It's subtle, but it matters. The way in which you describe yourself can dramatically alter peoples' perceptions of you. Naturally, we want to position ourselves at the highest possible level in terms of how we are perceived. 

While sharing a meal at Turn 'n Tender, a friend and I got to discussing the importance of properly labelling your career. Based on a few years in the restaurant industry, she is now very careful not to call herself a 'Restaurant Manager.' Instead, she says that she 'runs restaurants.' 

The shift is very subtle.

Yet the connotations are significant. As she explained, 'When you say, 'restaurant manager,' you sound like hired staff. You sound like a person who hasn't been able to make much of their life, so you've drifted into being the person in charge of the kitchen staff. But when you say that you run restaurants, it creates a different set of parameters. Suddenly, you are talking about a dedicated career expert who handles marketing, strategy, operations, possibly finances, and more. It sounds bigger. 

This week, I challenge you to write out two versions of your position: Low level and high level. Spend a little time considering which elements make the difference. In your particular scenario, what distinguishes the guy who shouts at the kitchen staff from the entrepreneur who heads up a fleet of high-end eateries? 

Every detail of your public positioning matters. Say it right, and you may find yourself on a path to owning your industry. 


Douglas Kruger is a professional conference speaker and author of 5 business books. See him in action, or sign up for his motivational newsletter, at