As part of a promotion at work, my wife had to take a psychometric test. Among other feedback, the psychologist administering the test told my wife that she was good at self-promotion. 

The fact utterly fact horrified her. 

It went against every deeply ingrained proclivity for modesty and struck right at the core of her sense of propriety. 

But why? 

As the psychologist pointed out, this was a positive quality. It meant my wife wouldn’t allow herself to be overlooked in her career, and that she would justly claim reward where it was due.

Since then, we’ve been chatting about how difficult self-promotion can be, and my wife believes this reticence is deeply ingrained into women in particular. 

I see it too. When I assist aspiring experts with their own public narrative, I’m constantly amazed by how unwilling they are to put their names forward, to advertise, to market themselves, to simply shout out loud. Even the most bold and robust brand-builders barely seem to cause a blip on the radar of public consciousness, because they are scared to, and it’s to their own detriment. 

In the world of marketing, in the world of PR, in the world of career-advancement and in the lifelong pursuit of wealth accumulation, the tendency to demure from self-promotion is directly at odds with all possibility of success. 

This week’s challenge is in the form of a simple question: How comfortable are you with promoting yourself? 

Can you promote your brand without qualms, or is does that cause you psychological discomfort? 

Naturally, there are positive and negative ways to bang your own drum. It lacks class to simply to shout ‘Look at me!’ But it also lacks strategy to pretend you are less than. 

To become the greatest in your game, you must actively build your brand, which entails comfort with promoting yourself. What good can you possibly do if you never attain the forum that allows for it? 

Promote yourself! …and you might go on to own your industry.  


Douglas Kruger, CSP, is a global speaker and author of five business books with Penguin. He has won the national championships for Public Speaking, through Toastmasters International, a record 5 times.

In 2016, in honour of excellence in his craft, Douglas was inducted into the Speakers Hall of Fame by the Professional Speakers Association of Southern Africa. In 2018, the National Speakers Association granted him the accreditation of Certified Speaking Professional, a designation held by only 12 per cent of speakers globally.

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