Exercises in self-love: the professional bio
I’ve written a few guest posts for a few other blogs recently. And for each, I’ve been asked to provide a bio, so the readers of these blogs will know who I am and why I’m awesome. And while like most people, my favorite topic of conversation is myself (ha, ha), I realized that writing about myself is not easy.
It’s not because I haven’t done anything. I know I have. And it’s not because I can’t think of fun ways to write about the things I’ve done. I know I can. It’s something different. Actually two somethings.
First, I feel like a rookie. A noob. A tenderfoot. I feel like trying to write about the things I’ve done so far in a bio is like a recent graduate padding his resume for a job interview. I know I’ve done some cool things, but a lot of those cool things have happened in the last three months, or at most the last couple of years. Talking about them out of context and timeframe seems almost disingenuous.
And second, the way I want to talk about who I am and what I do is still taking form. I know that I want to describe myself from the perspective of the mission I’m on and the impact I want to make and the WHY of what I’m doing, but I haven’t figured out the perfect words for those descriptions yet. All I know is I want to say more than just “I’m an editor and a speaker coach” or even “I’m a word coach and a professional giver of feedback,” which is the next step up I’m playing around with at the moment.
So when I had to sit down tonight and produce another bio for a podcast interview I have tomorrow morning (and can I please take a second and FREAK THE HELL OUT that someone who does a PODCAST wants to INTERVIEW ME?!?!?!?!), I really had a hard time getting started. I knew I had the bios I’d written for guest posts to inform me, and that I wanted to use some of their language, but I didn’t want to just copy and paste–not entirely.
I’d like to say I thought of some inspiring things that made me a lot more comfortable writing about myself, that made me feel less like a noob and more okay with imperfect wording. Unfortunately, I can’t say that, because the things that came to me in that vein didn’t explicitly surface in my memory until well after I’d finished agonizing through this version of the bio. But here they are anyway:
First, something Mike Hrostoski talks about: don’t be humble. Own your shit. Whatever things you’ve done, be fucking proud of them, because it’s your power and your awesomeness that’s enabled you to do those things.
Second, something several speakers at World Domination Summit talked about: take imperfect action. A decent plan executed today will beat a fantastic plan executed next week nine times out of eight. Don’t worry about it being perfect, just do it.
And third, which applies to both being new and being imperfect, writing a bio is just one more way of saying “I absolutely fucking love myself.” It’s simply the form of that statement that goes “let me tell you about who I am and what I do, because I absolutely fucking love myself and I can’t wait to share with you why I feel that way.”
So for those of you that ever need to sit and write a professional bio for yourself, take a few deep breaths and look at it as an exercise in self-love. You may still struggle with language, and you may feel like a rookie, but you’ll know those feelings are part of the perfection that is you doing your best, right now. Bet you anything changing that outlook will make the process easier and more fulfilling.
P.S. Here’s the bio I came up with. What do you think?
After several years of feeling life was holding him for ransom, James decided it was time to hold life for Ranson instead. Now he is an itinerant word coach and professional giver of feedback on a road trip across North America that has no set itinerary and no final destination. His mission: to enrich and amplify the impact of stories the world needs to hear. His superpowers: wordsmithing, listening, laughing, and giving amazing hugs. James contributes content to Start Young Financial, Next Stop Who Knows, Career Indulgence, and One Week Without, has edited pieces for Overachieve.Us and Huffington Post, has coached speakers for four TEDx events, and is a staff editor at Highly Conscious Man. A recently reestablished Crossfitter, an all-purpose tenor, an avid life experimenter, a travel and solopreneurship blogger, and a huge a cappella and Game of Thrones geek, James isn’t sure who or where he’ll be tomorrow, but he can’t wait to find out.
If you feel moved to, write a practice bio for yourself in comments. I’d love to see how you guys absolutely fucking love yourselves.