Wednesday, September 08, 2010

"About Me"

I’ve been a business owner since last year. Conventional wisdom dictates that a business should have a web site and web sites, generally, have an “about” section.

I’ve been struggling since the day I registered my domain name to write an “About Me” page. I don’t know what to write. Do I write in the first person or the third? Do I talk about my years (or lack thereof) of experience? How about personal interests?

Jeff Jochum talks about Being Authentic on his site, Startup Strategy and Lawrence Chan talks about promoting transparency in his blog post 7 Ways To Have An Awesome About Page…
And Yes, It’s Important. I get what they’re saying, I really do. Because of my personality, it’s something I probably would have done anyway, with or without their advice. The problem is that their advice is so good everyone and their mother is doing it now. It’s no longer unique.

I’ve been perusing the bio pages of prominent photographers and a few of my favorite celebrities to see what they have said. I read the same thing over and over: EVERY photographer is now PASSIONATE about capturing images of YOUR day, nearly every photographer seems to be a foodie, and a darn good number of them loves God and goes to church. Good for them, but how do I compete with that?

What professional in their right mind would say they would do nothing but the best? Of course, that’s a given… I hope. “I’ll do a so-so job on your [insert project here]”. It just doesn’t have the same pizazz.

My philosophy, when it comes to my online presence (personally or professionally), is to be truthful with what I post. Like all human beings, I have skeletons in my closet and I choose not to share them online. My well-meaning friends warn me quite frequently to be cautious about what I choose to share… what if my boss reads it? What if a client does? I’m very aware of what I share online. I self censor what I write so much my posts just end up pathetically mundane.

Conventional wisdom dictates that you should avoid discussing religion and politics like the plague and for the most part, I do. I don’t want to alienate myself from potential friends, business partners, or clients.

Roughly 76% of people living in America are Christians. And here goes nothing… I’m not. There, I said it. Luckily, only about 11 people read my blog (and that number may be pushing it) so I’m not very worried. It’s something I’ve wanted to say for a very long time, but was too afraid to because I didn’t want people to think I was a bad person.

I went to a Christian school for 12 years (pre-school through 8th grade). It was a Quaker school no less. Tack on another 4 years of Catholic school after that and I’d like to think I have a pretty fair understanding of what Christianity is about. I won’t go into the reasons why I’m not a Christian, suffice to say it’s just not for me.

I was a “Christian” until I was in the 10th grade, but not because I believed in God or loved God, although at times I tried to convince myself I did. In hindsight, I know I said I was one because my “friends” told me I was an evil person if I wasn’t one and that I would go to hell. What kind of sick person tells a child that? It wasn’t for the love of God that I became a “Christian”; it was the fear of persecution.

Today, I don’t associate myself with any organized religion. Today, I’m okay with what people will think of me when it comes to this, come what may.

I still don’t know what to write for my about page.

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