I Am Not My Accomplishments: Finding My Identity In Business

In 2015, I was interviewing with an executive virtual assistant agency. They asked me to share the most basic information one might expect in an interview.

“Tell us about yourself, Ellen”.

I froze. I had no clue what to say. I had to take a moment to get ahold of my thoughts before beginning.

I’m a newlywed.

I have no clue exactly what I want to do with my life.

I just graduated from UNC with a double major in humanities.

I’m a world traveler.

I’ve studied three languages.

I’m a Christ-follower but you all might not care to know about that.

I hope to be a missionary but I don’t really want you to know that because it could mean I only work with you for a few months.

None of these thoughts translated to the work I was applying for. I didn’t truly know professionally who I was and it was obvious.

Looking back now, I thought I needed to have a meaningful job to know who I was. What I have discovered, even after finding work I am good at and enjoy, is that my occupation is not a stable source for my purpose or identity.

I built my business with a mission to help entrepreneurs organize their teams, ideas, goals, and to-do lists. I’m chasing after the vision to see you reach your dreams without sacrificing your family and values.

So, who am I?

First, here’s who I am not:

  • I’m not my follower count
  • I’m not my revenue
  • I’m not the number of likes on my posts
  • I’m not the number of views on my website
  • I’m not the number of countries I’ve visited
  • I’m not my MBTI, Kolbe, or Strenghtsfinder results

These might be useful metrics, even meaningful information, but not one of them speaks to myself, my identity, to who I am.

The truths that I’ve found to remain constant are:

  • I am wonderfully and beautifully made
  • I am unique, one of a kind, the only Ellen McElveen you’ll ever meet
  • I am a daughter of God, given abounding grace and love
  • I am a continual learner and a work in progress
  • I am a mom, sister, daughter, and wife
  • I am an adventurer; seeking to share new experiences with friends and family

What I love most about the above list is that it won’t change if someone unfollows me. It won’t change if I have a month of low revenue. It won’t change if my MBTI does.

So, I can’t wait to know: who are you? And who are you not?


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