June 6, 2012

Declare Yourself

When someone asks, “What do you do?” – do you find yourself stumbling to answer? Not because you don’t know, but because you’re afraid to own it?

Because the idea of declaring yourself as “something” – a writer, an entrepreneur, a speaker – makes it all the more real. It puts a label on your work, your hobby, your passions, that sometimes seem impossible to live up to.

You’re afraid, we all are, at times – of giving ourselves a title – one that hasn’t been printed on a business card by HR, but rather, one we must come up with on our own. We wonder if it’s good enough. We wonder if it’s “real”. We wonder what other people will think.

On the golf course this weekend, I was paired up with someone who asked what I did. I told him I worked in branding, marketing, and design. Then he asked, “Who do you work for” – to which I hesitated a bit, as I almost always do – and replied with, “Myself. I own my own company”. 

I know where the hesitation comes from. It comes from still being young, and still learning to embrace entrepreneurship and business ownership as who I am, not simply something I do. It’s because, in my mind, even now, I haven’t fully declared that I am an entrepreneur.

Jeff Goins wrote yesterday asking his readers and fellow bloggers to do one thing: Declare you’re a writer.

Today I’m asking you to declare, to the world, whatever it is you do and whoever it is you are. A writer, an entrepreneur, a golfer, a basket-weaver.

Declare it to the people who matter most – who may understand or second-guess who you are and what you want to be.

Declare it to complete strangers, boldly and with confidence and conviction. Write about it. Tweet about it. Hold up the line and talk to the barista at the coffee shop about it.

Let today be the first big step you’ve been hesitant to take toward embracing who you really are.

In the comments below, make your declaration. Say, “I am a ____________” – and mean it. Own it. Live it.

Then go share it with the world.

(Photo credit)

Join the conversation! 33 Comments

  1. I am an entrepreneur: Coach, strategist, teacher and writer. (With a side of heretic!)

    It’s strange but fabulous to declare it and claim that space for myself.

    There’s never been a better time in the history of the world to declare it for yourself. Do not wait for HR or anyone else to annoint you because it may never happen.

    Anyone interested in diving deeper into this topic should read Seth Godin’s “Tribes” and “Linchpin.”

    Reply
  2. A creative wedding stylist! AND a quilter! :)

    Reply
  3. Hey Matt – new to your site and lovin it. I completely agree with you, I find it very hard to succinctly explain what I do, mostly because I wear many hats and see my career as multifaceted. Also, being so young as well, I find it strange to be so declarative in my work – what if it changes? what if I do something else? and – eek – what if I fail?

    Great stuff to think about, I will be working on being more declarative in what I do.

    Reply
    • Great to have you hear, Nacie, and so good to connect! Explaining what I do, especially to the people closest to me (like family) is incredibly challenging. Here’s to OWNING what we do – and finding a way to describe it with confidence and conviction. Look forward to chatting soon!

      Reply
  4. I am an educator. 

    I am an instigator.

    Sometimes those two things are one in the same. :)

    Reply
  5. I am an entrepreneur! A healthy lifestyle and mind-body coach. A personal trainer. I help you live the centered, balanced, sexy life you want and deserve! 

    Also coming soon, I am the owner of a Greek pastries business. More on that later… :)

    Love this!

    Reply
    • Nice! And I love that you add “…and deserve” – because all of those things are something that many of us think we want but can’t have – that center, that balance, and yes, even that sexiness, is within us all. It just has to be tapped into!

      Reply
  6. I am a Suitcase Entrepreneur through and through and I love it!

    Reply
  7. [...] to Matt‘s post “Declare Yourself” on LifeWithoutPants.com for inspiring today’s [...]

    Reply
  8. I help women get hot & healthy.

    Reply
  9. i am a mom

    Reply
  10. I am an entrepreneur. I own my own business. I am a social media marketer. I am a blogger. :)

    Reply
  11. Very nice post. I have just recently started this and it has been good….emotionally and for business.

    I am a writer who helps people market their own businesses. And, apparently, I am also now a public speaker and trainer as I’ve been offered several opportunities this year.

    Most importantly I am simply me… living and learning

    Reply
    • I love the “apparently” bit…it’s funny how we assume different roles in our lives, sometimes unintentionally. It’s ALL about living, learning, and keeping an open mind to new potential opportunities. Cheers!

      Reply
  12. I am a marketer and innovator!

    Reply
  13. I am an entrepreneur. I am a running coach. 

    Reply
  14. I am a Female SE!
    I want to speak English frequently!Cool~But I want to do many other different jobs .I want to try barista, or others.One day, I will try.Thank you.

    Reply
  15. I am an entrepreneur! A healthy lifestyle and mind-body coach. A
    personal trainer. I help you live the centered, balanced, sexy life you
    want and deserve! 
    Love this!

    Reply
  16. Read this article through scoopt it and love it! Look forward to reading more

    I am a software developer and entrepreneur.

    Reply
  17. great… keep it up…funaims.com

    Reply
  18. I am an artist with a day job. The one place I feel the safest is in my drawings. There I can fully be myself 100%.

    Reply
  19. Very nice post. I have just recently started this and it has been good….emotionally and for business.

    I am a writer who helps people market their own businesses. And,
    apparently, I am also now a public speaker and trainer as I’ve been
    offered several opportunities this year.

    Most importantly I am simply me… living and learning

    Reply
  20. I am a Female SE!
    I want to speak English frequently!Cool~But I want
    to do many other different jobs .I want to try barista, or others.One
    day, I will try.Thank you.

    Reply
  21. I am a writer with a side of accounting! Great post.

    Reply
  22. [...] So, how do you break free from old roles and take on new roles that fit and serve who you are now? You simply declare it. [...]

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About Matt Cheuvront

I empower folks to do the work they want to do and live the life they want to live. Connect on Twitter or check out the work I'm doing at Proof.

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entrepreneurship, life, Work

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