My watch tells me what time it is, and also who I am.

The watch is an Acqua Indiglo, and it belonged to my father, Vern. He had worn it as a salesman crisscrossing the Midwestern states, searching for high-rising grain silos in need of aeration systems. It was with great pride that he gave it to me, shortly before he died in 1999. I’ve worn the watch ever since, driving on the same county roads as my father did in Ohio, Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and Indiana.

My watch, with its faded golden band, reminds me that, deep down, I’m a sales guy, just like my dad. On sunny days, Vern drove with the car window down. When he removed his watch, his berry-brown wrist had a white-flesh brand in the shape of the timepiece. Today, I’m proud to wear the same weathered brand as my father.

For many years, I was confused by the various titles on my business card: Manager, Dean, CEO, Development Director, Publisher. Now, I only need to look down at my wrist, smile and recognize my passion and my skill have always centered around selling a product, a service or an idea to individuals or organizations that may be assisted by what I offer.

In a broader sense, I believe it is of paramount significance for each of us to understand and accept the primary role (or roles) we have chosen for ourselves. How others decide to describe us or pigeonhole us often means diddly-squat.

We deserve more. We have the ability to define and value who we have chosen to be and how our contributions have made a difference in the lives of the people we’ve touched.

Today, eBay has an Acqua Indiglo watch on sale for eight dollars. My watch is priceless.