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I work out like it’s illegal.

Seriously, I put the blinds down, close the door, and listen to music on my headphones so nobody will hear the Spotify Guilty Pleasures playlist and magically intuit that I’m knocking out some HIIT.

What can I say, I’m a shy cardio-er.

And that’s OK, because nobody really needs to know that much about me working out. The whole thing can be solitary, because I’m doing it for myself.

But you know where this strategy will come back to bite you? In your marketing.

So many of my clients go around acting like they’re doing business under a regime where running your own business is going to get you sentenced to 20 years of hard labor.

They whisper about what they’re doing, mention it every now and again, post a bunch of set-and-forget social media, and then feel bad when they don’t get the attention they need to make a real go of things.

And I understand why: nobody wants to be that person who badgers everyone with endless talk of their latest thing. Or worse, the kind of sharky, predatory, manipulative businessperson that all the dude-bro marketers tell you you need to be if you want to be successful.

This is a false dichotomy.

You can talk about your work often and effectively without being an ass about it.

In fact, you have to, if you want to have the impact, influence, and income to run a sustainable business. You don’t have to hurt people in the process. You don’t have to be untrue to yourself, and your voice, and your particular mix of introversion and extroversion.

You do have to do something.

Because sitting there DESPERATELY hoping somebody will come up and ask you about your business is a recipe for disappointment.

So, I’d invite you to reframe whatever your baggage is about speaking out about your work. The tools of marketing are just that: tools. Neutral and inert, until you mix them with tactics. And which tactics you choose to use is 100% up to you.

Inert tool + shitty, manipulative tactics = icky dude-bro marketing that makes everyone feel like they need a shower.

Inert tool + empathetic, effective tactics = eyes on your work, money in your pocket, and the development of the global conversation.

Win, win, win.