My name in lights?

Business Cards…didn’t seem like a huge or unreasonable request.  About 18 months ago I asked the boss lady (I love calling her that!) if we could get some business cards printed up.  Didn’t even care if they had my name on them – I just thought they would be a good idea for business.  Her response: “Nope, not happening, we sell online why do we need those?” Okay, maybe she said it more delicately but that’s what I heard. 

Fast forward 6 months and then a year later and I put in my 2nd and 3rd requests for said cards. Adding both times that when people ask me what I do, and then seem genuinely interested when I tell them about our sites, I would love to hand them a card so they can check it out.  I firmly feel that when you work for a small business you need to be a walking, talking billboard for your products.  Short of hijacking laptops to take them to the site, or carrying catalogs and river rocks in my purse, I figured business cards were the answer.  But alas, still a no-go from the big chief (tee-hee). 

So, I have to tell you I was completely shocked when last week Brenda says, “I’m designing business cards for us!” My mouth dropped open and then the big smile spread across my face. “Really, we are getting cards?” “Yep, and I’m putting your name on them and we are going to use them a lot, so you better figure out what your title is once and for all.”   Gulp…title?!   I have to define myself and my position here?  Yikes!

Okay, I have made reference before to the fact that I do a little of everything around here. You all have seen the sign over my desk, but I really don’t think NO OAT (Nosy Overseer Of All Things) belongs on a business card.  So what am I around here? Which title will really suit me best and let people I meet or send these to know what I do around here?  With Owner, President, Operator, Boss and Chief already spoken for, I started throwing ideas out:

Administrator (too formal)

Admin (too informal)

Logistics (too complicated)

Sales Manager (too guy in the back room of a used car lot)

I’ve got it, I’ve got it… “Sales and Marketing Manager”!  It really sums up what I do, overseeing the warehouse and stock, marketing our products and managing the sales force.  All wrapped up into one nice title.  Not to mention my mom would be so proud to see that I am finally putting that Marketing degree she paid for to work! (Thanks Mom!) So there you have it, that’s who I am:

Me and the Wiggly Worm Baxter!

 Suzi Marceron – Sales and Marketing Manager –  CourageInStone.com 

But wait, what about what else I am?  Mom, Wife, Sister, Daughter. Lover of all things scrapbook related, team mom for baseball and soccer, PTA officer, and so much more. How will I fit it all on the card?  And what about Baxter, my faithful furry sidekick, shouldn’t he have a business card?  Office greeter, welcome wagon, puppy kisses extraordinaire?  The possibilities are endless…

Why boss is a four-letter word

We’re not big on titles around here.  When my co-worker teasingly refers to me as ‘boss-lady’, I look around to see who is standing behind me.  Surely she’s not referring to me?!

The word boss for me conjures up images of time clocks, dreaded Monday mornings and meetings behind closed doors.   So I definitely don’t want this title.

Technically speaking, I could have lots of titles.  CEO, President, Head Honcho, Big Cheese, Director, Person-In-The-Know, Top Dog.  None of these fit either.  I’m me.  That’s it. 

I think I’m adverse to titles because my business is really an extension of myself.  My personal and business lives constantly intersect and often I cannot tell the two apart.  I do not leave work at the office.  Nor do I leave my personal life at home.

Don’t get me wrong.  This is not always a good thing.  At 9:00 at night, worrying about that shipment that might not get to it’s destination on time is not healthy, productive or useful.  But it’s difficult for me NOT to be concerned because I take everything very personally.  Afterall, I am ultimately responsible for everything that goes on here.  In the same vein, my co-workers have often spent time in my office hugging and comforting me during particularly difficult personal times.  I’m sure the Wharton School of Business would highly advise against this.  Oh well.  

So let me introduce myself. 

Me and my office mate, jogging partner and sidekick Bynum.

I love red wine.  I hate milk.  I do some of my best thinking while I’m jogging and if I don’t jog at least 5 days a week, I don’t feel ‘right’.  My husband is my biggest cheerleader and the funniest person I know.  I love to watch him cook.  I worry a lot about things I cannot control.  I cannot sing.  My dogs make me laugh on a daily basis.  I am concerned I won’t get everything done in the timeframe I want to.  I absolutely adore getting a pedicure.  I love to read.  San Francisco is my favorite city, followed closely by London.  I work very hard and I try to learn from my mistakes.  I thought of this blog while listening to my favorite jazz singer in a jazz club in DC.  I believe in the products we sell. 

My name is Brenda.  It’s nice to meet you.