That was the title of the presentation I gave yesterday at the third annual Pet Sitting Live conference in Las Vegas.
I’m going to ask you about this idea of “serving boldly” here in a second. I need your input.
But before I go any further, let me just say that I am a big fan of any conference where you get to mingle with people AND dogs.
The snoring behemoth
Take Sir, the 225-pound behemoth I am pictured with above.
He was the unofficial mascot of the event, and he provided the funniest moment of the day when, during Ryan Hanley’s closing presentation, Sir started snoring … loudly. It was a deep and gravelly but peaceful sound, and it reverberated throughout the room.
Sir was not interested in learning about content marketing.
The humans in the room, however, were — and this is what made it such a joy to present at Pet Sitting Live.
Everyone I talked to was enthusiastic about their business and motivated to take it to the next level, which created great engagement, great questions, and made every second spent crafting a useful, targeted presentation well worth it.
So why am I writing about it here?
What does it mean to “serve boldly”?
I am sharing this here because my over-arching theme for the presentation was one you’ll recognize if you’re a reader here.
The big idea I tried to get across was that the formula for long-term success in content marketing is the same as it is in nearly everything else:
Balance pride and humility.
- Take pride in your message
- Be humble in your approach
In other words: believe in the value of what you have to offer and be committed to delivering it in a way that serves a particular group of people.
Why does this work? Well, consider the extremes:
- Someone who has no pride, who is too humble, will be meek and reserved. This person will be reticent to share the valuable knowledge and experience they possess; thus, the people who would benefit from the knowledge or experience this person possesses will never receive it. (And the valuable products or services that might result will never be created.)
- Someone who has too much pride, on the other hand, and no humility to balance it, will shout loudly from the mountaintop for anyone to hear; but, he or she will be motivated mostly by vanity. This person will be focused more on what he or she will get out of it than what others will. (And any products or services that result will never be as valuable or successful as they could be.)
See what I mean? It’s a well-worn topic around these parts: the extremes of pride and humility are always self-defeating.
But then there is that wonderful midpoint we all strive for …
The sweet spot in the middle
Think about primility from a personal standpoint.
When you balance your pride and your humility, you are in the sweet spot where you are your best, most confident, and most capable self. You can achieve anything you love and are capable of.
In any business communication context, it is exactly the same.
When a business takes pride in what it has to offer and balances that with a humble approach of serving customers, that business is its best, most confident, most capable self. It becomes a business that will succeed in lifting its customers into realizing a more ideal life or to becoming a more ideal version of themselves, which is what creates trust, loyalty, and the kind of sustained, long-term success every business aspires to.
And at the foundation of all of this is primility.
That’s where the phrase “serve boldly” came from. It is how primility works in a business context, no matter what the business is or where it is in its life cycle.
The humility — the focus on serving — has to come first. When it does, when you are truly audience- and customer-focused, and when you know what problems your audience or customers have, and when you know that you have the knowledge, experience, or services that can solve those problems … THEN you can be bold with your message or offering to ensure that the people who need what you have will get it.
Otherwise, you are doing a disservice to yourself and a disservice to those people who you could potentially lift up to better selves and better lives.
So … what do you think?
Here is where I’d love your feedback.
I have a great desire to start consistently incorporating the idea of primility into presentations I give, where it is appropriate. To do this, I need to be able to bring the concept out of the abstract and into whatever specific audience, whatever specific worlds, the presentations will be catering to.
For this presentation, it meant providing a basic overview of how to serve an online business and then teaching specific techniques for how to effectively communicate a message online — how to turn visitors to a website into audience members and customers.
For the next presentation, the specifics will likely be different (because the audience will be different), but the big picture and over-arching theme can be the same — at least I hope: this idea of serving boldly. It seems to me that it has the potential to be a widely applicable framework for how people can incorporate the concept of primility into their everyday lives through their work.
You all know more about the concept itself than anyone else. So what do you think?
- Does this idea work for you?
- Is it too general to be useful?
- Is it too specific to be versatile?
I would love your feedback. Please comment below or shoot me an email. THANK YOU!