I admit it. I am completely and utterly addicted to Naomi’s blog. I know, deep in my heart, that after reading every single blog post she’s ever written, I will still wind up emailing her and hiring her for her two-hour doppio espresso marketing shot, because it is quite possibly the best deal I have seen, anywhere, and yet I cannot help myself. I read this whole series. And it was fucking amazing. Every single post got me thinking about something I do or do not do (note: when I don’t do it, it is usually because I am being an idiot) for my business. Let us discuss one of these idiotic things.
For those of you who are interested, this is the blog post that got me thinking about this particular idiotic thing that I do. It will not help you, because it only makes sense in the associative game that is my head. (If you play The Game and continually lose, go here. It will make everything better. If you have never heard of The Game, I am very, very sorry. Go to the link, it’ll fix it.)
The big thing that I should do, that I do not do:
I should brag WAY more often. Not in an annoying way, not in a ‘check out these big guns’ kind of way. I find, however, that when I discuss what I do for a living, very infrequently do I append “and I’m AWESOME at it” to the end of my explanation.
Why is that?
I AM awesome at it. I have customers who tell me so. In fact, I have never once had a customer who was less than excited about working with me again, nor have I ever had one who was remotely unhappy with my writing. By and large, they actually thank me for going above and beyond their expectations.
Now, this is great. But already, I feel like kind of a jackass, telling you people this (hi, you people). Already I feel like some dip at a party who can’t be quiet about whatever thing it is that they do (you make widgets? I don’t care. Actually, if you make WordPress widgets and you can fix whatever’s wrong with my RSS feed, I want to know all about it). Why is this? Why do we feel like jerks for stating the facts about our skills? I’m certainly not claiming anything that isn’t true. I don’t pretend that I generate more sales than Bob Bly, because I don’t. In fact, I don’t do sales copy very well at all.
I’m great at telling people what I suck at.
This? This blog? This is largely me, discussing what I suck at. I am very comfortable talking about what I suck at. I could tell you all day long how I can’t get my website up and running, and why I was an idiot to think I could design it myself, how much time and money I wasted, and how I don’t know anything about running a business. Why IS that? Why am I so at ease telling people about the things I cannot do, and completely uncomfortable telling them what I’m good at?
A reference guide, for those of you who do not know me in person:
Things I am good at:
- Stealthy displays of affection
- Pretending to be calm while secretly panicking
- Making chocolate cake
- Sex. (What? Like you wouldn’t put that down on your list.)
Things I suck at:
- Introducing myself to strangers over the phone
- Following a budget
- Pretending to find ugly babies adorable
The stuff on my list of things I’m good at? A lot of those things are relevant to my clients (not the last one, no. I don’t have THOSE kinds of clients. I would make a lot more money if I did). I have clients who love working with me simply because they know that when they call up, freaking out because they need five pages of web copy in the next twelve hours, that I will put my soothing voice on, tell them everything is going to be just fine, and panic quietly to myself while I pull an all-nighter to get the thing done.
I never tell new clients that I’m willing to pull an all-nighter for their benefit. WHY?
Assignment for everyone: think of something completely awesome that you do in your business that you never tell anyone about, and think of a non-assholish way to communicate it all the time. It can be silly. “I am not shy about cursing.” It can be relevant. “I am a grammar Nazi.” It can be a little freakish. “I get so paranoid that my clients won’t like me that I will go through a real-life version of level 7 of Super Mario Bros., with the spiked turtles and all, to get their copy to them on time.”
That last one? TRUE. Also the second and first. But seriously, if anyone knows where I can go through a real life version of Super Mario Bros, I will give you my firstborn.
Go forth. Brag. Hell, brag in the comments. Tell me what you’re good at. It feels pretty good, after the initial self-asshole check.
Want to hear me brag some more? Subscribe. I’ll be back tomorrow.