Sunday, December 11, 2011

Business Cards: New Identity for the New Year

I am in the process of printing new business cards.

I ran out of my old ones last week and have been putting off ordering new ones. There are a great deal of changes that are coming in my life in the New Year, and I wanted to make sure that I was able to meet these challenges with a new frame of mind, a regenerated sense of faith and, moreover, a strong and engaged sense of confidence.

So I thought about re-doing my business cards with a different color, maybe a little design in the corner…but then I looked at one of my old cards and read the words stamped into the paper.

On the card it says my name, my credential, a line underneath that says “Psychotherapy and Mediation”, my phone number, fax…and that’s about it. It says nothing about me. If you picked this card up out of a pile of a hundred, it would not catch your eye. It’s boring. It has the same perfunctory information that every other business card has. Nothing makes it stand out. It’s just another card.

So I decided that I was going to change things up a little bit. I’ll keep the phone and fax number, but underneath my name, instead of “Psychotherapy and Mediation”, I have some ideas. The card has to be different. In that space underneath my name, it has to say something more specific. Something memorable. Something that you won’t see on another card, anywhere. Something that just grabs your attention by the collar and gives it a good shake.

My card should say something confident and heroic, like “Ed McShane, Quarterback.” It should give the aura of intelligence, maybe “Ed McShane, Astrophysicist.” Or maybe it should represent truth, justice and the American Way: “Ed McShane, Superman.”

I have thought about dozens of possibilities to use, some descriptive, others informative, and others that make no sense at all: “Ed McShane, Handsome beyond words.” “Ed McShane, Takes No Prisoners.” “Ed McShane, twenty four carat heart of gold.”

I was thinking I could truly reinvent myself and put anything I want on this thing. I mean, really, who cares? What would be the difference if I said I was “Ed McShane, SuperGenius” or “Ed McShane, Cellophane Man?” What would it matter? And to whom? They’re my cards, it’s the image I want to project…I mean, life is short. Why not?

So in a couple of weeks or so I’m going to decide on a card that screams cool, smart, confident, handsome and clever. OK, so I’m probably stretching the truth on the cool and smart part. And maybe the handsome, smart and clever part, too…

But I accept life’s challenge on this one. And life is so short, you know? So I need a little help on this. I don’t want to be the only one engaging in this process. I want all of you to take this challenge, and I want to hear about it. If you had to print out your business cards, and had to put a descriptive few words or phrase underneath it, what would it be? Send it to me at . Let me know what you come up with. I’ll write about the results in the upcoming weeks.

I still have to sift through the phrases that I have in my head. The one I’m leaning toward right now is: “Ed McShane. Yes, THAT Ed McShane…”

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