Information or Self-Promotion?

August 11, 2013  |  Posted by Zohreh Ghahremani

In a society saturated with ads and commercial announcements, sometimes it’s hard to differentiate between information and a sales pitch. This came to my attention when a good friend mentioned how her business is not gaining its full potential. “I am too shy to promote myself,” she said. Over the past few days, I have thought about her words and wonder where we draw the line.

Every decent person has a “shy” side, though some manage to conceal it so well that no one may notice it. As someone who is involved in community activities and enjoys hundreds of speaking engagements, I’d be the last to fit the “shy” category. But even I have a shy side no one knows about. Do you ever see me in a provocative outfit? When did I last ask you for a huge favor? Have I ever said ‘no’ to you or borrowed anything of value from you? When was the last time you heard me speaking openly about a personal problem? And why not? Shy doesn’t just mean blushing, dropping your head, and being quiet. Shy is when you are unable to reach out, but if you are really inhibited you design your own cocoon and keep it a secret.

Today’s success is all about “putting the word out.” And since you can now do so with a click of a button, it no longer has anything to do with being shy. In fact, the age of the Internet has paved the way for the introverted. No matter how reserved you are, putting the word out is now at your fingertips. When you make an announcement, be it about a product, an event, or an idea, it is by no means “self-promotion.” You are not selling anything either. You are simply sharing information. This reminds me of an old Persian verse.

“A musk isn’t in the words of the salesman

It should exude the best fragrance it can.”

So go ahead, don’t hesitate to tell the world about what you are working so hard at. This has nothing to do with self-promotion. You’re not selling anything, either. The public is smarter than you think and they are not going to respond unless they like what you present. The world doesn’t know about you, so it’s your job to provide the information. Then if you happen to be good at what you do, success will follow.

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