Nobody Can Define Who You Are

Apr 08, 2016 • Entrepreneurship, Op-Ed
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Back in the day when I was doing Wine Library TV, I got a lot of flack for commenting about sports or cultural events on social media or my video blog. A lot of people commented to “stick to wine” or that I’m just a “a wine guy.” They thought that talking about sports and world news was off-brand. Yeah, I know a crap-load about wine, but guess what? I knew a lot about business too. I was and still am a businessman! I am a business guy and a wine guy and the #1 fan of the New York Jets.

Instead, I defined who I was for myself. And listen, anybody who knows me knows that I care a lot about what everybody else thinks. But, ultimately, their opinions know nothing about how to execute against my wants and needs. I wasn’t going to let anybody in the world—not the media, not my friends, not my detractors, nobody—define who I was.

So, please, if there’s one thing you ever do from any of the content I ever put out, never ever allow somebody to define who you are. If you’re a graphic designer, but you really want to be a chef, go do that. If you’re a hockey player that wants to be an opera singer, then start warming up those vocal chords. Never be half-pregnant on what you want to be because of how someone else tells you how to operate your life. Be all in on what you want. Don’t feel pigeonholed by what others have defined your interests as. Execute against you.

The only person who can define who you are and what you want to achieve is you. How do you do that? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Be self-aware. Play to your strengths and respect your weaknesses. If you’re a mechanic and have the talent to become a podcast host of the #1 show on flower arrangements, and it’s something you want to have happen for yourself, then do it.

The bottom line is this: stick to doing what makes you happy and the goals that you want to execute because, in the end, happiness drives everything. Never limit yourself to what other people think you should be. Have the self-awareness to know what you should be. You have to do it like you.

Gary Vaynerchuk

Serial Entrepreneur, CEO, Investor, Keynote Speaker and Social Media Expert

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