What’s the one word that can instantly destroy your credibility?
How often have you been asked about your startup, or your job, or your current progress, only to respond with: “I’m just a freelancer” / “I’m just a startup right now” / “I’m just in the ideas phase”
Unless we’re terribly conceited, we aren’t comfortable touting our accomplishments unprompted. So when we are asked (with captive audience) to self-define or praise, we tend to do so a bit meekly. Even more so, when we are working in an area potentially new to us, or outside of our degree or professional experience: “I’m just a cinefile, but I thought it would be neat to design a new type of [insert film equipment].”
It’s not that we’re not proud, or that we’re afraid of being ridiculed, though there are times when those hold us back. But there’s a feeling that if we smile, chest out, and proudly proclaim “I AM xxx and I HAVE DONE xxx” we risk sounding like a pompous egomaniacal ass. Or a superhero.
Confidence is sexy, and we are drawn to those who are confident. Even at our most confident, however, it’s still difficult to self-describe without justification. And that justification could be hurting you more than you think.
If you were at the acupuncturist, and as he hovered over you, needles-in-hand, he whispered in your ear “I’m just an apprentice,” would you relax and allow him to prick you? If your Über driver whipped around and chirped “I just got my license!” would you direct her to your home?
“Just” implies a lack of experience and of self-worth. I’m “just” a startup communicates that there’s something wrong with being a startup. It’s like saying “I’m just a bartender” or “I’m just a nanny”—positions some have chosen with much pride. You as an entrepreneur have one of the coolest, most-envied careers in the world! Look at you, you don’t answer to a boss!
Sure, this path comes with a host of unique stresses and challenges, but so what? You can take a midday walk if you’re feeling down. You can make it to yoga in the morning. You can take a two-hour lunch (with beer!). Most importantly, you have made the incredibly brave decision to take responsibility for your own income and livelihood, and that is something to be admired.
You are not just an entrepreneur. You’re a proud startup, dammit! You’re amazing, and even when you’re losing, you’re still winning.
Now get back to work.
– See more at: http://foundry336.com/2015/03/just-stop-justifying/#sthash.MYUpiz6F.dpuf