Writer’s Wednesday: How to Self-Promote Without Being a Jerk – Bruce Kasanoff

Full disclosure, I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

How to Self-Promote without Being a Jerk by Bruce Kasanoff is a quick and easy read, but that doesn’t take away from the timeless and inspirational content. Kasanoff’s writing style is very clear, precise and easy to understand.

The basic idea is that it is possible, and indeed preferable to promote yourself – but it is possible to do this without being a jerk. The way to do this is to be:

  • Generous
  • Expert
  • Trustworthy
  • Clear
  • Open-minded
  • Adaptable
  • Persistent
  • Present

I very much enjoyed How to Self-Promote without Being a Jerk and thought it was a great reminder – although for those of us who keep up-to-date on personal development there wasn’t a lot of new ideas (at least not “new-to-me”).

Quotes

By first thinking help this person, you will change the way that others perceive you. There is no faster or more effective way to change your interactions and relationships. You will be viewed as a positive, constructive, helpful, and dependable person. People will think you are perceptive, attentive, and understanding.
That’s why this way of thinking is not altruistic; it is selfish, in the best sense of the word. The single best way to help yourself is to always be looking for ways to help other people. Sure, you’ll be making the world a better place, and over the course of your life, you will help many thousands of people. But don’t do it because you ought to or because it’s the “right” thing to do.

Instead of figuring out what you really want to say, you might tend to cram too much information into one document, whether that happens to be a memo, report, or presentation. There are many ways to phrase this. You could ask someone to identify three things you should consider changing. You could ask them for their three least favorite aspects of the work you did. You might try asking them to identify three things they did not fully understand.
The key is to not be too negative in your request. If you say, “Tell me three things you hated,” most people will say, “I didn’t hate anything, it was good.”

Lots of people — myself included — talk a good game about being open-minded. But how many of us are truly open to ideas that challenge our most closely held beliefs? This question is important because the odds are overwhelming that at some point, your career, marriage, or even your life will be wholly undone by your belief in an idea that proved to be wrong.

The best business people are show people, as are the most effective educators and the most compassionate physicians. Whether consciously or not, they operate their professional lives as though they were in show business.

Partner with others, but do so in a thoughtful and cautious manner. Choose partners who have solid reputations, who share key values with you, and with whom you have common goals.

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