If you work for yourself — and even when you work for someone else — you have to do it.
Do you dread it as much as I do?
The world of social media has made it much easier to spread the word, globally, about how fabulous!!!!! you are but sometimes, truly, I wish everyone would just button it!
I visit LinkedIn almost every day and I enjoy seeing what my contacts are up to. I loatheloatheloathe one woman who “updates” there every 13 seconds with work tips to make sure we do not waste even a single hour forgetting who she is. I know, I know, I can’t email her and say “Enough! Stop! You are boring and overbearing and horrible.”
But I’d sure like to.
With my new book out April 14, I have to toot long, loud, clearly, daily and — pardon the appalling biz-speak — across multiple platforms.Why? Because, in the U.S. where I live, 1,500 books are published every single bloody day!
Frankly, I’d rather organize the linen closet, but I did that last week. Or polish my shoes. Or go to a movie. Or make soup.
Yammering on about how amazing I am makes me feel a little ill. But if I don’t stake my claim, every single one of my loud-mouthed competitors will.
And guess who will sell more books? And get a bigger advance on the next book as a result? Not the shy, quiet girl in the corner.
I grew up in Canada, a nation — like the Aussies, Japanese and Swedes, to name a few with similar cultural values — that hates self-promoters and punishes them with the worst possible paddle. They ignore you!
I’ve lived near New York City for 22 years. You want pushy? Babe, we got pushy!
It’s been sadly instructive to watch the relative “Who gives a s–t? my book has been getting in Canada and the fantastic enthusiasm it’s been getting here. Which, and this is basic, is now fodder for more horn-tooting!
In Australia, it’s called tall poppy syndrome, where the highest flower, swaying happily in the summer sun, gets its gorgeous little head lopped off for — being the most visible. In Japan, they hammer down the tallest nail.
Don’t boast! Don’t gloat! Don’t tell people you’ve done some terrific work and people are liking it!
Yeah, be invisible.
There’s a strategy.
How do you reconcile the career-boosting need to tell others about your skills and work accomplishments and being (blessedly and attractively) modest about them?