You, Inc.

Stephen Pressfield gushes a little bit in The War of Art about screenwriters who have incorporated themselves as companies, so that writing jobs come, for example, to “Joe Smitch, Inc.” instead of to Joe Smith himself. He thinks this is a terrific indicator that a writer has distanced her Self from her Work in a healthy way.

Your Self is you, the person you have to live with and look in the mirror every day, who’s contentment rests upon some brew of fulfilling work, financial security, health, and loving personal relationships. Your Work is your brand. It’s your Thing: what you show the world about the thing that you do.

So what is your brand? What is your Thing? Don’t say, “I’m a Pastor,” or “I’m a Writer,” or “I’m a Teacher.” Instead, describe the contribution to the world that your job title allows you to make but that you would still want to make if all the jobs with that title were gone tomorrow.

“I share the gospel.”

“I help people get healthy.”

“I make music.”

“I uncover the truth.”

Many of us are fortunate to have jobs with titles that permit us to do our Thing, but so many of the job titles that used to define for us who we are and what our Things is are either gone or disappearing that now seems a really good time for us to practice telling the world what our Thing is apart from a job title.

So, You Inc.: what’s your Thing?