation and communication. As we look at self-promotion, the truth is, you have something brilliant to create, curated from others and cultivated by your life experiences and gifting. It’s our stewardship responsibility to communicate this to others.

Now, how can we do this art of self-promotion in a healthy way?

First, we need to go at the speed of others needs. If you find yourself doing things to get feedback, you may be selfishly promoting. Next, we must work on developing the creative cycle. If you don’t do the work of creating something and its all about promotion, then what you’re doing is selling without value. Lastly, and most importantly, we must realize that we are a part of an ecosystem. We must learn to share the spotlight, extend credit to others and see ourselves as part of a bigger picture.

This week Challenge Me challenge for this episode is: Evaluate how you spend time in each of the three creative lifecycle areas. Are you curating, cultivating and communicating?

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2 thoughts on “044 The art of self-promotion

  1. I had the pleasure of having a cup of coffee with Armin in November. At that time I was considering whether or not to pursue a consulting opportunity that would require me to self promote. Armin advised me to express confidence in the talents I have been blessed with. That expression would help convince people who can use my services to go forward with me. This episode is very consistent with that message. It is my duty to let people know how I can serve. Following the method you have suggested, I can go forward knowing the goal is not to tell people how good I am, but to seek to serve. Thank you for your good work Leary and Armin.

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