Describe what you do more than who you are

Everywhere I look there’s someone with a “25 under 25” title or some other ultimately meaningless accolade or self-description like “forward thinking,” “driven,” or “innovator.” Generally it’s not good to lead with these.

It’s not that they are necessarily bad, but most of the truly successful people I know are too excited to talk about what they do to care about talking much about who they are.

A good example I like is Pieter Levels’ Twitter description:

Notice that it’s all things he’s built. Sure he calls himself a “serial maker,” but his claim is proven immediately after that by listing what he’s created, and he frankly doesn’t even need to say it. I know it already just by looking at the links.

This is hard to do because it doesn’t allow you to cheat reality. If someone checks on something you claim you did and you haven’t, you’re in trouble. But in a world where everyone is trying to self-describe as “entrepreneur” or “innovator,” the personal branding reward for someone who can point to something concrete is big.