Who Am I - Mistaken Identity
This post is long overdue and as my first post of 2014, I've decided to get a bit personal. We can thank a late night Skype call meeting, my addiction to work and my natural 'giddyup-ness' for this post.
Who am I? A question only one person has the true capacity to answer and one question, whose answer defines our very existence. I'm not a poet and as you can see from my informal and rather shabby sentence structure I'm not a writer but I will try to channel these non-existent personas for this 'piece' (see what I did there...no? Oh well).
WHO AM I
Ask not what was and is,
but what can become;
What defines does not redeem,
And what redeems is non-existent to some;
For we search craveses and creses for purpose,
Defined is our 'purpose' but our understanding: unrefined.
- Ephraim Rwamwenge
This particular post is about defining standards; as individuals living in society and as companies operating within a global environment. And just a btbudz (by the way), I'm the author of that 'piece'...yes I know my name's there but you won't die from being told again :D.
We live in a world that sets standards for us; standards I do not have a problem with. I actually believe in the importance of those standards, but what I have an issue with is when those standards are used to derive my identity, and in turn my worth. Like I said, this is a personal post and this topic has been on my heart for sometime and is what I'm personally fighting with at this current point in time.
According to the world's standards I am an entrepreneur, a student, a Rwandan, Ugandan etc. But is that who I really am? Am I defined by my profession or occupation, am I defined by a heritage I played no role in picking? Am I defined by the name my 4 year old sister gave me, am I defined by my faith beliefs, am I defined by my virtues and my vices? Who am I?
In this soul searching to find out who I am, I reached a simple conclusion (which I'll use as a link to business - the essence of this blog): the identity of something is found in it's creator. The creator of the washing machine, is the one who defined what it was and what its function was and is. Our identity as human beings for people who believe in God and that He created the universe and its fullness thereof, can be found in Him. And the same principle can be applied to business.
"But as I came to learn by making money,
that money should never be a measure for anything."
In business as founders, co-founders and CEOs we tend undersell our companies with identification tags like 'multi-million dollar'. For a very long time I used to think the best title I could bestow on my company, a company I sweat day and night to grow, was 'multi-billion dollar'. But as I came to learn by making money, that money should never be a measure for anything, especially not as a derivative for identity. Before I made money I was Ephraim without money, after I made it I was still Ephraim but just with money. My character vices were still the same, my virtues were still the same, my bad habits were still very much prevalent and physically I was still skinny and tall (a.k.a long). Now as business owners by using monetary tags to identify our company, we not only undersell our companies but also distract ourselves from the core of what our companies do.
I was convicted to stop using the phrase "multi-million dollar company" and start saying "a vibrant, young, innovative company, that employs and contributes to the livelihood 'X' many people and adds value to its customers." By doing so, I sell our corporate culture, our humanness and what we stand for.
Stop mistakenly identifying yourself and your business. Your worth is more than material standards and measures, it is derived from your identity - an identity defined by the Creator.