I think ensuring that you diversify your identity is very, very helpful — and it’s a big safety net.”
– Tim Ferriss
On my own Facebook profile, I have the following for my bio…
“Co-Founder of The Tonic | Forbes-Featured Copywriter | Wannabe Comedian | Family Man”
(And I have the cutest picture you’ve ever seen of my daughter for my cover photo!)
You can learn a lot about me from looking at my profile. You can tell that I want to be seen as a professional in my space, that I’m proud of The Tonic, and that I love my family.
What does your bio say about you?
Maybe you don’t have an official one, but can you imagine what it would say?
This is important because how we identify ourselves — that is, how we think about who we are — has a massive impact on how we respond to the things that happen in our life.
It’s safe to assume, for instance, that if The Tonic imploded and all of my clients fired me… I’d be in a rough place.
Which is why, according to a bit of wisdom from Tim Ferriss (summarized by Mark Manson), we should diversify our identity in the same way we diversify our financial investments.
When you have money, it’s always smart to diversify your investments. That way if one of them goes south, you don’t lose everything. It’s also smart to diversify your identity, to invest your self-esteem and what you care about into a variety of different areas—business, social life, relationships, philanthropy, athletics—so that when one goes south, you’re not completely screwed over and emotionally wrecked.
In other words, it’s good to care deeply about multiple things in your life. Here’s what Mark Manson suggests:
Invest yourself in a wide range of areas. If you like music, start attending concerts or learn an instrument. Don’t just travel as a vacation, but invest in learning about the cultures. Learn a new language. Make time for old friends. Pick up new hobbies. Get competitive in something. Expand yourself beyond your work and your relationships. Go out for no other reason than to be with your friends. Learn how to dance. Take some time off work. Attend a meditation retreat. And don’t just do something else, but care about it, invest yourself in it.
The more you diversify your identity — working deeply and caring deeply — the better you’ll be able to hold up when something in your life goes south.