I’ve been going through some personal branding exercises in a coaching program. It made me realize for the past several years I’ve been going through an identity crisis.
When I was living in Los Angeles and working as an automotive journalist, I had a very strong and clear-cut identity. I was the managing editor. When people asked me what I did for a living, I could say “managing editor.” I dressed like a managing editor. I acted like a managing editor. I thought like a managing editor. People knew me as a managing editor. It was real. It was tangible. It was clear and understandable.
Since I left that job a few years ago, I’ve been struggling with how to identify myself.
I started my own business, and I call it DeRosa Media. But I didn’t really have a focus. I create YouTube videos, write blog posts, last year I wrote a book, now I have a podcast. When someone asked me what I do, I didn’t know how to respond.
It’s too complicated, I told myself. But in reality it just wasn’t clear in my mind.
Who am I now that I’m not an employee. I don’t think we need to be defined by our profession. But it’s what I do all day.
I don’t go to an office, so it doesn’t matter how I dress. I make my own rules, dress code, and schedule. My business is only in its beginning stages, and I’m still in trial-and-error mode. What do I offer? Do I sell anything? I have so many interests. How can I define myself?
This year when I was preparing to file my taxes, I came to the field that goes next to your signature: Your Occupation.
What to put? Writer, author, business owner, coach. I was at a loss.
So I made a list of the different ways I make money. That helped me come up with one answer, Content Creator.
Yes, I’m an author because I wrote a book. But I don’t just write. I make videos. I record audio podcasts. I teach online courses. I coach people. When I named my company, I put the word “media” in the name without really thinking about it. Somehow I knew what was coming.
As part of the coaching program I’m in, one of our first tasks was to write down one extraordinary goal. I wrote down that my goal is to create a content creation empire.
Who am I?
I’m a content creator with my own media company.
I like it.
For now, it helps me define myself. I know this will be an ever-changing process. It’s my evolution. I may refine it. I may change it. I look forward to who else I will become.
Now when someone asks what I do, I say:
Hello, my name is Donna DeRosa. I’m a content creator and founder of DeRosa, Media, LLC. Nice to meet you.
Identity crisis averted.