Modesty in Business: Own Your Success Gracefully

Hello my sweets!
Let me share with you a story...

Last September I attended the glamorous Who The Shoe Are You Gala hosted by 
 talented and generous Karen Casey
Oh! What an amazing evening it was... Meeting and chatting with inspiring ladies from the community! I even shared the spotlights alongside amazing women - having our shoes beautifully photographed, telling our stories!!!
During that evening I had a lovely chat with Natalie Davison (one of the incredible ladies behind Content Marketing agency Marrow) and to my surprise she mentioned how much she enjoyed the post I reluctantly shared on facebook about one of my achievement!!! 
If you know me well... you certainly know it's something I was finding very difficult to do because of my fear of sounding too boastful on social medias! How many times I posted about a project or potential project and delete it as soon as it goes live...the struggle was real my sweets!  And I realized I'm not alone...this is why I decided to chat with you about "Modesty in Business: How to Own your Success Gracefully".

Framed portrait of my shoes by Karen Casey Photography

It has been especially hard for me to talk about the success of my business mostly because of this quality I learned to cultivate and appreciate as a person from a very young age. Modesty is what keeps you grounded to your roots and it's vital for growth, learning, and your personal/professional success. It can dictate whether your success is worthy of you or have it wash away as fast as it came.
And it's true when I say  no ones truly enjoys to hear a pretentious someone boasting loudly about how great they are which make listeners cringe (and roll their eyes). Braggarts aren't usually revered. Most people favor modesty and humility over gloating. Right?
In an effort to avoid sounding like a blowhard, I became overly modest. But I learned over time that keeping the success to myself and minimizing my achievements can be a problem too.

Is your natural modesty holding you back? And if so, how can you get past it to successfully and confidently grow your business?
If you look at many lady entrepreneurs who appear to run really successful businesses, they are not shy about their abilities. They exude confidence, believe in themselves. It’s not boastful, they just clearly state what they are good at and they aren’t ashamed to tell their story.

As Natalie (the lovely lady I mentioned earlier) said to me that night at the Gala: "It’s OK to share your success—as long as you do it in an authentic way."  She kindly reminded me the importance 
to get comfortable with my success...
...I realize how much work I had to do in that domain but took her advice to heart!

When you’re building a strong brand, your customers need to be able to immediately identify what it is that sets you apart from the pack -- what makes you the choice. Being shy about it is not going to help you or your potential clients. You might be the answer to their problems, but they’ll never know it if you downplay your greatness.
 Business owner who's uncomfortable with bragging, find a balance between self-promotion and sales-diminishing modesty. After reading many articles and listening to podcasts on the subject...I compiled a few points I found useful to keep in mind when talking about accomplishments without sounding like a braggart:

1. Keep The Emphasis On Your Hard Work

Saying, “Oh that was easy,” or “I barely tried,” sounds arrogant. When you’ve accomplished something big, emphasize your hard work.

Say, “I worked really hard to make this happen.” Listeners will respect your triumphs when they know you put in a lot of effort.

 2. Don't Belittle Other People

Avoid disparaging remarks about other people. Put downs, like, “No one else has made half as many sales as I have,” won’t elevate your status. Instead, you’ll just sound mean.

Leave out comparisons if you can. If you crossed the marathon finish line in first place, it’s OK to say you were first. But don’t add that the second place finisher was a mile behind you.

3. Give Credit Where It’s Due

Acknowledge the team, friends, or family who helped you along the way. Similar to the acknowledgements in the back of a book, or an Oscar winner’s acceptance speech, point out that you aren’t solely responsible for your success.

Say, “I couldn’t have done this without such a supportive spouse,” or, “My team really stepped it up to make this happen.” People are receptive to hearing success stories when credit is given where it’s due.

4. Stick To The Facts

Sweeping generalizations and positive labels equate to tooting your own horn. Stick to self-disclosure, rather than self-praise and you’ll sound more authentic. Rather than saying, “I’m an excellent leader,” say, “Since I took over the team, sales have doubled.”

Let other people interpret the facts. If they conclude you’re an excellent leader or a rock star salesperson on their own, you’ll still come across as modest.

5. Express Gratitude

Make it clear that you don’t think you deserve good fortune simply because you are a great person. Show gratitude by saying, “I am so grateful that the company gave me this opportunity,” or “I’m thankful that so many people are interested in hearing my message.” Expressing a little gratitude will show you are down to earth.

6. Don’t Add A Qualifier

Saying, “I hate to brag, but…” doesn’t excuse showing off. In fact, it only draws attention to the fact you know what you’re about to say may be a turn-off, but you’re saying it anyway.
Instead of a semi-apologetic warning, try saying, “I’m so excited to share my good news,” or, “I’m happy to announce…” before you tout your accomplishment.

7. Avoid The Humble-Brag

It can be tempting to add a disparaging remark to offset your compliments about yourself. But saying, “I am so embarrassed I let my BMW get this dirty,” won’t earn you any points. In fact, studies show humble-bragging makes people sound insincere.
So if you want to make a good impression, avoid disguising self-promotion as a complaint. You’re better off directly communicating your accomplishments.

Own Your Success Without Sounding Like A Narcissist.
Before you tell other people about your success, consider why you’re touting your accomplishments. If you’re hoping to gain admiration from others, or you’re trying to make someone else look inferior, it’s best not to share.

 Keep in mind that when you feel worthy of your success, 
you’ll feel less awkward talking about your greatness.
Keep exercising that self-promotion muscle! You'll find that this will feel more natural over time. Worst-case scenario? No one may notice. Best case? You’ll raise your profile in a genuine, well-deserved way. And, you’ll get noticed by the people you most want to reach.

When you own your success you won’t feel compelled to share your achievement to prove to other people you’re worthy. Instead, you’ll be able to talk about your performance in a productive manner and that's what counts the most.

• To learn tips and tricks about business strategy/brand therapy...Visit Marrow!


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