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“I never needed anybody’s help in any way”
I’ll never forget my first client placement. It was just a short segment on a local Austin, TX broadcast outlet, but the client was thrilled. Shortly thereafter I began to get more responsibilities on my accounts (all six of them) and was pitching more and more. And when I started getting media opportunities with everyone from The New York Times to CNBC my ego took off like like a spaceship from Kennedy Space Center. I went from being this wide-eyed entry-level publicist to an arrogant one, seemingly overnight.
While some might say that a little arrogance never hurt anyone, it’s easy to get swallowed up by it and turn others off – co-workers and clients alike – and the challenge is to not let that happen. I’m not saying people didn’t like working with me or that I lost clients … nothing could be further from the truth. But what I am saying is that eventually I had to slow down, take a deep breath, and continue to do my job. If I was going to get ahead in this business it was not going to be because of a couple media opportunities, it was going to be due to my effort and my willingness to go above and beyond what a task called for (working late, showing up early … you get the point).
So does any of this sound like you as well? Are you looking for help, too? I certainly don’t have all of the answers, but I’ve come up with a few basic tips that I think are useful when looking to control your ego:
- Recognizing that you have an ego is the first step towards recovery
- Try to remember that no matter how successful you are, there will always be someone else that knows a little bit more than you
- At some point you need to realize that not everything is always going to work out the way you want it to. It’s how you recover from these times that defines you as a success
- You are good at what you do because you work hard, not because you are God’s gift to PR
- Having a supportive team plays a large role in your achievements. It’s not just you that makes a client happy, its the team’s effort
Would you add anything else to this list? Do you have any personal stories to share like this one? Please comment.