Things Observed.

I am about to vent, and in the process, I will also throw myself into a paradox that some of you may alternatively label as hypocrisy. I realize this, and I’ll live with the consequences, but first some backstory.

I have multiple professional endeavors. I work in technology in the pharmacy industry, and I am also a partner with two very talented individuals at a media production company. Each job satiates a professional craving and every day I work hard to give my very best to both. In my efforts to continue to grow our media company I have come to realize that I loathe bragging as a marketing approach. I say bragging because I am at a loss for a better word, but what I am talking about is more than just plain old bragging. (Considering that marketing is structured bragging. Right?)

For instance, before anything else, our mission at one of my companies is to articulate your message through some form of media. In most cases that means we have to listen closely, infer accurately, and empathize deeply. It’s the only way for us to serve our customers as their storytellers. Albeit we are proud of what we do, we also recognize our talents are not unique to us. Our ability to create at a high level is foundational and not a differentiator. We lean on other things to set us apart. However, we find ourselves in an era where many of our competitors want to portray themselves as the underdog and the only ones with the incorruptible values of humility, hustle, and dedication to their customers. People love underdogs, and I can appreciate that as much as the next person. But more so, businesses often layer their marketing as if they are the missionaries for said values. As if. I suppose what I struggle with is the muscle businesses put into evangelizing that story about themselves.

What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. – Ecclesiastes 1:9

Humility, Hustle, and Dedication are labels that should be assigned by reputation. Businesses that earn these labels don’t care to own it as their identity because to them it’s normalized. These 24-carat assignations are bestowed by those whom observe or benefit from them. They are earned by actions you take that make it clear your ego and needs are last in line. I am not saying my companies embodies this exclusively or even fully from circumstance to circumstance. What I can say, however, is that they are businesses and we work to make a reasonable profit. We see part of our payment as knowing that we worked hard to give each client a product that is more valuable then it’s cost. We are happy to allow word of mouth carry the labels (or not). I think there is dignity in operating this way and leaving it at that.

This “brag marketing” has impacted the way I look at businesses. I am at the point where sales pitches that are infused with mission statements, value propositions, the words humility, hustle, determination, or being a unicorn have my patience at negative one million percent.

After all, if you have to say it…