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Is the title 'Founder & CEO' appropriate to use on a business card when you are the only employee of the company?
It is a pretentious and petty affectation and ought not to be done. A CEO in the conventional sense refers to someone who operates a vast enterprise with a complex management structure, board of directors and stockholders. Calling yourself one does not MAKE you one and will only give a negative impression; you will be understood as a joke. You just as well might call a kid with a lemonade stand a "CEO." On legal and similar documents, go ahead and use the title. To the holders of such documents, it simply means you are the person they sue or throw in jail.
Founder? Lord, give me strength. You may in fact BE the founder, but you are the founder of a company which means little to anyone. Big deal.
So what are you, then? You are the owner. This is not only factual but also reasonable and portrays no affectation. After you've built your enterprise into something bigger and financially respectable, THEN call yourself the CEO.
There are so many wanna be, start-up and 2-bit entrepreneurs on Quora who
are just playing house with the titles and fancy terms. "You be mommy and I'll be daddy."
Good grief; get real and recognize yourself for what you are: one person who's just trying to make a living and whose venture, like most others, will probably fail. And when you do, you can look at the business card and think, "O, how the mighty have fallen."
I push around a seven digit number every year and am one of 2 owners of an LLC. The legal paperwork identifies me as "CEO," and my partner as "VP of Operations" or some title which is as ridiculous as me being a "CEO." The whole things makes us laugh. The business cards? "Partner." Pure, simple, and the truth.
This whole, ridiculous, obsession with what you wear, drive, or have on your business cards portrays a serious lack of self-confidence and the mistaken assumption that the way you label something or dress it up has anything at all to do with increasing your chances of success.
Hope that helps. Get back to work and DO something.
Category: Business card