Skip to main content
A couple weeks ago I was browsing Instagram (addicted. help.) and a post from Freshly Picked stuck with me. She mentioned how she used to downplay her business when people asked her what she did for a living. A friend ended up telling her she should be answering that question with confidence and own it.

It reminded me of when I was in Michigan last summer at a graduation party with my Mom. Someone asked me what I did in California and I said “I design greeting cards.”

I design greeting cards. Psh. I mean, how weak is that? Grow some balls, Jules.

It was, of course, my proud mom, who stepped in to mention that I own the company and it’s my full-time job.

Why do we do that? Why do we talk ourselves down? 

I don’t think it is because we don’t value what we do. I think it’s more because we worry about how it will come off to others.

Honestly, I get judged pretty easily because (apparently) I look younger than I am. In fact, at a recent show an older woman asked me how old I was….how I “knew about some of these topics” that were on my cards. I told her I was 29 and she said “You’re 29?!?! I thought you were 18.” Of course, it’s always followed with “That’s a compliment.”

It’s easy for people to make a quick judgement but we shouldn’t let that effect us. We shouldn’t downplay how badass it is to work for ourselves, because what we do is pretty incredible. 

I’m learning this. I’m learning to….(I was going to say “be a cocky mofo” but then I worried people would think I really was a cocky mofo – and does this not contradict my whole post about not worrying what other people think?)….but I’m learning to stand up for my business. Because it’s awesome. And the best way to get people interested in something is by acting like it’s awesome (even if it isn’t!).

The more you believe in yourself, the more people will believe in you too.

 So next time some one asks me what I do for a living I’m going to say…

“I’m CEO bitch!”

Ok, not really. But wouldn’t that be awesome

xo JA

Join the discussion 21 Comments

  • Love it, and love you! Your response is perfect haha!

  • Kay Bell says:

    Yes. I know for me it’s because I feel like I’m still in the development part of it and I don’t want too much judgement about it. I made a quote from Erykah Badu when she said ‘I’m an artist and I’ sensitive about my shit’. That is so me. Hahaha. But yea it still stems from worrying how you’ll come across and just in general about what others will think.

  • gina says:

    ha! I do this too. I often don’t like talking about my business so I will say “I’m a stay at home wife.” and then Neil will jump in and go on and on about my business. It’s nice to have someone else brag for me! I don’t know why I do it – insecurities? I don’t want to brag? Who knows.

  • This happens to me too! With the age (I’m also 29). It makes me feel like i have to be on guard for some reason. And, with my art, I’m downplaying it. But I know that’s ridic. I’ve been working on this part of myself lately. Even talking about my work with others, oh my

  • Well, in a way you are CEO! If you get to the point where you hire people to work for you, you’ll be the boss lady right? How about “Creative Executive Officer” if “Chief” freaks you out. 😉

  • Nikki says:

    Damn right! I don’t know why we do this either? I always get shy when people ask about or compliment my blog! I shuld come across more positive but it’s hard! You go CEO! 🙂 x

  • Dana Fox says:

    So spot on. I used to do this too… When somebody asked me what I did I would say something like “I’m a web designer…”. I met a cocky woman once who asked what I did and I told her “I make websites” or something along those lines. I think I just downplayed it like that because people didn’t really understand web design back then and I hated explaining it to them in detail. Anyways, this woman clearly didn’t think that was anything special and acted as if what I did was just a temporary hobby or something. It was pointless then trying to explain to her how I had a legit company and had probably already done more than her in life haha. She just really made me feel shitty, so since then I changed my “i make websites” response to “I own a design company”. Immediately people take you more seriously and actually want to know about this company you own… which is always good for networking!

  • Natasha says:

    I used to tell people I make handbags, but I’m not making any money from it yet. It was true, but I didn’t need to let people know that. This year I’m starting a new business with my boyfriend and I’m not going to downplay it to people.

  • Alice says:

    You do look younger! But that’s just a fact and I don’t say it in relation to your business, not at all. You are definitely not too young to have a business or too ______ (whatever people think). You work hard and you should be proud. And you are CEO?

    And from what I’ve noticed over the years is that it’s the nice people who talk themselves down, who are afraid of people taking what they say the wrong way… those that truly are arrogant will flaunt their success every chance they get, they’ll be loud, and so on. And you’re not like that. So the next time you are asked what you do and you say you own a business, just remember you’re not cocky, you’re just stating a fact. And if someone does take it the wrong way, as much as that sucks, it’s really not on you.

    I hope I’m making sense here. But I get you. And I should take your advice about believing in oneself. I’m personally at a point right now, where I prefer it if people don’t even ask me what I do, because there are things that I haven’t put out yet, so it’s tough. 🙂

  • I’m so using the CEO line.

  • Leah says:

    Channel your inner Jesse…BITCH! 😉

  • I’ve noticed a lot of women talk them selves down, or not nessecerilly down, but don’t voice up that they are buisness owners, or that they work in the creative section, maybe it’s because it’s very dependant on others buying their work to make things go around, and don’t want to come off as a show-it-off? But I think, if you are proud of what you do, love what you do and are confident in your own work and condifent in who you are as a person, all of that will shine through as you talk about your own shop. Maybe next time someone ask you, you can smile broadly and say excitedly that you own your own buisness and that it is incredible rewarding work? And also remember that not everyone will love your work, and that is O.K because there are so many hundreds and thousands of others who do and will love your work anyway.

    And, about looking younger. I look younger as well, I’m 28 and I look like I’m 20 – especially if I hang around with some of my younger friends. But it’s not to difficult to make one self look the age you are. A little bit of make up tweaking and a different set of clothes can do wonder. (and no, I am not telling you to change your wardrobe, you look lovely the way you are! My point was more, if you ever need to look the age you are or older/or younger for those who need that, it’s generally not that much that needs to be done! It’s actually quite fascinating the whole process of changing the look of someone’s age, I could go on, but I think I’ll end it here).

    Anyway, you rock, so keep those cards coming!

  • Franchesca says:

    haha I love this. Thank God for good mamas. My mom does that too, I found myself downplaying what I do, and she is the one to step in and tell them how it really is. Loved this.

  • I definitely downplay what I do because I know people are most likely judging me for it. I’m trying harder to own what I do and be proud of what I’ve accomplished.

  • That would be awesome! I’m so much more confident at home 🙂

  • I constantly talk down about what I do, mostly because I am still growing my blog. I usually tell people I homeschool my kids. It is true of course, and I enjoy it very much, but I am also trying to find my way in the blogging world You are so right. I need to do a better job of owning it!

  • Angel Y. says:

    LOVE this! I’ve been learning to own what I do as well and it’s really been beneficial. My business relationships have definitely improved after learning to take credit for all that I do.

  • You’re so awesome 🙂

  • dena liston says:

    love this idea so much!!! my most recent post was about this very thing. in it i talk about not being afraid to toot your own horn.

  • Nicole says:

    I have to learn to do the same thing. I have a “day job” right now, and I usually say I do that before I say that I own a small business. I need to reverse things and be a little more proud of what i’ve accomplished.
    Also, you’re lying about your age. No way you’re older than 22. Lol

  • Pingback: Blog Love

Leave a Reply

We use cookies to provide you with a better service. By continuing to browse our site, you consent to our cookie policy.

You have Successfully Subscribed!