I am an avid gardener. I love to grow all types of plants. I have often described myself as a farmer trapped in a builder’s body. There is something truly fundamental in nurturing a plant from a small seed to maturity. One of the important components to a healthy garden is fertilizer. Without fertilizer and proper nutrition, plants will grow but they will struggle and grow very slowly. So, add a bit of fertilizer and poof, they will explode with growth! Amazing really. I have also found that too much fertilizer is no good. If you over fertilize you can actually kill the plant or cause severe damage. The other interesting part of fertilizer is how they make it. A common ingredient is urea which is actually found in urine. You will surmise this if you put your nose in a bag of fertilizer. How can something so nasty be a catalyst for growth?
There is a parallel to this in another element of growing your project or business. This element is self- promotion. Chris Brogan, a renowned blogger, recently wrote in a newsletter that self-promotion is “very tricky”. I completely agree. Yet, without self-promotion, you are similar to the plant without fertilizer. You will likely limp along and the growth of your idea will be painfully slow. If you over promote, you will probably turn people off. They will actually run from you. And it will be stinky. Kind of like the fertilizer. So where is the sweet spot? Where is the proper dose of fertilizer for your idea?
The best promoters have a sense for this stuff. You must develop skills in order to build interest and curiosity. I think that the most effective promoters accomplish this through the power that comes from a sincere belief in themselves and their project. You have to truly believe in what you are doing. They push out the self-doubt and take a firm hold on to the dream. A skilled promoter is able control the negative feelings and transmit genuine excitement and dedication without overdoing it. Staying just this side of the stinky line.
If you are fearful of promoting yourself, you are like the plant without proper nutrition. You must promote and sell yourself. The trick is to do it in good measure. So be careful. Don’t overdue it or your message will have the opposite effect. It will be a powerful repellant- like stinky fertilizer!