Hate Bragging? Here’s How to Celebrate Your Wins With Class

According to Meredith Fineman, author and founder of Brag Better, celebrating your wins is important in order to move your career forward.

“Titles don’t mean much anymore, so I need you to really spell out your wins,” she explains. Over the course of her public relations career, Meredith began to discover the Qualified Quiet, people who work hard but have no idea how to talk about it. So, she expanded her services to executive strategy, speaking, and training to help the Qualified Quiet thrive.

Below, Meredith shares her tips for tooting your own horn as a self-starter. Because let’s be honest: You’re a total rockstar and deserve to be celebrated.

Hold Yourself Accountable

Chances are, your feed is filled with people who meticulously document their days, post gorgeous pictures with an inspirational caption, and have a community of followers. Everything they post is so effortlessly confident, you assume that you could never duplicate that on your profile. (Don’t worry, I’ve thought the same thing about myself.) Believe it or not, everyone feels low-key terrified to put themselves out there.

“People are all afraid of the same things — that people won’t like them,” Meredith says. “That their accomplishments aren’t worth talking about. That their work doesn’t have meaning. It’s also an act of vulnerability. Putting yourself ‘out there’ is scary.”

The scariest thing about tooting your own horn is getting started. Putting yourself out there is nerve-racking, and something you’ll probably push to the back burner for as long as possible. Do yourself a favor and put something self-promotional on your calendar. Whether it’s sharing a recent blog post or talking to the camera on your Instagram Stories, holding yourself accountable will give you the push you need to get started. Once you put yourself out there, you’ll realize it’s not so scary.

Shine in Your Personal Space

According to Meredith, there’s a time and a place to brag about your work accomplishments — and where better to do so than on your website or social media pages? (After all, your channels should be all about you.)

“A place like a bio is where people expect you to brag, so I want to see every award and every win,” Meredith says. “On a personal website, I want it to be a landing page of You. What does it look like? What does it feel like? How does that represent who you are?”

I also find it helpful to have a system and stick with it. Every Monday, I post a few of my favorite recent articles (and a promotion for Office Hours, of course) on my Instagram Stories. Not only does my schedule make it easy to show off my recent work, but it also helps me feel less awkward about celebrating my wins.

Keep it Actionable

As Meredith puts it, your bragging has to have a point. Otherwise, you’re just bragging for bragging’s sake, which feels downright uncomfortable. Before you post something, think about what the takeaway is. Do you want your followers to read something? Sign up for a new program? Answering this question will help make your bragging feel more transactional, not personal.

“The biggest mistake is not having a concrete, actionable, or clickable ask,” Meredith says. “You need to have somewhere to direct people.”

Trust Your Gut

The million dollar question: Is there such a thing as too much bragging? According to Meredith, not necessarily. While there is a fine line between strategic and shameless promotion, it’s important to listen to your gut.

“It takes practice,” she says. “Sometimes, you’re going to brag at an inappropriate time, or on someone’s behalf when he or she isn’t comfortable. However, people that are consistently making noise usually don’t worry about being ‘too much.’ I tell clients, friends, and audiences that self-awareness will inherently stop you from doing it.”

There’s a big difference between feeling nervous and uneasy. If posting something gives you an uncertain feeling in the pit of your stomach, err on the side of caution and keep that to yourself.

Pay it Forward

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: A community of like-minded hustlers is imperative to any self-starter. So, why not share the spotlight and celebrate your community?

“It’s free to spend your privilege, and it’s endless,” Meredith says. “Pay it forward. Brag on behalf and in service of others. It’s part of your job.”

Amen to that!

A special thanks to Meredith for such an insightful conversation! You can show Meredith some love by following her on Instagram and buying her book, Brag Better.

Hustler of the Week: Jamie Ratermann

Congratulations on your new Marketing Mastery course! What inspired you to create this program?

After working with entrepreneurs and small businesses, I noticed the same concerns would come up: Finding confidence in their brands, creating personalized strategies for their businesses, and taking action. I wanted it to be a group program because I think it’s easy to feel that only you are feeling self-doubt about sharing your brand and business online. In this group setting, the community will serve as a resource, cheer section, and future partnerships. They’ll help each other get out of their comfort zones and bring their businesses to the next level.

What’s your favorite thing about being your own boss? Least favorite?

I love the freedom that entrepreneurship has given me. Each day, I can decide how to use my energy. Sometimes I feel super creative in the morning and other times when I am blocked, I can take an hour break to get a workout in or call a friend so I can come back more refreshed. My least favorite is that I am always working on being more productive and efficient with my time, and am trying to be better about closing my computer on weekends and in the evening. It’s certainly a habit I am trying to break because I know how refreshing it is to turn off!

What is the best lesson you’ve learned since becoming your own boss?

Always ask for help, whether that’s having a regular accountability call with a friend, creating work dates away from your office, or hiring a coach. While you may be the boss, it’s not all on you. Create a support system who is as invested in your success as you are. As soon as I did, I reached goals faster and with more emotional support!

Give Jamie some love by signing up for one of her Content Planning Sprints, downloading her free (!!) mini-course, and applying for Marketing Mastery. (Psst…it starts next week!)

Like what you see? You can subscribe to “Office Hours with Kelsey Mulvey” here.

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