How comfortable are you with bragging about yourself? Well, not bragging, maybe- but at least speaking up about what you know and what you can do?
The experience for this question came out of a call I had with a client this past week, where I asked her why she wasn’t stepping forward and sharing her expertise within a group we both belong to. I happen to know she has certain areas of expertise, and I was curious why she wasn’t stepping forward to help members of the group when they needed help in those areas.
When I asked her, her answer surprised me.
Why was she not speaking up? Because she felt if she did, she’d be taking the spotlight away from me.
And what was so ironic about this? I was stepping in because nobody else was speaking up.
So, in essence, she was holding back so as not to take away from me, and I was stepping in because nobody else was.
It made me think of all the times I’d been in my client’s position- where I knew I could contribute, and, maybe even really, really wanted to- but I didn’t, because I didn’t want to “take away” anything from anyone else.
And I remember how I always had a kind of admiration/distaste for people who stepped forward to grab every opportunity with both hands and no hesitation.
On one hand, I do believe that you need to step up and ask for- and go for- what you want.
On the other hand, I do think this can be taken too far at times. There is a line where people become so over-focused on themselves that they suck all the oxygen out of the atmosphere for everyone else around them.
Though in the cases where it’s not being overdone, this is really a growing edge for us introverted entrepreneurs.
While the best situation, in my belief, is to have clients seek you out- where they are already convinced about your value and what you can do for them.
However, even if you’re waiting for clients to step forward, we each have a responsibility to speak up when we would be a good fit for an opportunity that nobody might be thinking of us for.
It’s a line we have to determine and navigate for ourselves, and it is one worth considering.
You don’t have to pursue every single opening, but likewise, you don’t want to always be holding back when you have an opening to step out and shine.