Entrepreneurs don’t tick (or fit into) conventional career boxes.
And yet, that’s where we often end up for the sake of comprehension.
Ever get tired of being labelled as one thing, when you want to be known for something else?
We are all made up of parts. The bits of character, interests, skills, strengths, passions and personality traits which help to make us “us”.
Those parts are part of our identity. Those parts are also how other people identify us and understand how we fit into their bigger picture.
For random example, one of your parts could be “loving father” or “supportive friend” or “furniture designer” and “intermediate Rails developer” or “avid rock climber” or “brilliant baker”.
One of those parts can say a lot about us. But we’re also worth more when we combine those parts. Because, like a puzzle, when those random parts that make us “us” are put together, they create a completely unique combination of value in the world, which only we can provide.
So a Developer is never just a techie, because they may also be a “she”, a “mother”, an “avid golfer” and a “beginner French speaker”.
We are all goodie bags filled with meaning.
Yet it’s common for us to condense ourselves into just a job title, for the sake of clarity.
For example: Entrepreneur.
However, as entrepreneurs, we don’t tend to fit into a conventional career box that can be neatly labelled with just one job title. Apart from fulfilling the many roles in life that most people do, we entrepreneurs also wear a lot of different hats to create, build and run our businesses.
And while we are building our business, we may not have a clear picture of what “we” will become, once it’s built.
Marie Forleo coined the phrase “Multi-passionate Entrepreneur” to account for the diverse range of skills and interests that drive her to be what she is. And she has managed to combine her multitudes of passions into an INCREDIBLY successful business.
” Having multiple strengths and passions can be a tremendous gift, as long as you embrace it.”
So, it’s ok to have a designer goodie bag of You’ness, with lots of pockets.
But how do you share the contents in a focused way that people will “get” without being confused or overwhelmed?
You have the opportunity to shape the box.
Sean McCabe speaks about our need as human beings to categorise what we process, so that we can reduce the complexity of our world. It’s a survival mechanism.
“People can’t process all of your complexity. They will put you in a box. But you can define the box they put you in by what you share.”
So, whilst we might be multi-passionate, Sean suggests that we curate what we share about ourselves to make it easier for people to understand who we are and what we do.
Because if we project everything, it’s too noisy, and amounts to projecting nothing.
“If you want to be noticed, you have to selectively project the thing you want to be known for.”
So, cherry pick the most relevant elements of “you” to share in any specific scenario.
The world may not be able to process the contents of ALL of your pockets in one go. But you can choose which parts of yourself you share with the world.
You get to decide who sees the contents of specific pockets in your designer goodie bag of You’ness. And how and when they see them.
Or if you prefer to think in boxes … if you don’t want to be labelled incorrectly, take charge of the labelling process. :)
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