Three Words

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At the recent Kalamazoo X Conference, I challenged all of the speakers to give me their life in six words. This exercise was inspired by a book I read, It All Changed in an Instant: More Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure. Like the book, the speakers came up with some fantastic Six-Word memoirs - some lighthearted and funny, some deep and heart wrenching.

In the same spirit as the Six Words question, I was recently asked to describe myself in three words.

Three words.

Three. Words.

I actually stumbled around with this for what seemed like a few minutes before coming up with a couple. It took more time to come up with the third. Ugh. My mind was spinning. Of all the questions I was asked, THIS was the one that tripped me up.


Yup, that's the best I could come up with on the spot. Could they be any more lame? I mean, yes, they're true, but they're also just what someone would say when they can't think of anything, right?

The next question was, "how would your team describe you in three words?" Again, I struggled, mainly because it's not something I'd ever really put any thought into. My mind had settled down a bit, and I was able to come up with the words a little more quickly, but it was still a difficult exercise.


Regardless of whether these are actually good questions or not, they were both tough, and in the weeks since both questions were asked, I've been thinking about them. A LOT. Probably more than I should.

I've always struggled with "selling" myself, which is strange considering I spent 14 years as an independent consultant. In 14 years, you either learn to sell yourself, or you don't. In any case, it's always been tough.

And those three words are still on my mind. I can't go back and change what I said - what's done is done, BUT after some thought, if someone asked me today to describe myself in three words, I have a much better answer. An answer that accurately represents who I am today, and that is not someone sitting in a room trying to answer that question on the spot. :-)