Derek Sivers

from the book “”:

Keep earning your title, or it expires

2016-08-04

Until yesterday, I called myself an entrepreneur. Now, I don’t.

It’s been years since I started a company, so I can’t keep using that title.

Someone who played football in high school can’t call himself an athlete forever. Someone who did something successful long ago can’t keep calling himself a success.

You have to keep earning it.

Holding on to an old title gives you satisfaction without action. But success comes from doing, not declaring.

By using a title without doing the work, you fool yourself into thinking that future success is assured — thinking, “This is who I am!” But that premature sense of satisfaction can keep you from doing the hard work necessary.

Stop fooling yourself. Be honest about what’s past and what’s present. Retiring outdated titles lets you admit what you’re really doing now.

And if you don’t like the idea of losing your title, then do something about it! This goes for titles like “leader,” “risk-taker,” and “good friend,” too.

Today I updated my website to reflect which of my accomplishments are in the past. It’s liberating to speak in the past tense about what you’ve done, and only speak in the present tense about what you’re actually doing.