Tell us who you are. No, seriously.

I’ve always been jealous of people with crisp, clear-cut, readily-accessible job titles.

“I’m a surgeon.”
“I’m a saxophonist.”
“I’m a landscape designer.”
“I’m an elite call-girl.”

I, on the other hand, have been (in no particular order)…

a public radio promotions coordinator, a freelance journalist, a smoothie & wheatgrass juice server, a computer lab supervisor, a casino food & beverage attendant, a dramaturge’s assistant, a yoga studio receptionist, a student of religious philosophy, kineosiology, media studies, feminism & Victorian literature, an English tutor, a condom & dental dam saleswoman (at licensed brothels in New Zealand, no less), a massage therapist-in-training, a ghostblogger, a manuscript editor, an LGBT magazine delivery-womyn, an integrative medicine researcher, an erotic fiction writer, an event coordinator, a drag king performer, a local brewery commercial voice actress, a Hollywood film extra (only my elbow made it into the film), a professional résumé designer, a prize-winning apple pie baker, a marketing strategist, a self-promotional maven, a mentor, a writer, and a few other things my parents would disown me for including.

That’s a bit much for a 15-second potluck party introduction, don’t you think?

And while every odd (and not-so-odd) job I’ve held shaped my identity in undeniable ways … not every piece of my story is relevant, urgent, or newsworthy. Not in every setting. Not for everyone I meet.

If you want to tell us who you are, you must self-edit — strategically.

Polish your story down to the bare essentials: your chosen title (which can be as practical or poetic as you like), the people you serve, the beliefs your share, and what you’re doing with your life, right now — and in the fast-approaching future.

Need a leg-up? I’ve built a micro-worksheet to help you craft a personal introduction that won’t constrict your spirit, dim your light, or cause your listener’s eyes to glaze over like a warm Christmas ham.

Ready?

Let’s roll.

1 : Write down your official job title.

2 : But who are you, really?

Choose a handful of descriptive gems that feel oh-so truly YOU.

muse maven mentor healer
artisan rabble-rouser instigator champion
crafter scribe interpreter partner
seeker whip-cracker reformer detective
enthusiast challenger peacemaker master
practitioner trainer tweaker optimizer
shifter originator theorist intuitive
adapter informant activist curator
launcher adviser assembler conductor
developer reinforcer influencer generator
galvanizer evaluator negotiator magician

3 : Who do you serve?

4 : What do they want?

Wee hint: what do they pay you for? And what do they thank you for?

5 : What do they (and hopefully, you) believe?

6 : What’s on the horizon, for you? What are you creating / building / launching / plotting NEXT?

7 : What are you secretly dying to know, about everyone you meet?

Let’s piece it all together.

If your official job title is “health coach” and you chose “whip-cracker” to describe yourself, and you serve “new moms” who want “tons of energy” and believe that “there’s no such thing as a perfect parent”…

…you could introduce yourself like this:

“I do health coaching for moms who feel tired, and like, don’t want to. Anymore. And stuff. Also I’m writing a book. Do you know a publisher?”

Uh, that’s nice. And no, I don’t. Oh, excuse me, I think my cell phone is ringing. Silently.

Or … you could introduce yourself like this:

“I’m a whip-cracking health coach for new mamas who want so much energy it’s almost criminal, and believe that good parenting isn’t about being ‘perfect’ — just being present.

I’m currently coaching women 1-on-1, and working on a nutrition & napping guidebook for moms & their kidlets. So, I’m curious: what would YOU do with an extra two hours of massive energy, every day?”

Holy boots! I’m not a mom, but that sounds like an incredibly valuable service. I can think of a couple of girlfriends who definitely need you. And hmm, what would I do with an extra two hours of energy every day? Jesus. Probably write a book of my own.

Speaking of which, tell me about yours…

Feel the difference?

I know you do.

Be the prime curator of your own experiences. And tell us who you are. No, seriously.


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