Do you remember that Toby Keith song, “I Wanna Talk About Me”? It was a cheeky little tune about the conversation balance in a relationship. In personal relationships we’ve all been on both sides of that dynamic. I can monopolize a conversation with the best—just ask my closest friends. And, more often than I’d like to admit, I look at the world through that same self-focused lens we can (all?) be tempted to use—our lives feel like a first-person narrative do they not?
But, in work? Business? I struggle with the “tell us about yourself” question. I’m stiff and awkward at small talk (in most contexts). I never know what is interesting or relevant. I undersell my skills because it sounds like bragging. I am so bad at interviewing I once bombed a phone interview. For a promotion. With a search committee made up of my current coworkers.
Eventually I launched this business—for many, mostly family reasons. As my own boss, I discovered a fringe benefit, I no longer need to fumble through job interviews. Oh … but wait … when you are a solopreneur, you are the “face of the business.”
Most all the marketing gurus say, “you need to share yourself.”
“Show your face.”
Regularly committing to this self-disclosure is supposed to attract “your people”. As the consummate wall flower, not a cool-bone-in-her-body, avoider of attention I kind of suck at self-disclosure as much as at self-promotion. My threshold is low, lower than perhaps is normal, for what feels appropriate (for me) in that realm.
This aversion is rooted not just in my awkwardness but also my strong sense of personal vs public boundaries. A safe, intimate context? I’m an open book. But a public space, business, large groups? Let me keep my head down and focus on the work. If I am going to speak, I’d rather share about ideas, flowers, and a favorite, my clients.
Not surprisingly when I took the CliftonStrengths34 (previously Strengths Finders, and a system that ranks you in 34 work talents) seven of the eight talents under “Influencing” were in my bottom ten. “Woo” the ability to win people over was in place 32. Place 34? Dead last? Ya, that was “Competition”. I am much more likely to bow out than fight. Obviously, this is a problem when running a business.
So, way all this pontification about me not liking to talk about myself? It started as a paragraph introduction to another post. But, as I began writing I realized I want to give more context to a few blog posts that I will be sharing soon. It may be fueled by nothing more than good ol’ self-consciousness but I decided to risk over explaining and give the full picture.
The truth is I’ve gone about as far as I can go as a wall flower. My attempts to not draw attention to myself have turned in to hiding and avoiding; inadvertently, positioning myself as irrelevant.
There are things I should say, to explain how and why I do business, that I’m not sharing. Things that I think are important to a meaningful wedding. Ways to set yourself up for a beautiful, stylish, joy-filled day.
Some of that information is rooted in my years of experience.
Some of it comes from a heart place and deep conviction; which requires a little more self-disclosure.
While these posts may seem extra “me” focused; I’m only sharing things that I hope helps you understand who I am, why I operate my business as I do, so that you know if working with me is right for you. If that’s not relevant, go look at my profile to decide if you like my work.
But, if you care about who you are working with, then I hope this series is beneficial.