On Definitions.


Recently, I took the exciting (but not at all unique) step of becoming a startup founder. This is, clearly, not as unique these days as it once was. I have been working on creating a Social PR startup since I exited my last full time job. I’ve been kicking around concepts and ideas, trying to come up with something worth doing.

Last week, I had the fortune of reading an incredible book. It was called the $100 Startup. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend doing so. It’s author, Chris Guillermeau, is dedicated to the idea that sometimes, you just have to do things.

That was an idea that spoke to me. Really, really spoke to me. In one week, I took a lot of steps. I took a lot of immediate actions. I built a website, defined a product (unfortunately, in that order) and began letting people know that I was open for business.

In that week, I changed the way I defined myself. Where before, I had defined myself as “a guy who used to be a musician” and “a guy who used to work full time”, I suddenly realised that I had started to define myself as “a guy who had founded a startup.”

It was an incredible transformation. It was a massive jump start to my creativity, my excitement, my self confidence, my willingness to take risks and reach for my dreams.

It was just a definition. But it meant the world.

I started to think about the other ways that we define ourselves. The labels that we take on, and the impact that they have. I have tended to define myself in mostly negative terms. I suspect the same is true of many people. Rather than define ourselves by the University we got into, we define ourselves by the University we *failed* to get into.

Rather than define ourselves by the career path we took, we define ourselves by the career path that we failed at.

Man, that’s stupid. That’s so unbelievably crummy.
How dare we. How dare we look for the things we did wrong and act like they’re the only things that matter?

After my recent re-definition, I decided something. From now on, my definitions will only be positive. From now on, I will only define myself in terms of the things I *have* done.

I am the guy who got a record deal once.
I am the guy who decided to stretch out his Masters degree to try full time work.

I am the guy who founded a startup.

So, who are you?

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