How I Overcame The Fear Of Self-Promotion

I’m a Mum, senior executive, business owner, mentor and author of The Power of Wow – Why Thank You Makes Dollars & Sense. I’m also a self-proclaimed introvert; this makes life interesting.

Caroline Kennedy
Carline Kennedy

Being a Mum is the most challenging job I’ve ever undertaken, and I’ve had some tough gigs! I’m a self-confessed control freak, and as a result I’ve had to learn to let go – surrendering control continues to be an ongoing battle for me.

Being a mother brings a completely different set of challenges to my life, it has taught me to juggle priorities, and I discovered that I can juggle quite well although I don’t really have a choice. Most days there are too many balls in the air, and I feel like I’m going to go crazy any minute! I’m sure I’m not alone.

I’m an extremely driven individual so being a successful business woman is very important to me; I struggle with balancing my family commitments and my career. Tell me what working mum doesn’t?

Because I juggle so many conflicting commitments, I battle with the ongoing question of whether I’m doing my very best in any area of my life. Sound familiar?

My son is four now; I decided to return to my career when he was five months old, I remember the judgements…anyone would think I was abandoning my child. He is socially well adapted and independent as a result of him attending care. He is determent like me, so my life is fun; I go head to head with an immature version of my own personality regularly. My Dad enjoys this very much – he loves payback!

I’ve worked for 17 years’ years in the corporate world predominately responsible for delivering multi-million dollar results heading sales and marketing departments. Whilst I’ve always been very passionate about big business, after 17 years in a highly demanding environment, I felt I’d lost my spark. I’d become cold, and I’d conformed to the corporate culture which at times lacks innovation and vitality.

Essentially, my luxury gift hamper business, Gift Wrapped Up is my escape plan. I started it, because I’d lost my way in the cold corporate world. I realised that I, and many people like me have forgotten our manners. I wanted to bring the warmth and consideration back to business transactions, which is what my business is all about.

I’m a self- confessed work addict who burns the candle at both ends; I wonder whether I will ever stop, perhaps I’m hooked on the craziness! I was recently invited to present a workshop at a women’s conference and to talk at a seminar of over 500 people; I accepted both. Does this confirm my addiction – adding these responsibilities to my already over committed schedule? Not to mention the fact that I’m an introvert who dislikes crowds!

There is a method to my madness, let me tell you about it.

My biggest challenge was fear of self-promotion.

As an entrepreneur, one of my biggest challenges is my fear of healthy self-promotion. However, I realise quickly that, it is wise to leverage the value of self-promotion. Building your personal brand will also drive your business’s brand.

Here’s how I continue to work to overcome this fear:

  • The first hurdle for me was to overcome my discomfort with my belief that it’s not polite to brag about myself. I was terrified that I would be seen as egocentric, or self-absorbed. Australians are notorious for buying into the ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome’.
  • I slowly began to step outside of my comfort zone and continued to remind myself that everyone is human, and I was only pitching myself to people like me.
  • I also realised that whilst I was letting people into my world, you can find a balance between being yourself so people get a feel for the authentic you, and exposing the areas of myself that should be protected.
  • When I could overcome my fear, both of my brands started to gain a lot of traction.

I’m a big believer in the fact that we are the masters of our own destiny. I’m excited about the interesting times ahead.

Join me for the ride and share in my madness.

Caroline Kennedy

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