“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.” What does Shakespeare have to do with being in business? How about “Is a business owner still the boss, if her card doesn’t say so?”
I’ve been working with a design team on a brand refresh and new website (launching very very soon, based on the whims of the Goddess of Coding) so many branding elements have been updated accordingly. When it came to new business cards and email signature block, the issue of title reared its ugly head. What’s in name, anyway? Does the one or two words of a title accurately describe what you do?
I’ve always been uncomfortable with what to call myself. There have been so many awkward conversations in meetings and conferences when people struggled to understand exactly what it is that I do. Some days it is branding and marketing. It could be coaching and mentoring. Or sifting through resumes. There are days when I wade into a pile of spreadsheets and don’t come out for hours. The “CEO” title seemed an easy way to cover all the bases, but it always had a very corporate flavour which I found unpalatable. “Entrepreneur” is better way to capture the variety of hats any small business owner wears in a week.
Then I came across this article and I loved the simplicity of just dropping the use of a title altogether. Most of the people I deal with via email already know who I am. At events and networking it can invite a conversation about what my role is. I can tailor this to suit the situation. The topic of conversation tends to change anyway, depending on whether I am speaking with an accountant, a lawyer, or a sales rep.
The new cards are ready and there is an attractive silence in the white space where a title once sat. It almost feels like an experiment, to carry them about and hand them out.