Signing On

People don’t sign things enough. I mean, in general – an artistic flourish, a maker’s mark, a signet stamp, something. But you should be marking the things you’ve done!

There’s a reason artists sign their work. It’s not just for ownership – the artist will sign a painting even when they’re painting it for other people. It’s because your work is a reflection of who you are as a professional, and the more work you create, the stronger of a reputation you can build.

If people know it was you, that is.

But okay, there’s a world of difference between Picasso signing a masterpiece and you signing a slide deck, right? Heck no. They’re both professional creations that you worked hard on, and you want to reap the benefits.

Think of it like this: if Picasso sells a painting for $10,000, he’s getting more than ten thousand dollars. He’s also getting an increased reputation – one that allows him to charge even more for his next painting. He gets more opportunities to communicate with the artistic community.

But if you get paid to make an earnings report and by the time it reaches senior leadership it’s basically anonymous, you’ve missed that opportunity.

Remember what I said about “maker’s marks?” Your signature doesn’t have to be a literal one. It can be anything that marks it as yours. A specific style can become known as yours. A gimmick like a particular animal as a brand. It can even just be helpfully putting your email address in the footer of each page in case anyone has questions.

But make them yours. You work too hard to do otherwise.

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