Knowing yourself – what you stand for, what you want to achieve, how you like things done, what you want to avoid – is important mainly because it saves you from the frustration of not being able to have it all.
You can have control and you can have agility. You can’t have them both.
You can have family time and you can have a glorious career. You can’t have them both.
You can have independence and you can have stability. You can’t have them both.
When you know yourself, you know what matter, and letting go of things is just easier.
Note: of course, there are exceptions. Some people can have one and the other. But exceptions are rare, and betting on them is often conducive to further frustration.
If you have something you care about – an idea, some work you have done, a job, a project, a new product -, it’s fair for you to assume that nobody else will get it. And it’s your responsibility to explain it, sell it, evangelize it, adjust it, combine it, market it.
That means two things.
First, that we can’t assume that we will hit the mass on day 1. Overnight success is a hoax, but you know that already.
Second, and most importantly for this post, that your role very soon gets much more complex. Because if you want to buy people into whatever you are doing (that you care about), you need to spend a large amount of your time talking about it.
And I guess that the bad news is that nothing is self-evidently great.