How do you present yourself?

Earlier this month, I was at an industrial trade show running media meetings for a large, well-known manufacturing client. I was standing in their booth during a particularly busy time in the exhibit hall and pitching in where I could until my next meeting.

A man, who looked a little disheveled and addled came wandering up to the display I was standing near. I said hello and he looked at the company name on the booth and said, “With a name like that, you must not be a Japanese company.” I responded that it’s an American company with a global presence. He was silent, looking at the display and not me, so I offered to get someone to answer questions for him.

“Oh no, I’m not a potential customer,” he told me and fished a business card out of his pocket. “I’m a PR guy, if you want to get more publicity for your products, give me a call.” He handed me the card and walked away. I didn’t even have the opportunity to say thanks, he was gone so fast. I stifled a laugh and turned to the product manager who had overheard the “pitch,” he too was laughing.

I’m not in sales or business development, I’m in marketing communications. For the purposes of that trade show, I was the “PR guy.” Never in a million years would I assume a greeting and closing line like that would be professional or persuasive. And I’d never hand someone a business card without actually introducing myself and getting the other person’s name. Whenever you present yourself to others, regardless of what business you’re in, you should strive to be professional and polite.

Here are a few easy communication tips for making a good first time meeting impression: Continue reading

We Go Big! Happy Birthday Brad!

Today is Brad’s birthday! For two weeks, he’ll be a year older than me.

We joke that we go big because something always happens around our birthdays. Last year, right around his birthday was time for Brad to replace his car, so he told people that I got him a car for his birthday. He makes me look like the best wife in the world.

This year is big too. We’ve decided to move.

We sold our house and bought another one in January and now closing is right around the corner. We close and move right between our birthdays. Our last week in our current hour will be Brad’s birthday and our first week in the new house will be my birthday. We’ve been joking that we bought each other a house for our birthdays.

We really do go big!

You know how they say, “Go big or go home?” I guess we’re just going big and going home.

But back to the birthday boy! I am looking forward to celebrating another year of Brad.

We’re upholding his birthday tradition of attending the Cleveland Auto Show and having cheesecake. However, it’ll probably be from the Cheesecake Factory since I’ve already packed everything but the bare essentials in the kitchen (for reference, wine is now served in water glasses at our house. That will soon be plastic cups!).

Happy birthday Brad! There’s no one I’d rather live out of boxes with.

Good Year/Bad Year

The view from my new office

As a kid, the one thing I remember the most about references to wine (from TV or movies) was its year. The phrase “X was a good year” stands out. I feel like and entire year can’t be all good or all bad, but some years stand out as leaning more to one direction than the other.

The years that stand out the most are the bad years. However with each of the bad years in my life, I feel like some of the most joyous things happened at the same time.

For example: Continue reading

Total Weirdos

The other evening Brad looked at me and said, “Do you know that when I first met you, I thought you were a total weirdo?” He followed that shortly with, “and after all these years, I know I was right.”

“Yeah, well I thought you were weird too,” I shot back.

As our 6th wedding anniversary is this weekend, it’s nice to be open about how weird we think the other person really is. Continue reading

What it’s like to be with someone for 10 years

What do you consider to be a long period of time?

I’ve had this unconscious idea in my head that 10 years is a long time. We tend to measure things in 10s. When you hit that 10 years, you get to use the word “decade.”

Well today, it’s been a decade since Brad told me we were humans and we decided to be humans in a relationship. Ten years.

I remember in high school I had been dating a boy (not Brad) for five months and it seemed like a long time. Everyone thought it was a long time. So perhaps it’s a change in perspective.

As I think on it more and more, 10 years is a significant period of time but really, not all that long. I feel like just yesterday I was musing about five years of marriage, but that was in May… five months ago (exactly).

So, what’s it like to be with someone for 10 years? Continue reading