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Being Labeled Is Good - Isn't It?

Knowing what you want to be when you grow up isn't something I'm particularly interest in and therefore something I find as a difficult part of my life.

I'm known to many as the "Google guy" despite the fact that I've never worked for Google. Yes, I did have a business focused solely on their products AND I do use a lot of their services so I am quite comfortable with that BUT it's not what I have 'done' for quite some time.

More generally I'm also known as the "cloud guy" having been someone that has talked "Web 2.0" and "cloud" for many many years - much longer than the plethora of Kiwi companies that have seemingly suddenly discovered the "cloud" and who, in my opinion, are still missing the point.

So "Google" and "cloud" are two words I often hear used to describe me but those specific labels don't describe me that well (and I'll be honest with you they never have). Other labels that are probably closer to me are "collaboration", "information dude", "change management"

Bet you're the same. You'll have labels that people have used to place you into a box and my advice is, if they're not too damaging as it is in my case, let it flow over you water off an umbrella.

People need stereotypes and they need labels on the box to 'know' what's inside. Without an image of you people struggle to interact with you and your views may be denigrated without the context of 'you'.

How people perceive you is a joint construct between you and them and especially when you first meet. You have total control over how you act, react and think. Yeah, yeah, yeah ... OK, whilst it can be tougher than that I implore you to be conscious of the part you play. You are not a canvas upon which everyone else can paint their perception of you.

But what happens when you no longer find the labels useful or, as can happen, a hurdle in the way of your life ... that's for the next post.