A few weeks ago, I presented my signature speech on Effective Self-promotion to a group of 60 to 70 highly successful women in the Venture and Private Equity space.
The event went very well, and I had great feedback from the organizers and the audience. And then it happened… Something, that as an entrepreneur, you always hopeful but also fear. A press article was written about the event and my presentation.
Originally I was excited but then I read the article and couldn’t help but notice that some of my content was taken out of context, I was misquoted! As you can imagine, I wasn’t thrilled. I pour so much love and care into my presentations and having my words twisted around really ate away at me. Frankly, it still does a bit.
I reached out to my most trusted advisors (my family and my “Lehman girls” (4 brilliant women with whom I started my career at Lehman Brothers and who now have become my dear friends and confidants.) All of them mentioned that I should be proud of the article and that “this is great press for the business.” While it was comforting to hear, I didn’t quite believe them and so instead of sharing the article with prospective clients, followers, and colleagues, I did nothing.
As an executive coach, I work with my clients a lot on self-promotion. Often time, one of the biggest reasons some of them choose not to share a “win” with relevant stakeholders is that they don’t think it’s important enough. I always encourage them to share with others what they are working on and accomplishing (no matter how small).
In fact, I even encourage sharing challenges as a way to self-promote (there are areas within a story of a challenge that have the potential to show your value, ethics, importance… )
Long story short, I fell into the same trap that so many of my clients fall. Instead of sharing THE ARTICLE in which I was slightly misquoted with my network, prospective clients, and colleagues, I buried it deep in my mind hoping that it would just go away.
And then the unthinkable happened. I received an email from someone interested in my service because…wait for it…. they read THE ARTICLE!
Yep, the same article that I was hoping would just go away actually was bringing me prospective business! I was shocked and surprised.
I went back to the article with a fresh eye and read it again, and again, and again. What did I realize? I realized that I focused so much on the small “misquote” that I failed to notice that this article also highlighted that I was able to captivate, energize and inspire a room full of wonderful and successful women and that I was helping them share their value to others!
So what did I learn? I learned that if you focus on the negative of a situation, you risk holding yourself back from sharing all the value that you have to offer (and missing business opportunities). I wonder, how many more speeches and clients I could have booked had I screamed about this article from the rooftops?