I saw an update on LinkedIn the other day from a woman who described herself as a serial entrepreneur. I don’t know the woman. I have no earthly reason to doubt her. But her self-description caused me pangs of skepticism nevertheless.

A professor of English with whom I was acquainted some years ago was discussing the job-searching through which college seniors go. He described the processes of resumé-preparation and cover-letter-writing in which they engage as manipulation of codes of sincerity. It dawned on me when I saw the update from the serial entrepreneur that the codes may have changed in the 25 years or more since I heard the professor’s remark. But the manipulation hasn’t. If anything, it’s gotten worse.

And it made me wonder:

  • If people say they’re serial entrepreneurs, should we believe them?
  • Even if we do, why should we care?
  • How about innovators?
  • What do they innovate?
  • Can they prove it?
  • What about sales accelerators? (I love that one.)
  • Do sales accelerators make people buy things faster? (“Quick! Give me the money!”)
  • Platform marketers? (“Step right up, ladies and gentlemen!”)
  • Business solutions consultants? (These have to be the folks who sell the sulfuric acid [the solvent] in which to dissolve your unprofitable business [the solute].)

While I don’t mean to be unfair or unkind, I do have one particular bugaboo; that is, people who put MBA after their names. Why do they do this? Are they insecure? Do they think we’re easily impressed? Do they want to remember they actually completed their coursework? Do they think it makes them more credible? More marketable? Do they have delusions of grandeur or superiority? Could it stand for something of which we’re not aware? (Mighty Big Attributes?) Is it a subliminal way to communicate they should be paid more? Do they think their names are too short?

I don’t know the answers to any of the questions in this entire post. But I’m going to change my LinkedIn profile, just to be safe. From now on, I’m going to be Mark O’Brien: Serial Entrepreneur, Innovator, Sales Accelerator, Solution Principal, Platform Marketer, Business Solutions Consultant, MBA. I’m going to have a business card as big as a billboard.

And I’ll swear it’s all true on a stack of the codes of sincerity.

Image by OpenClips, courtesy of pixabay.com.