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Twice Humbled

For Julia, Sean and Kristina

I hope you will be outrageously confident… but never arrogant
I hope you will admire your competitors for what they do well and never dismiss them or mention the things they don’t do well
I hope you will respect those older than you and never assume they don’t know as much as you do
Have the poise and grace to admit what you don’t know and when you are wrong

These are mistakes I have made and here is the story…

I tend to charge at life fully confident in my knowledge of internet marketing and the world therein. I charge ahead knowing that I know my stuff. When that confidence crossed over to arrogance that’s when I was really humbled.

Lesson#1 in Humility: I thought I was prepared; I had researched the clients’ industry, business, case studies and their competitors before I meet with them- so I was the expert. But even in doing the research before a presentation last week, I was completely humbled as I did not know my subject well enough and I lacked the humility to admit it. When my slide was challenged, without full knowledge of the circumstances of the example, I forged ahead defending my position. After all, the man challenging me was much older than I and how could he know more than me about social media? I was informed that my audience knew nothing of social media marketing and I underestimated my audience and learned that no matter what feedback is offered one should always listen respectfully and ask questions. It’s okay not to always have the answers… my biggest regret, missing the opportunity to listen to my challenger’s answers and expertise.  My challenger though much older than I happened to be the chairman on the board of one of my favorite brands – someone whose brands I purchase every week. Oh never underestimate a 70 year old man’s knowledge of social media or whatever is new and happening in your day my dears.

Lesson #2 in Humility: There was once a guy, who asked me about my approach to internet marketing, I shared with him what I knew… years later – excited he tried to share with me what he knew… I dismissed his ideas as irrelevant. When the person’s business was brought up, I stooped so low as to say something negative about it. I don’t know what possessed me but I felt super convicted (your grandmother would say that was the Holy Spirit talkin’). A week later I saw a presentation that the “guy” had done… wow… I was blown away… he really did know his stuff.

So my dears, I hope…

You will be outrageously confident yet humble
You will admire your competition for where they excel & bite your tongue on their shortcomings..
You will never judge a book by its cover, always be respectful and listen..
Have the poise and grace to concede to those with more knowledge

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