The Secret to Shameless Self Promotion without Losing Likability

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This week I've been absolutely shameless in my self promotion as I raise funds for the Vinnies CEO Sleepout, and it got me wondering why. Why was it easy, when I normally struggle?

So what did shameless self promotion look like for me? 

  • Reaching out to people I hadn't spoken with in 6 years and asking them for money (shameless)
  • Hitting up random LinkedIn connections who barely know me from a bar of soap (gasp!)
  • Relentless deployment of all my persuasive influencing skills (humble brag)
  • Sending hurry up reminder notes to people (hustle)
  • I even posted a video of myself (sans makeup) on LinkedIn in my efforts to drive awareness of the fact that women are retiring under the poverty line despite working hard most of their lives!!  (I mean, can you believe it? No make up! How will I survive??) And yes women are the silent and invisible majority when it comes to homelessness. This is a serious socieital issue.

And despite all this 

  • I wasn't embarrassed
  • I spent hours on it on the weekend
  • I gave up two days of my own working week
  • I dealt with rejection far more easily and
  • I didn't falter like I usually do when it comes to spruiking brand me.

Why? Because I was self promoting but for a cause, a purpose, a bigger mission.  And therein lies the secret.

Research tells us:

  • When women advocate, negotiate and promote on behalf of others, we are great at it
  • The socialised helper archetype for women is incredibly strong
  • Women are also socialised from a young age to be modest or humble
  • As a society we look more favourably on female leaders who nurture/support others. If you attended the recent Clinton/Gillard evening in Australia you may remember the reference
  • We are more likely to advocate or promote when it's linked to a deeper sense of why.

In a nutshell, just like negotiating, we know how to do it, but hesitate because we are nervous of the social penalty or backlash when/if we get it wrong.  The Catch 22 is that the less you do it the less confident you are in the future.

Yet, if there is a deeper sense of why, a sense of purpose, or a mechanism that helps you "escape the discomfort of defying the modesty norm" you are not only far more likely to self promote, but achieve better outcomes as well. 

(Women’s Bragging Rights: Overcoming Modesty Norms to Facilitate Women’s Self-Promotion ~ Jessi L. Smith & Meghan Huntoon, 2014)

And it's not just women. There are some cultures where humility and modesty are deeply ingrained. So this insight is important to anyone who struggles with self promotion.

There are still many causes worth sacrificing for, so much history yet to be made.
— Michelle Obama

Getting out of your own way and ditching the modesty norm

I'm raising money to help break the cycle of homelessness. How does me raising money for Vinnies help you to self promote in your career?  

If you can dig deep and find your connection to a deeper sense of why, a sense of purpose, a mission, values, a theme that drives your career, or simply find a mechanism that helps you ignore your socialised modesty norm, you will find it far easier to self promote, plus you'll even perform better in your role as well.

Final shameless plug - donate here

And on that note, if you would like to make a taxable donation before the EOFY or maybe you just want to hear about my suffering on the cold concrete, or perhaps, most likely, you'd like to do your bit to help those less fortunate - here's the link again for the Vinnies CEO Sleepout. 

All donations welcome because we're in it together.

#MakeABiggerDifference #FeminineAmbitionRocks #WomenOfImpact #Collaboration

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Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months