As an entrepreneur or even a worker or creative it is important that we tell others about our passions and show it to them. The benefits often times outweigh the negatives. However, sometimes it can be a little daunting to release your creation out into the world. So how should you share your passions with your friends and the world? How do you balance between selflessly sharing and bragging? How should you approach the method in how you share?
This post shares a personal experience from our founder Noah, outlines the difference between selflessly sharing and bragging, defining your end goals, the types of responses you will receive, and more!
If you’re like most people it can be very embarrassing to talk about and share your work to people online. There are several reasons we could be scarred or embarrassed to share our work such as; appearing to be bragging, we don’t think it’s good enough/ready yet, we might have impostor syndrome, we are scared of what people might say, or we are sharing to people from different seasons in life (high school friends, college acquaintances, co-workers, etc.). Not sharing might not directly hurt you and your endeavors however you’re losing way more than you may be gaining.
Surrounding yourself with a healthy and thriving social group can be one of the best things you can do in general. Your social group should be people who are interested in you, interested in seeing you succeed, be a source of help, be a source of advice, and be a component of shortening the degrees of separation to help you get the contacts you need. I know a lot of people right now are probably thinking, “Wow, this is NOT my social circle. Maybe I need to get rid of all my friends and get new ones.” That is not what I’m saying at all! However, people that do fit into those previous descriptions should be focused on, and here’s why.
I personally consider myself as a person with self-diagnosed impostor syndrome. Impostor syndrome is defined as; the persistent inability to believe that one’s success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one’s own efforts or skills. I know that I have a lot of random talents. A phrase that comes to mind is “a jack of all trades but a master of none.” Often times that leaves me with feeling like my work doesn’t compare to someone who is an expert or someone who in all senses better at it than I am. While I do get praise and encouragement from my close friends it still seems like the praise is not deserved in comparison to my own definition of great. I always think I can do better. While this isn’t a therapy session or a deep dive on feeling sorry for myself it is an important note and probably the way a lot of highly performing entrepreneurs feel every day.
While I was dreaming about, planning, and then building Maven X in the back of my mind I was always thinking “No one would ever hire us. Look at XYZ company and what they are doing.” Blah, blah, blah. But I want to tell you that having an awesome social circle has completely shifted that paradigm for me, and I want to share that with you.
Once I felt like Maven X was completed I decided to do something I’ve rarely done with anything I do… share it on my personal social media. In other words, associate this with me and my name. Show the world that “This is my project and I created this!” I was preparing for one of three things: positive response, negative response, or no response at all (negative in my mind).
What I did was created several Instagram Stories that looked great, told a story, and showed off the design, services, and feel of Maven X. The response was immediate and not anything like I thought! I had so many friends start messaging me back with things like “This is your business?” “You made this!?” “This looks INCREDIBLE bro!” I even had a handful of people who are in professional circles, small business owners, or other entrepreneurs start asking me more about the business and what we do.
From there I was able to get several opportunities to work with people that I know. I’ve even gotten several requests from people that are wanting to promote you on their behalf. If someone is looking for X, then will recommend us. Definitely not the depressing outcome that I had in my own mind! So why don’t we take the jump most times?
There most definitely is a difference between selflessly sharing vs bragging. The definition of selfless is; concerned more with the needs and wishes of others than with one’s own; unselfish. Or; exhibiting or characterized by excessive pride or boastfulness. When we were creating Maven X it was always in our minds that we are building this company to help others. Our clients will get incredible value from us as we will from them. We are building a community and making their businesses better. When we selflessly share our passions we believe that we are sharing information with someone that will help them. Selfless sharing is also not expecting something in return. You are sharing this information, this project, this business, this piece of art, etc. because you are ultimately just happy with it. If you’re in good company with a solid circle your selfless sharing will most definitely be accepted and returned with questions, helpful feedback/suggestions, and interest in hearing more.
So what is the difference between selflessly sharing and bragging? Bragging is defined as; excessively proud and boastful talk about one’s achievements or possessions. No one likes someone who brags (except the bragger themselves). So we can tell that there is a close similarity to selfless sharing and bragging. How do we make sure we aren’t going over the line?
Excessively and boastfulness. Those are the magic words right there. You should most definitely share your achievements! Everyone should! The right circle encourages. However you can also be the one to ruin that right circle with bragging and boastfulness instead of selfless sharing. Here’s some tips on ensuring you don’t cross over into bragging:
One of the first things you have to do before sharing your accomplishments with other is to identify the reason why you are sharing them. Are you looking purely for adoration? Maybe to make someone look inferior? Definitely not good reasons to share. So what are you trying to get from selfless sharing?
Now this section is kind of counteractive to the definition of selfless but hear me out. Ultimately every action we take has a reaction right? I eat something → I get full. I don’t eat something → I get hungry. While you aren’t sharing your passions and creations to brag ultimately we are trying to get something out of it. The difference is that it’s not the main driver. While it’s not the focus you still have to identify and know what it is.
So what is your end goal? For me and Maven X its to get some business from it. Hopefully some of my friends are interested in purchasing some of our services. Maybe they refer us to a friend. They could share our page to their page and followers. On and on we go.
Maybe you want to keep your project or creation on the low key. Your approach might be to share it with just friends and family only before opening it up for everyone to see. Some other options could be that you want some help, you are trying to gauge some reaction and interest, or possibly you’re just happy and want to share! These are all great reasons to selflessly share. The important part of defining your end goal is to be specific. Write it down, have it drive the conversation, be mindful of the intricate selflessly sharing vs. bragging balancing act, and be intentional about it. Be creative in the way you deliver message too. In my case nothing would be more counter-productive than just saying “Here… buy my services.”
Now that your creation and/or passion is out in the world there is most likely one response type you are truly looking for… positive responses. However, it is crucial to be mentally prepared for all response types and be able to twist them into your own positive feedback. There are five types of responses you can receive:
The top three are the ones we all are usually interested in; positive, advice, and constructive criticism. These ones are the easiest to ingest and are overall good. You’re getting a job well done and people are loving what you put out there!
Neutral feedback can normally be thrown out. This is feedback that is neither positive or negative. It just exists and isn’t helpful at all. Some examples of neutral feedback could include responses something like “This looks good.” “Wish I could do something like that.” among others. While these examples are positive leaning, they don’t really contribute much. So say thank you and move on.
Finally, the response we all don’t want to get “This sucks.” “Wow, this looks so bad.” These comments and responses from anyone isn’t helpful at all. While it really sucks to hear something like this you can’t dwell on it for long. The last thing negative comments should do is to ruin your motivation, hinder your passion, and ultimately derail your progress. I am going to say something controversial here: If you just shared this with your friends and you get comments like this from them, it might be time to end that friendship. Negative people are negative to themselves and it bleeds over to others. Hurt people hurt people. Your circle of friends should be positive, helpful, and if they see areas of improvement they present it as constructive criticism.
Have a game plan for all of these responses and protect yourself first. Be mentally ready to pivot negative comments to something that could be useful. Lastly, enjoy the positive praise! There is nothing wrong with enjoying that feeling after revealing something that’s taken you a year (month, week, day) to work on. It’s your moment to have fun!
What have your experiences been with selfless sharing? We love to hear your stories! If you have a story you like to share please comment! Let us know what you shared, how you shared it, and what the results were. You might have a story that will motivate and shift the next entrepreneur to keep moving forward.
As great as it is to receive this feedback the bottom three need to be handled with care or it can derail your mindset. Negative criticism can be important. Sometimes people can inadvertently give great advice when they are trying to be rude. Ingest this criticism and flip it. “The colors in that photo look horrible.” “The focus on that image is SOO bad.” Now if they are completely wrong and you know this… ignore it. But if you see areas of improvement that you might not have thought of before accept it and run with it! Instead of being sad/upset take it as a learning lesson. Kill them with kindness and move on.
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Maven X is the premiere NextGen Consulting company located in Miami, Florida.