Modesty, Credibility, and Redefining Time

That must be the strangest title I've ever come up with for a blog - but it has a serious point. 

We can sometimes be too modest when selling ourselves, particularly at important moments. 

Let me introduce Jeremy Sosabowski, co founder of financial tech firm AlgoDynamix. 

I declare an interest here, because Jeremy is a friend, and an all round top chap. 

But he's also a very good case study for the tricky clash between modesty and credibility.

Part of the reason I like him is his modesty. Even by Cambridge standards, Jeremy is darned smart. 

His PhD is in quantum physics, and as part of his studies he redefined time. 

Yes, you read that right. He redefined time.

For the whole world. The human race. Science and the future. All that impressive stuff.

I won't go into how, mostly because I don't have a hope of understanding it (except that he made our measurements of time much more accurate, apparently), but the point is that Jeremy is reluctant to talk about it. 

Why? Because he's modest. Which is a noble trait.

But! It can also be a handicap. 

Because AlgoDynamix do financial risk forecasting.

Which means he has to talk to very clever, very rich, and often very sceptical people about his product. Which involves predicting what financial markets will do. 

Might these people be just a little convinced of Jeremy's credibility if they hear he has a PhD from the University of Cambridge, part of which involved him redefining time?

I don't know about you, but I'd say so. 

There's a balance to be struck, of course. Who likes a braggart?

But... phrased gently in a presentation, subtly, with a splash of self deprecating humour -

I know what you're thinking in the audience... who am I to tell you I can call the markets? What credibility do I have? What do I know? Well, please don't think I'm boasting here, and I don't want to get all Dr Who on you, but to reassure you I'm not just making up the maths, as part of my PhD I...

Yes, modesty is good and welcome. But so is credibility.

And handled well, it is possible to have both.