by Niall Doherty

Note from Niall: The above video and the below post come courtesy of Miss Janet Brent. Janet has jumped on board with my No Self Promo challenge, and we’re hoping more of you will join us in the coming weeks. Read on for the deets…

Remember when you were in gradeschool and each February, the entire class would craft little Valentines day envelopes to receive Valentines cards from all their classmates? The teacher reminded the class to send a Valentines to everyone and you would toil away, handwriting each card with loving care, and maybe even adding a Sweethearts candy, making sure that each personal message made sense to the person you were writing to, of course. You wouldn’t want “BE MINE” to go to anyone with cooties, right?

Each year, you’d write your cards to everyone in class, and each year, you noticeably got less than others who seemed to hit the jackpot. There was disappointment. Maybe even a loss of self-confidence. But it didn’t stop you from being fair, doing what the teacher said, and selflessly writing individual cards to all.

That was my experience anyway. And I did so with positive energy and no expectations in return.

February is love month (well, not officially, but there’s Valentines day so it kinda counts) and I thought I’d share the love by extending Niall’s No Self Promo Challenge to all of you. I got so inspired when I first read Niall’s entry that I decided to do it for myself and wanted to encourage others to hop on board. Rather than host the challenge on my own blog, where I would in effect be promoting myself, I decided to use Niall’s incredible network as the hub.

Are You Ready to Take the Challenge?

Just add your name and URL in the comments below to let others know you’ll be participating. If you feel like displaying a badge on your site, you can do so, but it isn’t necessary. If so, link it back to this post.

Here are the general guidelines, as per Niall’s original entry:

  • Listen more than I talk in conversation.
  • All tweets and Facebook updates have to help promote someone else’s work.
  • Reach out to at least one person every day and ask how I can help them.
  • Actually follow through and help people, without any expectation of reciprocation.
  • In every blog post that I write, highlight some cool shit other people are doing.

The rules are subjective, but Niall has a great start. What other “rules” will you commit to personally follow? What would you add to the list? It’s up to you to figure out your level of commitment, but keep in mind the spirit of the No Self Promo Challenge!

Why Should You Join the No Self Promo Challenge?

The original intent of this challenge was to give without any expectations on receiving. This ISN’T an I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine scenario. However, since I am opening this up for YOU to join, we have the benefit of a potential community. Joining the challenge would be a great chance to connect with new people.

If you work online, a month of NO self promo could mean cultivating relationships which ultimately help out your business in the long run. After all, the key to business is service. I firmly believe that in helping others, you also help yourself. Let people know you’re out there by extending a helping hand. Grow your blog. Start conversations!

Don’t have an online business? You can still participate! The goal is to have fun and learn new things. Personally, I’m excited to interview people that I’ve been wanting to anyway. Learn to think more selflessly.

Another note from Niall: After you leave a comment below, you should totally go check out what Janet’s got going on over at her blog, Purple Panda. She’s got a pretty remarkable story. Here’s one of my favorite posts she wrote: Lessons from the Trenches: Two Polarities.