Owning Your Talent

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

One of my greatest pet peeves in business is when I see someone who is amazingly talented dismiss their skill or company as unworthy of any respect or praise. Here are a few examples of damaging phrases I often hear or see:

"My little ole company."
First, there's no shame in owning a small business, but that's not what this phrase is ever really in reference to. Often it's said as a way to downplay the fact that a company took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to grow. Building a functional, profitable company is a big freaking deal. Own your success.

"Today's wedding is magazine-worthy." 
This one is almost always said by bloggers, and professional bloggers at that. I love magazines. I also love well-designed, highly-curated blogs. And I think both magazines and blog publishers should be able to make a living doing what they do. But bloggers are never going to be able to command the respect that magazines do if they themselves keep telling everyone that they are less than magazines in some way. If a magazine has higher standards than your blog, then it's time to raise the bar. If the wedding is good enough to be featured on your blog, then it is blog-worthy.

"I'm the Amy Atlas of San Francisco."
You're not, you're you. I talk more about this one here, but unless your name also happens to be Amy Atlas (whom I love, by the way), you're not doing yourself any favors. By actively comparing yourself to someone else, you're simply reminding potential clients that there's someone else better than you they can hire.

There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance, and in business it is imperative to embrace the risk of walking that tightrope. True humility doesn't hide its gifts.

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