I remember when I was in corporate and all I wanted to do was get a business card. Seriously. I thought they were such a symbol of status and power. I saw the people that had them as the ones that really knew what was going on. I thought they were the people who knew something that I didn’t. I thought they were part of an elitist crowd – a crowd that I would very much like to join. I thought that if I was in a position that allowed for a business card, it meant that I knew stuff and commanded some kind of respect.
I had committed the mortal sin.
I coveted thy neighbour’s business card.
How was it that this small piece of cardboard meant so much to me? Did it mean the same to others?
I got the business cards in the end. It didn’t make me feel like I necessarily achieved status and power. I mean, Tom Foolery was wreaking havoc at that stage – see Tom Foolery Part 2.
Now business cards have an entirely different meaning.
Since being in business, they mean blood, sweat, tears, time, creativity and a bared soul. I almost cry over them when I receive them from others who are also in business.
Let me tell you.
When I was first starting out, I saw business cards as a way of communicating who I was and the message that I was going to deliver to the world. These little things were going to tell people who I was, what I was selling and how I was going to sell it.
What a responsibility this little piece of cardboard now held!
And oh what a journey it was. The many, many iterations you go through with your graphic designer. The relationship you form with them. The many decisions you have to make as a result of the process. The pieces you have to forgo and the pieces you have to incorporate. The styles, the fonts, the colours, the shapes – phew. It is a magical and exciting adventure indeed. And an absolutely necessary one. Not because of the end result. Not because of the finalised piece of cardboard at the end of the day. But because of the process to get there. Because of all the little questions you need to ask yourself or are prompted to answer;
Do I want a matt or gloss finish?
Do I want bold fonts, lower cases, traditional fonts or fancy, flamboyant fonts?
Do I want a straight edged, run of the mill rectangle? Or do I want a square? Or do I want a curved edge? Or, or, or do I want a combination of both?
Do I want two colour combinations, three colour combinations or multiple colour combinations?
Do I want my photo on there? Do I not?
Do I want a slogan?
And what about my title? Good Gawd, what is my title going to be? Director, CEO, Dream Chaser – NO – Dream Creator!
All these tiny little questions in this seemingly tiny little process are actually A BIG DEAL.
Because they’re the start of nutting out exactly what impression you’d like to make on the world.
Every time I ended up giving that business card out in the initial stages was like passing on a little piece of my soul. It’s like I was saying, “Here, here I am. Here is me squashed onto this little piece of cardboard. Do you like me? Do I make the cut?”
The trick is, once YOU decide if you make the cut, then others will too.
How do you do that?
In the meantime, keep networking and giving out your card. (This can apply to whether you’re in business or in a role.) Keep intending to make an impression, even if you don’t believe you’re actually making one yourself. You just never know who’s remembering you and what impact you’re making for down the road.
PS. If you like what I have to say, feel free to ‘like it’ or ‘share it’.
PPS. I’ve put together a special little gift, just for you. Get it here.