One of the benefits of being your own boss is that you have full freedom of defining your job – and defining your title. As I started my business Herringbone, 3 years ago, I had the title “Coach and Consultant”. One year ago plus, I had one part time associate and two gals who wanted to join, one with a requirement of a more significant title. So I changed, and became the Founder and CEO. That is true too.
In the world of start-ups and social media, there are many versions and new takes on titles today. We got encouraged to play around with it at the time – but we decided to stick to something more traditional. On the way home to Sweden over the holidays, I happened to sit next to a woman, who was in the senior team with the American Cancer Association. We had a long conversation, and in the end we exchanged business cards – she had the best title ever! Chief Mission Delivery Officer!
I told her my thought and asked: do you mind if I take it?
You see – as a Founder and CEO, you may feel very important. In some eyes it may bring respect. But is it inspiring?
Being a certified life coach with The Coaches Training Institute – in the world of coaching, one process you can be guided through is to visualize your future self. In the end of it you may name him or her. A name that represent all the qualities and force that your future self has. Or you may identify your best qualities and get a nick name based on that. In the world of coaching, I am called “Powerful Creator”, for example.
What if we bring the coaching terms to the corporate world. Strange? Well – people are already doing it. Today I read this article – Your Attitude at Work is Everything on LinkedIn by Dave Kerpen, CEO, Likeable Local, NY Times Best-Selling Author & Keynote Speaker. He decided to promote himself in the early years from ballpark vendor / entertainer to local celebrity.
I asked the woman to borrow her Sharpie, and proceeded to sign unsolicited every box of Crunch ‘n Munch I sold that night. Somehow, I helped change perception in the building by the end of that night – not only did you have to buy a box of Crunch ‘n Munch, but you had to get it autographed by the Crunch ‘n Munch guy.
Over the next three years, I was featured in The Boston Herald, Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, Fox Sports New England, and ESPN Sportscenter. I also sold a lot of Crunch ’n Munch. At my peak, I was selling – and signing – between 250 and 300 boxes per game and making, with commission and tips, between $400 and $500 a night—an excellent living for a college kid.
Bottom line: Redefine your job at work, change the way people perceive you – and you can become limitless.
For me, it is maybe not so much how people will perceive me in my role – but personally I found it very inspiring. So if you receive a business card from me that says “Chief Mission Delivery Officer” – don’t be surprised. I just got promoted.
How would you redefine your role, and what title would you give yourself?
Be creative! It will have an impact!