The Humility Myth

After doing sales and marketing for twenty years and being a business owner for fifteen of those, I have been able to discover some patterns that have led me to some contrarian core beliefs. Many good people believe that humility is rewarded.even in their business.

This is the belief that says if you just work hard enough, eventually someone will recognize you, appreciate you, and even pay you good money. This is what I call the Humility Myth. Once again, good knowledge applied wrong from people acting unwisely.

There is also a belief that says sharing your successes is wrong, counterproductive, and just prideful. This is another facet of the Humility Myth!

The interesting thing is that the people who have bought into this myth are generally the same people who regularly admit to me that, although they are good at what they do, they are terrible marketers and poor salespeople.

There really is an art of being heard, being seen, and getting results. It’s one of the core principles in my book From Invisible to Invincible. What so many misunderstand is that promoting yourself isn’t about you directly saying how great you are; rather it’s about you indirectly having others tell the world how great you are.

Testimonials, awards, endorsements, media mentions, and features are just a few ways to do this. You have to be able to capture and document your success so it can be shared with the world strategically.

Video strategies and other visual aids can be huge in getting people’s attention, teaching your ideal prospects, and being unforgettable. Here are just a few visual strategies I create and use.

1. Timeline Images – Create images that show your biggest milestones over the course of a certain period of time.
2. Top Ten Lists – Create lists of the Top Ten reasons that people listen to you or work with you.
3. Infographics – Create metaphors or analogies that combine images, words, and numbers to make something that’s complicated more simple.
4. Workflow Charts – Create step-by-step processes of how you work with people or help people make decisions and get things done.
5. Memes – Create posters that combine words with images that, when put together, evoke a strong emotional trigger.

Say thank you when people compliment you. Please “give” with no agenda from time to time, and have some unadvertised bonuses as well. Be charitable, and serve in secret occasionally.

BUT, BUT, BUT don’t be afraid to apply and compete for business. Be prepared with social proof to share with prospects why they should hire you, promote you, or even work with you.

Some may say that they get business by being humble, but I would change that to point out that they get business despite being humble. If you really want to be humble, then be teachable right now and work to understand what I am saying to you. You’re not bragging in business; you are applying for a job!

Yes, you need strategy. Yes, you need other people and organizations to do most of the bragging. Yes, you need social proof in general to share all the time.

This is even truer for speakers, authors, and experts. Some of the best entrepreneurs you know are the ones who get the most exposure being heard and being seen doing all the right things.

Donald Trump, Mark Cuban, Simon Cowell, and Richard Branson are not necessarily the most knowledgeable; rather, they are the most known due to good marketing and publicity. These men are not known for being humble, although you might be shocked to know how much they actually give away.

Stop easing your conscience and rationalizing your fear of self-promotion because you believe you are living some higher law of humility. It’s a falsehood that is unnecessary. This is just the Humility Myth.

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