I'm a wannabe.
I wannabe a successful entrepreneur. My definition of success is making a big positive impact on a lot of people's lives. If I accomplish that, I'm sure the money will come, but in the words of Zuck, "I'm not really focused on that right now."
I wannabe a better person tomorrow than I was yesterday.
I wannabe someone that inspires others to go after what they really want.
Being called a wannabe isn't that bad.
However, I heard the term used to describe a local outspoken entrepreneur in a less than endearing way and I didn't quite see it as accurate. The reason why this person rubbed others the wrong way wasn't because they were a wannabe--because that's not so bad.
It was because they were a "thinktheyare".
There are definitely too many of those around for my taste. The last thing in the world I think anyone could accuse me of is being a thinktheyare, because it's so incredibly important to give credit to the people around me and I feel like I'm incredibly fortunate to have such great people around me. Anytime anyone tries to throw credit my way for something, I try hard to figure out who else helped get me somewhere, because I don't think I'm much more than someone who has a great circle around them.
When word of mouth is faster and cheaper than it ever has been before, the self-marketers really come out in full force. Sometimes, it's tough to really figure out who's legit and who's just blowing smoke.
But it's pretty clear to me who is a "thinktheyare" and I'll tell you that there's usually a strong correlation between being a thinktheyare and a smoke blower.
Here are some easy ways to spoke a thinktheyare:
- They like to tout the fact that they are the "only" or "first" person to do something.
- It's never clear exactly what they did and where they did it. You've often never heard of the companies they've worked with, or they namedrop with companies, but the exact role and what they accomplished is often unclear.
- Thinktheyares are often attracted to or try to create artificial scarcity. If they see something as being exclusive, even if it seems pointless as to the advantages of exclusivity in that situation, they're on it.
- They need to get their name attached to everything and they try to make everything "bigger".
- They speak at a lot of events, but when you ask startup pros who they'd want to do a particular job, the thinktheyare is never at the top of anyone's list for whatever their supposed expertise is.
- They have a lot of "associations" with people... but as for strong two-way connections, the jury is out.
- Thinktheyare's often feign help. They tell you they'll hook you up with something, but it either never quite comes through or seems to come with some kind of unforseen string attached.