Remember the infamous scene from the movie Office Space where Bob and Bob ask the obnoxious question: “What would you say… you do here?”
As painfully funny as the scene is, I am fairly sure you get the question asked all the time — alas in a different form: What is it that you do?
For a lot of us, the answer to this innocent question is not a straightforward response but rather a convoluted, longwinded statement which can leave us questioning our path and clamor for the simplicity of a “regular” job.
Want to see how this looks like for me? “I head up all things Entrepreneurship at Singularity University, which includes our startup programs, the Global Solutions Program and Global Impact Challenges. I am also the track chair for entrepreneurship and teach entrepreneurship, open innovation and digital transformation at SU and other places. Outside of my day job I cofounded two nonprofits, The Coaching Fellowship and Mentor for Good, write a daily newsletter for founders called The Heretic, published a book, mentor startups… Oh and I sit on the board of a few companies and nonprofits. I also used to run ultra long distance races and taught Pilates. Oh wait — and then there is GyShiDo and…”
You get the idea. Sometimes I feel lost for a clear identity.
Instead of giving in to this feeling I suggest you create your concise narrative by writing it down. The process of writing things down helps tremendously with getting to clarity and allows for editing. Once you have a version you’re happy with, try it out. See how you feel with talking about yourself using your narrative — and make adjustments until you feel very comfortable in your skin.
Here’s mine: “I do everything entrepreneurship and startups at Singularity University plus a ton of other stuff inside and outside of SU. I have some form of ADHD and just can’t sit still. Plus I don’t take myself all too serious.”