It’s official, I’m a mom. Anyway, that’s what my card says: “Company Mom.” What can that possibly mean? It means that when I get introduced to our clients or our vendors as the “company mom” I get just a hint of an eye roll (much like those of my formerly at-home children), or at the very least, that little wrinkle between the eyes that says “huh?” quite distinctly. It says that at any given time I can give “the look” and most, if not all of the team at Imagine Marketing pays attention. It means I can set rules, regulations and restrictions. What that title means most to me, though, is that I have joined a team of young, energetic, incredibly bright, enthusiastic and creative people.
In this day of post-feminist activism, a movement I whole-heartedly embraced, it was a bit of a stretch for me to be known as a “mom” when my actual position is, uh, well, okay, it’s a mom. During my interview, it became very clear that the receptionist, bookkeeping and general all-around office duties had been handled by anyone who was handy. If a phone was ringing someone would answer it, if something needed filing it was filed, and billing was a teeth grinding late-night process added to the already impossible schedule of the company owner. As I was sitting there taking this all in, I voiced the first thought that came to me, “What you need is a mom.”
So after 1-1/2 years of retirement from mostly public sector positions, I was now in the private sector. It was tough. These people purchased things without prior approval. They walked in and out at their own will. They didn’t have a clue what a timecard was and heaven help me if I asked them when they might be back in the office. Didn’t they understand organization? Accountability? Regulation?
It didn’t take me long to learn what they did understand. They understood marketing. They understood public relations, advertising, graphic art and the evolution of the market and how it impacts their clients. They understood how to bond with a prospective client to find out what that person or organization really wanted. They understood what it takes to truly become their clients’ best source and resource to grow their business. They understood what it takes to make a success of a business started up in a home office just a few short years ago.
And the mom thing? No doubt, I’m still the mom because they still laugh and grumble when I ask them for things, but I know when a client calls, they will answer. And if I need to know anything about marketing, public relations or art, I know exactly who I can go to. It’s good being a mom.
Sue Burkholder is the Company Mom at Imagine Marketing.
Contact Sue at firstname.lastname@example.org