Monday, August 17, 2015
SHY ABOUT PROMOTING YOURSELF? by Susan Harris
Have you written a resume? Have you been interviewed for a job? Then you've promoted yourself. Is that tooting your own horn? Not if you are stating facts.
Insight - Learn early what your strengths are and practice talking about you so that it can appear natural and easy.
“Tooting your horn” is a maxim that carries a negative connotation, boastful and exaggerated. As a writer, I've struggled with being modest versus appearing boastful. Publishing is a world where authors create bios about themselves that are required to be compelling and interesting. It's part of the pitch. How else would someone learn about me and use that information to decide if he wants to buy my book? Just as I would not be drawn to an insipid artist or writer, I must not come across as insipid or irrelevant. (Photo credit: Loud Megaphone by digital art)
Sitting across from prospective job candidates, I've said to many, "This is not the time to be modest. Tell me why you are better than the rest. Tell me why I should hire you."
I reminded myself of the expectations of promoting myself when I started writing. Uncomfortable as it was at first, I caught on quickly and learned that if I was to show I was competent, I needed to publicize myself concisely and confidently.
Insight: If you've studied, you've done the work and you have achieved, no one can tell the world about it better than you can.
There is however, a grey area between self-promotion and bragging. No one likes a bragger but everyone wants someone who has confidence.
Insight: Bragging is accompanied by arrogance. Self-promotion offers evidence that allows others to conclude that one is capable, and is accompanied by humility.
It is a fact that we are born with gifts, whether of music, art or plain ol' gab. Regardless of what we are born with, I've discovered that most things can be learned.
Insight: Success is not about being gifted. Anyone can learn strategies to aid in success.
Howard Gardner, an American psychologist, recognized Multiple Intelligences. The theory holds that people possess different kinds of intellectual strengths and that these strengths are critical in how we learn, understand and express ourselves.
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What do you aspire to? What holds you back? What education or training will help you overcome the drawbacks? Anyone can be trained to be effective. Don't be discouraged if someone else can do something better than you can. There is enough space in the world for all of us to fill and fit, so prepare to claim your spot.
The work you do is more important than the title you hold. You don't have to be a marketer to get your books out there. You don't have to be the chief chef in order for others to enjoy the sandwich you’ve made. You don't have to belong to Maid Services to clean an office. But you can use marketing strategies and preparation tips to get word of your book, sandwich or cleaning abilities out there to others.
Get yourself noticed by taking a strong stand. Don't be afraid to be opinionated. Make others talk about you. You may not be liked by everyone but you will not get lost in the crowd either.
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A voice that belonged to the one described as the Beginning and the End. The Alpha and the Omega. And He gave instructions throughout the process of idea to publication. He opened doors to the media and the market. He taught me how to promote myself, to become a specialist at me, to learn from His school with me as the only student. Private tutelage from Heaven. And I succeeded from every cardinal point on earth, all the time recognizing that the true promotion came from above.
But I must do my part, knowing that it's in quietness and in confidence that I draw my strength. My books were picked up by a larger publisher within a year of hitting the market. The Lord placed the right combination of learning abilities in me. He trained me for His glory, through both formal classes in theology and from whispers to my spirit when I was alone with Him. And for this I say:
TO GOD BE THE GLORY FOR THE GREAT THINGS HE HAS DONE FOR ME.
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. James 4:10
(An excerpt from 10 ½ Sketches: Insights On Being Successful Right Where You Are. Contains over 85 insights to build success. ( http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RNV3P10 )
Susan Harris owes her successes to the Lord. On breezy islands or freezing prairies, she has thrived because of the insights she lays out in her latest book, 10 ½ Sketches. She is the author of six books and has also contributed articles to blogs, magazines and anthologies.
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