What is Primility?

Let’s start with the simple answer.

Primility, the word, is a paradoxical combination of two words: pride and humility.

  • The definition of pride is “a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.”
  • The definition of humility is “the quality or condition of being humble; ┬ámodest opinion or estimate of one’s own importance, rank, etc.”

Thus, we might expect the definition of primility to be something along the lines of this: “having a high opinion of one’s own importance while simultaneously maintaining a modest opinion or estimation of one’s own importance.”

Upon first read that makes zero sense at all; yet it is, in spirit, exactly what I am getting at with the concept of primility.


For as long as I can remember, I’ve always enjoyed making up words.

Whether it be creating single words that the English language is missing (like “blelb” for the unnamed reservoir part of a spoon) or engaging in word fusion to create exciting new ways to describe familiar emotions (“wonderrific” is my favorite and most fun-to-say example), sprinkling my own vocabulary with words of my own creation has always been a clandestine pleasure of mine.

Primility has always been my favorite of the words I’ve created because it’s more than a word. It’s a concept; a state of mind; a strategy for success; and it’s all paradoxically rolled into nine letters, four syllables, one word.

The genesis of primility dates back to the two years I spent living in Miami, Florida immediately upon graduating from Indiana University. My boss at the time wanted everyone to envision themselves a future business owners, which included naming our future business. I settled on “Primility Marketing” because I knew that to grow in that or any company I would need a) the pride to do my very best work every single day, and b) the humility to learn from my mentors and not think I had every answer.

Succinctly put, that is primility.


It is now some 8-9 years after primility first entered my consciousness. I have not talked about it much since those Miami days, but I have never stopped considering and appreciating the concept. In fact, I have never found a more simple and graspable way to describe a universal roadmap for success.

No one achieves sustained success without pride. To set worthy goals and triumph over obstacles to achieve those goals requires a belief in oneself and a commitment to being the best “me” that one can be. However, unchecked pride becomes foolish, and foolish pride can be as big of an impediment to success as non-existent pride.

This is where humility comes in.

Only in extreme cases of God-given natural talent can someone achieve sustained success strictly through pride alone. The vast majority of us need the help, counsel, and guidance of others, specifically those who have already traveled down paths upon which we are ourselves embarking. A humble mind will seek out and respect experienced words of advice, which can shorten and simplify the path towards success.

In my mind, it’s a simple formula: pride + humility = success.

When you allow them to, these two seemingly opposing forces can work in synergy to move you towards being the best you that you can be.

That’s power.

That’s primility.