Is there a difference between bragging and “blowing-your-own-horn?” Does bragging conjure up a negative perception while “blowing-your-own horn” is a more acceptable behavior? At thesaurus.com, there are 21 synonyms for bragging most of which do not have a positive connotation. The opposite of brag is defined as to “be modest” and to “be quiet.” Yet successful entrepreneurs need the ability to “brag” about their product or service.
As Stephen Colbert and professional marketers know, being quiet is not what we do best. We all know about Colbert’s Emmy and Peabody awards, and the ice cream bearing his name. And let’s not forget Colbert bragging about the fact that NASA named the treadmill on the International Space Station COLBERT (Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill).
We’re all too happy to boast and crow about the achievements of our clients—it’s our job. A PR firm I once hired to conduct a marketing communications audit sent me a plastic tube containing a toy trumpet and confetti, and a banner encouraging me to “Blow-my-own-horn.”
Now that I am an entrepreneur, I’m going to embrace my inner braggart and share some facts that add depth to the skills I bring as a marketing consultant:
· I’ve had two articles published in The Washington Post which validates my ability to generate creative ideas as well as my writing skills. Read my most recent article in the April 15, 2012 Metro section:
· I received an Emmy award for a video I produced while at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that aired on PBS. My role was to ensure that the plot was creative, scientifically accurate and that budget and deadlines were met. These are skills I bring as a marketer to manage the best interests of my clients.
· I was the senior member of a U.S. Small Business Administration delegation to Tunisia in January 2011. Funded by the U.S. Department of State as part of the Middle East Peace Initiative, we sought to provide support to Tunisia’s entrepreneurship program as a way of advancing democracy and increasing trading partners for U.S. small businesses. I can be trusted to represent myself and you in situations that require tact and diplomacy.
Our achievements and successes make us who we are. So take time to boast, crow and swagger; and then get back to work.