My Entrepreneur Identity Crisis
Over the last 3 years, I’ve slowed developed an identity crisis. In the first year out of college, I developed an identity of being a computer or IT guy. I quit grad school, and devoted myself to becoming Systems Administrator. The language I used to describe myself was pretty specific. I’d say, “I’m an IT guy.” “I fix computers.” “I build networks and servers.” This is how I described myself when I met “the ladies” or “new bros”. I’d dress up this language for job interviews of course.
I made it a whole 8 years as an IT guy, before I was bored as shit from reading Microsoft documentation and applying hundreds of software patches to the eight thousandth computer. I started to spend hours each day looking for questions to answer on Server Fault and build-up my cred! I was really board with my IT guy identity.
So Scott the IT Guy, decided to become the Scott the “Django” guy. [Django is a Python programming tool for building websites.] I immersed myself in the Django community, reading blog posts, hangout in IRC chatrooms, and going Django meetups. I wanted Django friends and felt a kindred spirt with anyone that used Django to program websites. My identity became very strong linked to be a “Django developer”.
But building my skills as a Django Developer was always a means to an end. That end was building a business and working for myself. My wife was conveniently *just* starting to build her business Happy Herbivore and she need a new website. I hate Wordpress and I loved building websites, so I built my first Django website happyherbivore.com.
Fast forward 3 years to September 2012, Happy Herbivore has grown so much that I’m able to quit my job, and work full-time with my wife. My identity shifted very gradually; each mental shift in “title” occurring over years. At some point, one replaces the other.
The great success of Happy Herbivore and my adaption of the entrepreneur identity came with a dark side.
The word entrepreneur is incredibly vague.
Everyone from Bill Gates to the kid with a Lemonade Stand is a entrepreneur.
The word Entrepreneur is remarkably non-specific. My identity is now incredibly vague, not settled, indeterminate. I’ve lost my purpose. I don’t know who I am.
Being an entrepreneur isn’t a skill. Entrepreneur’s need skills, but being one does not guarantee a specific set of skills.
Why am I beating myself up about this?
I want to start a new business. I don’t know what to do. I’m lost.
I have no idea what kind of a business to start. I’ve even considered starting a franchise, looked a job boards, and considered helping someone else as a co-founder.
To be clear, I don’t need or want a job.
I’m looking for a new hustle.
Instead of just feeling anxious and doing nothing. I’ve started making lists of my skills and trying to put into words who I am. If I don’t want to self-identify as an Entrepreneur, what should I call myself?
Health & Wellness Entrepreneur
Internet Health & Wellness Entrepreneur
Subscription Content Entrepreneur
These are still pretty high level. But as soon as I wrote “Health & Wellness Entrepreneur”, I immediately started to ponder these questions. “Is this who I want to be?” “Should I double down by create a similar business in the Health and Wellness industry?”
I’m honestly open to damn near anything online. Being so open to possibilities is part of the problem. I don’t know where to start, but I’m working on it and I have plan.