A Business Card (And Life) Lesson: Don’t Self Deprecate
I am trying to figure out the best way to write this without self deprecating myself (which is what I’m advising we should all avoid) so realize this as you read this post. The business card you see below is the business card which I’m currently using. I have had them for a bunch of years as when I ordered them I got 1,000 and really didn’t need to hand them out much until the past year. Even then, I often had business cards from other places for which I was working.
I had these cards made by Staples and they are, as I mentioned basic. However, the contact information is all still completely valid even while the title and stated raison d’etre of the cards aren’t.
However, the thing that I have realized more and more as I hand these cards out is not to belittle them as I hand them out. I used to go places with these cards in hand and when someone asked, “Do you have a card?” I would pull out one of these and start excusing their basic appearance. People have said to me when I did that, “Oh, is the contact information valid?” to which I obviously replied the affirmative. They then would shrug and say that it was fine because that’s all they care about.
When I (or you) self-deprecate your card you are also self-deprecating yourself. Don’t make excuses, it doesn’t matter. It is better to project an air of confidence rather than one of unease and not feeling like you measure up. Remember, you’re not giving your card out in a vacuum the people requesting it have already met you, like you, and want to speak to you after you meet them because of who you are as a person – you and not your business card.
In fact, it might even be a good way to segue into another point of conversation. “Oh Dan,” they’d say, “I see you are also an IT Consultant. That’s cool, how did you enjoy doing that? Do you still do it as well?”
At the end of the day no matter what you think about your business card don’t obsess over such things. It is always better in life to project an air of self-assurance and confidence.
It is also a good idea not to obsess about your business cards for a very different reason: you don’t want to end up like Christian Bale‘s character Patrick Bateman in “American Psycho.” Watch how he reacts to the different people’s business cards as they are shown to him. It is straight up hilarious, or it would be if the character wasn’t clearly so nuts.
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Killing a guy because he has a better looking business card than you…really? Well, I guess that’s why they called the movie “American Psycho.”
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I really gotta re-watch that movie now that I think about it. Maybe I will re-watch it again over the weekend. Christian Bale is, in my opinion such a fantastic actor.