Find Your Identity

“The shape does not change. There was a human being who was born, lived, and then, by some means or another, died. There. You may fill in the details from your own experience. As unoriginal as any other tale, as unique as any other life. Lives are like snowflakes – forming patterns we have seen before, … but still unique” –  American Gods

 

Identity matters in business and in life.

Identity is the most important thing you can define about your business. By doing so, you’re defining what you value, what you’re willing to work hard for, and what kinds of people you want to work with. Without an identity, you will not build a cohesive team, you will not have a cohesive message, and you will not be able to communicate who you are to other people.

When you’re building a team, it may seem like hiring the most talented people who walk in the door is the best chance for success. But what if that rockstar doesn’t actually care about what you’re trying to build? What if you’re trying to move fast and break things but that new hire has never worked in an office with less than 100 other people? Without an identity, you won’t be able to tell that these people aren’t right for your team.

Acquiring customers requires you to communicate the value you provide in some cohesive fashion. It requires you to get someone to commit their hard earned dollars to you. But if you don’t know who you are, how could you ever expect someone else to understand what you’re selling?

The same thing goes for your life. If you don’t define who you are, if you don’t allow yourself to create an identity, you will be lost. You will have a hard time connecting to people. You will have a hard time making new friends. You will have a hard time enjoying your work. You will have a hard time enjoying your life.

Because ultimately we’re all happiest when we’re with people we care about and who care about us and we’re doing things that feel important. It’s really hard to find either of those things if you don’t have an identity.

Your identity isn’t just about who you are. It’s about how you present yourself to the world. Your identity is what differentiates you from each of the other 7 billion people on this planet. Our uniqueness comes from the way we express our identity because it defines who we are and who we aren’t.

It’s really hard to be who you are if you try to be everything to everyone. You just can’t do it. Sometimes you work really hard to make something work out, whether in a job, or maybe a relationship, and something just doesn’t seem right. But you work really hard, maybe harder than you’ve ever worked at anything, and yet there’s always this one thing that seems to keep everything from fitting together just right. If you don’t know your own identity, you’ll never be able to figure out what’s missing.

The beauty with finding that identity is that it attracts other people that value the same things as you, care about the same things as you, and want to live a life in the same way as you. You don’t actually have to work very hard to find those people. They’ll find you.

Because we’re attracted to people that are confident in who they are. We’re drawn to people that can stand out in a crowd and say “I am who I am and no one can take that from me.” The confidence is intoxicating.

So define that identity. Don’t try to be everything. You are who you are for a reason, so embrace it.