I love people and I love people's stories. I love hearing them and I love telling them. If I am introducing someone to another person, you can often hear me saying, "They wouldn't tell you this about themselves, so I'll brag on them." This is why I love social media so much -- when it comes down to it, it's not about the technology or the next big thing, it's about sharing and connecting with other people. I am not a super techy person (I have other brilliant people I use for all things tech), I just believe that everyone has a story and that it's a story worth telling.
One of things I find in getting to know people is that the most fascinating parts of their stories (be it personal or career-related) often don't come up until later in a conversation. Then, they are often embarrassed to share it because they think of it as mundane. If it's an accomplishment, they are often reticent to share it because they don't want to come across as bragging.
This is a fair point and a valid area of concern, however as my friend and colleague Sean Low says, "a closed mouth gets no credibility." While there is certainly a fine line between arrogance and confidence as well as bragging and stating the facts, you won't get any business if you are keeping your story to yourself.
At the end of the day, people do business with people they like, regardless of the economy. You have a story and you are the best at being you. Tell the world.
Originally published February 2010