Self — presentation matters. No matter what you’ve been told — sooner or later in life you’ll have to present yourself either to a prospective employer, clients, investors, or a date.
It was not long ago as I was trying to elude this necessity by all means possible — as if the sky would fall if I opened up about myself.
The problem I had, however, was not that I couldn’t explain my vocation, but rather, my inability to determine how I wanted to represent myself, since not everything clicked in my mind when I spoke about my job.
Don’t get me wrong — I was a co-founder/COO of an e-commerce business and it was sort of glamorous to tell people about it. Be it as it may, you can’t force yourself to feel otherwise when something just doesn’t feel right.
A Necessity of Re-Identification
In order to determine what you’re about, you have to at least start determining. Just like in the start-up world — you throw things at the wall and see what sticks — the same can be applied to the identification of your passion/your “Why”/and just words you would like to associate yourself with.
Doing so through the self-presentation in different environments is really cool. It’s challenging, but only this approach will give you a worthwhile run for your money. You can’t lie to yourself too often, and if the ambiguity kicks in all day, every day— it’s time to act upon it.
My therapist, who I’ve been working with since 2018, religiously states that brevity is the talent’s right hand. It doesn’t matter what you do, what matters is how concise you can be describing it. Similar to naming chapters of the book, it’s the most fun to give a light, indistinct title, and only then reveal it deeper if the reader wants to deep dive. Matthew McConaughey uses the same technique. In his book GreenLights he tells that from early childhood he and his family were giving names to various life events. And not just events. For example, they could name the week, or designate a title for a month/meeting/football match. Needless to say, it was always short and witty, the more humor they instilled — the better =)
Self-Irony to the Rescue.
“Irony is a mask for the defenseless.” A phrase from the movie “Office Romance” that has long stuck in my memory. Why so? Because the topic of sarcasm and malicious irony in my direction has always been something sensitive for me, the topic I even dedicate a video to.
But times are changing, and mixed feelings due to sarcasm are being replaced with what became one of the real discoveries to me: the skill of self-irony.
Self-irony is a magical elixir, protection from toxic people in our way. It’s when you cast a burst of laughter on yourself, that you thereby disarm everyone who still uses this tool for selfish purposes. You become unbeatable then.
Being true or false, I stand strong by my words and invite you to spill the notes of self-irony while presenting yourself. In business days, you could say that I was a Witcher because there were only girls in my department; or that I am a Plantation Owner because I had 20+ Africans working for me; “Kenyan Economy Investor”, “Tiger Moms teacher”, “Love Doctor,” and other comic names I’d wistfully use.
Today I like the self-identification of a Content Creator. I don’t necessarily like the name “Blogger” quite yet, but I feel I’ll get there somewhere down the road, forgetting about all the negative connotations this term has got in post-Soviet countries. Moreover, with everything taking place in my country now — Ukraine — being a content creator who motivates and inspires people for new endeavors is a supremely gratifying profession, which I really like and will not take for granted.
Straight up — I prefer creation to consumption. Whether writing poems or articles for my blog, making inspirational videos or business guides — I got a lot to offer based on my unique life path. And the rule I have is ubiquitous:
Interested are Interesting. No way around it.
In the end, I will give a couple of examples of some well-known Ukrainian natives. Dima Romanov says that he “Writes Jokes” for life. Anton Ptushkin travels the world and shows it to us. Oleg Gorokhovsky explains to his daughter that he “makes the most convenient mobile bank”. Someone saves lives, someone inspires for new accomplishments, and someone cleans the streets to make it pleasant to walk.
When you understand what you’re about, life becomes easier, and you no longer need to bullshit with terms at tech conferences, telling all about the features you and your team are putting together.
Value of everything is in comparison, but at some point in time, you understand that life is not endless and you need to start, or at least look for something meaningful that is easy to explain to people around, and most importantly — to yourself.
With that being said, I’ll sign off by leaving you with a question: ‘What Do you Do?”