The work ‘You’ and the real ‘You’

Every now and again, you encounter something that helps you clarify your thoughts.

Today, I was fortunate to listen to a piece of audio that helped me clarify a problem that I’ve seen develop for some of my clients, people in my broader network, and at times, myself.

The clarity has emerged around the question of who is the real ‘you’? Is it the person at work or the person at home? Are they the one and the same or are there different personalities in play?

This isn’t a study in schizophrenia. This is an examination of the tendency of people to compartmentalise their life into “work”, “home”, “personal” and other boxes.

This notion can be alluring. You can take on the required persona in your work domain and then be a nicer/kinder/stricter/whatever person outside of work. You can work in wildly different circumstances and behave accordingly.

This audio is part of a series from Paul O’Mahony (@omaniblog) exploring areas of confusion about his business. Paul’s work is unique but his challenges are common to many of us.

Paul makes reference to Twitter. Social media platforms have become so important to so many people in business. And it’s here that the question of the authentic self comes into sharpest focus.

The fantasy of compartmentalisation falls apart when the personal brand is embedded in the business brand. This is a rather fancy way of saying that when you’re selling yourself as well as the business products/services, then you’ve got to accept that you’re visible on the stage.

So many people believe they can separate their personal and business accounts on Twitter, Facebook etc. It ends up being something of a mess. People aren’t as stupid as we might sometimes like to think. If they’re interested in you and/or your products and services, they’ll have a good look at you online. And Google doesn’t care about the delineations within your own head.

Twitter is Twitter. Facebook is Facebook. Platforms like these can be a useful part of your marketing mix but unless you’re selling apps or downloads with one or two clicks, then they are not your business.

Here’s my take:

If you’re in, be all in. Don’t try to bullshit yourself or others. You are what you are, you are what you do. Rather than wasting time trying to portray a version of yourself that you think you should be portraying or that you think others expect of someone like you, get busy doing the stuff that allows you sing with pride “This is what I do”.


(And thanks Paul for the clarity! Full disclosure: Paul has participated in previous Smarter Egg programmes and is active in the ‘community’ around the existing circles and groups.)

2 thoughts on “The work ‘You’ and the real ‘You’

  1. Jane Boyd


    I very much appreciated this AudioBoo from Paul. I also agree with your post. You are right on the mark….either your in or your not. There is no “halfway in” on being yourself. Of course, there are lines that we must all draw in terms of how much personal content is too much content – BUT – being yourself, knowing where you are going and what you stand for matters. It matters a lot.

    I am long past the point of thinking we can live our lives in compartments – the kind of world we live in today doesn’t allow for that. The more we try to split things out the more messy and fragmented our lives become. It is for this exact reason that I spend my time – living, laughing and earning – with intention. Anything else would be less than who I am.


  2. Aodan Enright Post author

    Thanks for dropping by & commenting Jane. I love that ethos – living, laughing and earning with intention! Can I borrow that one?!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *