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Self-promotion, self-adulation or just telling a story?

So what is the difference between self-promotion and self-adulation you may ask?  My colleague, mate, boss @Scott_Gilmore, a self promoter of the highest order, tweeted on the subject here.

Well one blogger says “self-promotion is the art of spreading ideas, concepts, and a greater vision. Self-adulation is just the promotion of accomplishments, deeds that have already been done.”

Well I think we do have a vision – here it is.  YouTube Preview ImageMy experience in Timor-Leste over the past decade or more helped create the vision – and my Timorese friends and colleagues have helped make it happen. Not just here in Timor-Leste but also in other parts of the world.

And now a retrospective look at doing things a little differently……

Over the past 4 months we closed down quite a view of our business matchmaking activities in the districts. As a means of capturing the history of these activities we hired a local firm, Casa De Producao Audivisual, to do a series of interviews/testomonials about our work with various small and medium business clients in Timor-Leste.  We did script the questions to some extent, but we certainly did not script the responses.  They turned out pretty well, even if it is self-promotion (with a dash of self-adulation).

The below video is interesting because I just found out that the chap in it has done so well over the past couple of years he has expanded his business to Dili, all the way from profits made in Baucau. YouTube Preview Image

I like this next video because he runs the best hotel in the hills. YouTube Preview Image

This hotel does not have a great history, but people are trying to move into the future, as best they can.  I think its the best hotel not just in the hills but perhaps even the whole country.

It was once known as the Hotel Flamboyan and was described in a 2006 media report as “notorious torture centre”.

One old friend of mine in Baucau refuses to meet me there to this day. His adopted sister was raped and murdered there in the 1990s.  Jill Joliffe did an interview with a victim of torture in this place as part of her Living Memory project. All can I hope is that sons and daughters of victims will benefit from jobs generated by a successful business.  As for the matter of justice Clinton Fernandes and his friend Carlito Camninha made a tough video in New York sometime ago, its worth watching.

But again, I digress….

We have an interesting video here by an UNMIT staffer. An unlikely candidate for commentary on business development is a human rights activist but here is Aniceto Neves talking about jobs, jobs, jobs.  This man owns a construction outfit and a guest house, his business profile is here.  Costa Motors did a good video interview, as did Melita Guest House.

One of my favourites is this one pictured below. It is from a woman in the property and construction sector.  If you ever meet her you will discover that she is a woman that knows her own mind, and is not afraid to speak it.  She is a strong, strong character.YouTube Preview Image


The Peace Dividend Marketplace Timor-Leste project is supported with generous contributionsfrom the Arsenault Family Foundation, AusAid, the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives, and Eni.

I would also like to acknowledge the entire micro matchmaking team past and present, under the supervision of Matchmaking Associates Brigida Soares and Ilidio Ximenes:

  1. Ainaro – Calisto Mendonca and Siller Ramalho;
  2. Baucau – Adalgiza Marcal, Helven Bento, Nelia Fatinha Lu and GualdinhaWolo;
  3. Bobonaro – Domingas dos Santos, Domingos Savio dos Reis and Joao Manueldos Santos Sequeira;
  4. Covalima – Domingos Amaral, Angelita Costa Guterres and Antonio Alves Fahik;
  5. Lautem – Manuel Canto and Octavio Ximenes L;
  6. Manatuto – Benigno Umberto Carvalho and Francisco Romeidos Quintao;
  7. Manufahi – Domingos Rodrigues and Silvio da Costa Rocha;
  8. Oecusse – Jose Hornai, Linda Naheten and Herry Otte Orranta Selan;
  9. Viqueque – Gilberto Amaral, Vasco Ferreira, Antonio do Rosario and Almicar Soares da Cruz.

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  1. Some more important distinctions than the “difference between self-promotion and self-adulation” might be the differences between propaganda and information, between a sales pitch and education, between rumor and fact, between opinion and knowledge, between dreaming and planning, between image and substance.

    If people in Timor-Leste and elsewhere — decision-makers, politicians, international agencies, NGOs, etc. — understood those differences and opted for the latter in each pairing, things would look a lot brighter for the future development of this country.

    It’s fine to have self-confidence and pride of achievement (however one expresses it), but it takes more than that to improve people’s lives.

  2. Edward Rees says:


    I agree.


  3. @ezahekoms says:

    Interesting thread I stumbled upon here. My 1c worth. “Self-promotion” cannot be defined as “the art of spreading ideas”. That seems to me a rather silly comment. It is like defining humility as “the art of keeping ideas to oneself” Calling anybody a self-promoter is mostly ad hominem attack. The internet is rife this mean-spirited stuff. Is marketing a product “self-promotion”? An idea is not useful if it remains locked inside one’s brain. Humans are wired up to share ideas. Perhaps “self-promotion”, if one wants to ever use the term, might be linked to a person who spreads ideas in order to gratify the ego, rather than to genuinely aim at making some sort of difference in the world. But who can judge? And who cares? An idea is something that can be separated from the proponent and judged on its merits. An idea can exist in the noosphere waiting to be discovered “Self-promotion” – if the pejorative term is used – might be thrown at a person who does not give due credit to others who contributed to the ideas being promoted. It seems to me this blog’s author gives such credit to his “Timorese friends and colleagues who have helped make it happen. Not just here in Timor-Leste but also in other parts of the world”. So comrade, to quote the verse Desiderata “enjoy your achievements as well as your plans”.

  4. Scott Gilmore says:

    That stings. I am going to go sit down in the closet and re-read my clippings scrapbook until I feel better.

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