Humility is the key to being amazing, even if you are your own boss. This week’s guest article is from Juliet Simmons, who runs her own consultancy, Piece of Cake.
I’m not normally one to read the saccharine sweet self-help emails that sometimes find their way into my inbox or on to my Facebook or Twitter feeds. This week I was sent what appeared to be just such a thing – Robin Sharma’s “Rules for Being Amazing”. It’s filled with much of what you’d expect – the ‘dream big but start small’; ‘act now’ and ‘change the world’ mantras that I think entrepreneurs probably have programmed into their DNA. But, surprisingly, there was something about it this particular email that spoke to me, something that made me read it, re-read it and even share it with others.
I couldn’t figure out what Sharma had done to stop me in my tracks so went back to his list. There I found three pieces of advice which I think more of us who work for ourselves should take note of:
Stay humble: We’re constantly out there and selling ourselves – to both new and existing clients. Of course we have to find new work, identify new clients and convince them to work with us but how we do this speaks volumes about our work ethic and what any future working relationship will be like. The sales process is about letting great work and great working relationships speak for themselves, it’s about listening and learning. There’s nothing less attractive than someone who constantly tells you how great they are and I’m sure clients feel that way too. The line between confidence and arrogance is a thin one– staying humble keeps you on the right side of it.
Be kinder than expected: This is something that I think about often. What does success look like? Does being successful and delivering great work mean you need to be tough and mean to people? I don’t think so. Being nice to people doesn’t cost anything and you never know with whom you will cross paths with in the future. Kindness may often seem to go unnoticed – but I think it reaps its own rewards.
Inspire others by your bigness: Perhaps this is really the same as being humble. It’s all too easy when you work alone to make everything about you, to become the centre of your own universe. For me the trick has been to connect to others, to share ideas and contacts and to collaborate. Perhaps that doesn’t work for everyone but I can’t imagine how dull life would be working any other way.
I don’t know that there really are “rules” for being amazing. Amazing is unquantifiable and defined differently by each and every one of us. But receiving an email that reminds us that that we should aim high, believe in ourselves and change the world through kindess and caring for others – that can’t be a bad thing.
Robin Sharma’s Rules for Being Amazing can be found via Google.
Juliet Simmons is the founder of Piece of Cake, a consultancy that creates and curates arts events and marketing campaigns for not for profits and those in the creative industries. www.pieceofcake.tv. Piece of Cake are on Facebook and you can find Juliet on Twitter too.