Defining Yourself

In the two years that I’ve worked with Tucker Max not once have I been called a “mini-Tucker” or a “wannabe” or anything like that. That’s not to say I don’t have my collection of enemies. I do and I hear from them quite often.

Since I defined myself first (look at his masthead and mine, they’re opposites) I can only be attacked on the terms that I set. The people that disagree with those terms aren’t the people I’m looking to impress. Not only did I define myself first, I defined myself as I actually am–weaknesses and all. There’s no illusions I’m trying to protect or any other “brands” I’m hoping to one up. There’s no competition for me, I’m the only one.

Deciding to be yourself is scary. There’s no one to follow, and well, what if they don’t like me? But if you can make that bet, the act of actually being you is easy. All you have to do is wake up in the morning.

Define yourself. Or someone else will do it for you. And worse, you might end up listening.

Written by Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday is the bestselling author of Trust Me, I’m Lying, The Obstacle Is The Way, Ego Is The Enemy, and other books about marketing, culture, and the human condition. His work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared everywhere from the Columbia Journalism Review to Fast Company. His company, Brass Check, has advised companies such as Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as Grammy Award winning musicians and some of the biggest authors in the world. He lives in Austin, Texas.