Going Beyond Chief Bottle-Washer

by Thursday Bram on June 28, 2011

eco bottles
What’s in a name? A lot.

If, when you introduce yourself and list the name of your position as CEO, you’ll get treated a certain way. If, however, you tell people that you’re the owner, operator and chief bottle-washer, you’ll get a very different response.

The biggest reason is simply because that “chief bottle-washer” crack tells listeners exactly how big your business is, and can drop a few hints about how fast you expect to be able to bring anyone else on.

A CEO, on the other hand, is generally someone to take seriously. The title implies that you’ve got a few helping hands, at the very least, and you certainly take your business seriously.

The danger of not being taken seriously

Whether or not you like cracking jokes in public, you’ve got to go out of your way to be taken seriously as a business owner. You don’t have to turn off your sense of humor, but at least starting with the way you refer to yourself is crucial.

My pet peeve in this situation is the title of WAHM — as much as I think it’s a good thing to build a business out of your home and make it possible to both be an entrepreneur and a mom, I don’t think it’s necessary to advertise.

At the very least, you’re telling potential clients that they aren’t your priority — which makes it a whole heck of a lot harder for them to take you seriously.

Not being taken seriously truly is a danger.

No one wants to trust part of their business to someone who is anything less than professional: think about your own feelings on the matter.

You may be willing to give a little more leeway to someone with similar values (such as another WAHM), but you might not be so excited about someone who describes herself as a student or something else that sounds less than professional.

Making sure that you’re taken seriously can be an ongoing endeavour. But when you can take time to think about how you view yourself and how others view you, you’ll be able to find the sticking points a whole lot faster.

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Image by Flickr user Sonny Abesamis, Creative Commons

Thursday Bram offers content marketing through Hyper Modern Consulting, as well as more traditional writing services. She’s also the co-creator of Constructively Productive, the blog that’s bringing perspective to productivity. You can find Thursday on Twitter.

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