Obsessed With Having A ‘Fun’ Job Title? Don’t Make This Mistake.

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Attention all service based business owners (especially anyone in the realm of “life coaching”)

 

PICTURE THIS:

You’re hanging out at a dinner party and the douchy guy next to you (who has been trying to hit on you the entire night) finally takes a breath after talking about himself for 3 hours straight, and asks you what YOU do.

You reply with a slightly uncomfortable “I’m a life coach”.

And after he chokes on his drink because he couldn’t hold his snort to himself, he asks “What’s a life coach?”

And then you get into a long spiel about how you help people be their most authentic selves, create a life of purpose and passion, and live in alignment with their values”

Your gentleman friend slugs back his scotch and says “So, like, therapy?”

So you dive into the exact reasons why coaching differs from therapy (except, um, you’re still a little fuzzy on the exact differences, and while you do your best to sound like you know what you’re talking about, you start to see the guy’s eyes glaze over as he pours himself another single malt).

 

So you decide then and there that, OMG, you MUST figure out a better job title than ‘life coach’ (besides, you’re not a typical life coach, and you want a job title that really reflects your personality)

 

So you start playing around with words:

Life Strategist

Authenticity Activist

Passion Instigator

Or if you’re in another field: Business Fairy, Real-Food Diva, Happiness Optimizer, Word Chef, Design Gardener, Small-Business Flame-Thrower, Website Valet, Legacy Agent, *Fitness Dentist (*This option came out of a conversation with Lyndsay Rush about how people who make up these kinds of job titles tend to want to pull words from other industries. We giggled a lot, and the Fitness Dentist was born).

 

You get the point. Your clever job title makes no sense and no one has any idea what you’re talking about.

 

So you end up in the same situation as the poor life coach above, and you end up spending most of your time justifying your industry or taking in general terms (usually in a way that makes NO sense to the person you’re talking to), rather than actually giving people a clue about what YOU do, specifically.

Which clearly isn’t going to get you a client. Sure, it might be fine to put on your website if you already have a fun title in mind, but otherwise, skip it and learn to talk about what you do instead.

Now, I’m not a big fan of an “elevator pitch” or a “cocktail speech” (there’s nothing worse than the guy at a networking event who puts on his business voice and word for word recites his perfectly crafted pitch. Ughhhhh).

But there is something to be said for being able to explain what you do in a way that is succinct and MAKES SENSE.

Ideally, when you tell someone what you do, you want them to immediately think “OMG – I know someone who needs exactly that!”, then immediately call their sister and tell her to call her best friend and tell her about the amazing person they just met (that’s you).

And having a fancy and clever job title won’t help you do that.

Know what will?

 

Being able to tell people what problem you solve, using words they actually understand.

 

A fancy job title feels fun and cool, but it won’t get you business.

 

So if you’ve been struggling to come up with the perfect witty job title, I DARE YOU to stop the insanity and focus on talking about what you DO, instead of trying to fit yourself into the box of a title (because isn’t that like, the opposite of being Uncaged?).

 

It’s actually quite liberating, to let go of needing to have a job title. I dare you (and if you’re anything like me, you’re not one to pass up a dare).

Screen shot 2013-02-15 at 8.24.14 AM

 

 

PS. If you’re looking for help creating your pitch and learning to talk about what you do in a way that has people pay attention (and doesn’t make you feel like a blubbering idiot!), we cover all of this and more in Uncage Your Business. Click here for info about the next round!

Comments

comments

Read 24 Comments & Leave Yours

  1. GabrielPurcarus

    That makes a lot of sense. There is a lot of confusion in the real world about titles, and 99% people either don’t understand what that person does, or they get the wrong idea. It is like judging a book by its cover or title. Much better to tell a short story (the plot) to make it interesting. I worked 10 years in real estate and until today I did not what to tell people I really do (I still don’t know yet, but at least I know now where the problem lies !) Thank you Rebecca!!

  2. TheRealJCov

    Absolutely Becca! I found myself worried about this again yesterday. Fun titles are fun but they still are as clear as “life coach”. Your formula if just focusing in the problem you solve is the best way to go. Great post and all those titles you came with were amazing! Ha!

  3. JenniHulburt

    loved what you wrote about this Becca.  I’ve come up with one similar to your’s recently.  “You know how people have problems with unwanted side effects from over the counter and prescription drugs?  I teach people about natural solutions with essential oils.”

  4. Tami aka giftsweetgirl

    I LOVE this and I’m so thankful you wrote this blog post. I personally think that a lot of time is spent crafting these job titles that you’d never say out loud to someone at a party (true measure of what works). I love the idea of describing the issue/challenge of your clients and saying you help them with that problem. Makes so much more sense.

  5. Tami aka giftsweetgirl Riiiight!? If you can’t say it out loud with a straight face, you’re probably missing the mark!

  6. JenniHulburt Awesome, so clear and concise!!

  7. TheRealJCov haha Lis and I had fun coming up with all the ridiculous names!

  8. GabrielPurcarus Yowza, ten years and still not really wanting to tell people what you do! If you told me you worked in real estate, I’d still hound you with a bunch of questions til I really understood what you do! Think about what problem you solve for people – I bet it’s easier to describe than you think it is!

  9. SaraJSanderson

    HAHAHAHA!!!! Made me laugh out loud!!!!! Thank you for this blog post. So spot on! I’m still exploring what feels comfy to say to people and reading your own explanations for your business really helped. Thank you Rebecca!!!!!

  10. janehalton

    I grimace at “life coach” but I love helping Christians blow up evangelical baggage and figure out what really matters to them now. Also I have to share the most canned elevator pitch I ever heard was from a guy who worked for a major tobacco company (groan), “I market an adult product for those who choose to use it”

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  12. Rebecca_Beaton

    I recently decided to get rid of my job title all together… I figure they are a bit oudated ;) Now I am simply, me. Rebecca Beaton. And I focus on what I do, how I help people… thx to tips from Coaching Biz Jumpstart yo!

  13. yep, guilty of having a borrrrring job title – Health and Wellness Coach, when it’s really all about helping those with Hep C find what I did – ways to be strong again that goes against the grain of mainstream medicine.  Maybe I’m the Radical, Against the Grain, Liver Health Dude.  Or maybe not, but it’s a good practice to think about what I actually offer and how to have on line searchers “get” me.  And, all of your posts promote an uplifting attitude, which is the first step to becoming whole, aligning with an attitude that screams out, “Anything is Possible”.  Very cool message, and your passion and love for life just jumps off the screen.  I speak for many when I say thank you Becca.

  14. Matt Starr No no, Boring is GOOD! At least boring makes sense!

  15. Rebecca_Beaton yessss I don’t really use a job title anymore (except when I go through border security and they force me to call myself something! I usually make it as boring and straightforward as possible)

  16. janehalton bahahh WORST pitch ever!!

  17. SaraJSanderson  Awesome Sara! Go with boring and clear versus clever and fun! (that’s the only time you will ever hear me say to choose the boring option!)

  18. kateapanui

    Hey guys, 
    I read this post, and then a couple of days later I listened to the free call you just did – Awesome by the way.  And I can’t tell you how much it has helped me!  People are actually fascinated by what I do when I stop being awkward in the way that I present myself and just talk freely about what I do and who I work with, rather than try to give them my hip one-liner or say that I’m a coach.  3 people in the last 2 days have sat and asked lots of questions, and got super excited about my services.  (This has never really happened before!)  Thank you so much for your awesome help.

  19. kateapanui  FANTASTIC news! Congrats Kate, and so glad you shared!!!

  20. This is perfect for me. I am starting a coaching business and decided I wasnt doing a title because it wouldnt explain what I did.  This is what I do. i help people who find out they cant eat gluten or have a food allergy and have no idea what to do after they find or how to live and help them kick all the doubts and fears away. I help them create a new lifestyle with information and  how to handle the social aspects and relationships too. this gives me a place to create something with who ever I am talking to .. now when I get a website.. I have freedom to keep away from a title.. thanks, connie

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