As a very young child in the public school system of California -- kindergarten it might have been -- I learned a resonant lesson in modesty:
We were asked to form lines. Good-Student-That-I-Am would rush to the head of these lines. Then, one day, the teacher turned the line-up around and I was no longer one of the first, if not The First, but LAST.
What would you call this lesson but Modesty with a capital M? For me, it touches upon the subject of the Humble Heart: This is someone who Considers Others First. Someone who forgoes or delays Gratification. Someone who can slay personal Ego for a larger Good.... Someone like a ghostwriter.
Ghostwriters are not altruistic, per se. We write for The Money, like everyone else, of course. But, we also forgo the typical credit for our creative work. We give up the Fame and Glory that goes with a By-Line. And we do it -- I do it -- to serve a larger cause. For me, it's the thrill of the Perfect Communication, the quest to create that first moment of discovery, of new understanding, for a reader / user on a particular topic. When we're good, we craft a moment that triggers both memory and motivation, and it can put a shiver down the spine.
That's art, which is a dedication to both passion and craft and something that cannot be named, but has been called Muse or Divine Inspiration.
Artfullness is not necessarily good business. Nor does Modest Passion drum up new Client-paying projects. For that, Artists must entertain terms such as "branding" and "marketing." It's something I can easily and naturally do for others. But PROMOTE mySELF ? Once upon a time, among family and friends, I called it "Selling Myself." And, of course, for a female, even in these modern times, there's nothing modest about the sound of That...now is there ?
Convince another of one's merits, present oneself in a favorable light, as in A job interview is an ideal opportunity to sell oneself to a prospective employer .Originally this idiom, dating from the second half of the 1700s, alluded to selling one's services for money, but it was being used more loosely by the mid-1800s.
Compromise one's principles for monetary gain. An early version was sell oneself (or one's soul) to the devil, which alluded to enlisting the devil's help in exchange for one's soul after death. It is embodied in the legend of Faust, first recorded in the late 1500s.