When I was a young girl, I wished I had any other name except my own. I really wanted to be an Elizabeth. And not a Liz or a Beth or a Libby – but a full-blown “Elizabeth.” It was a name of royalty. It was a name suitable for a princess and I had read enough fairy tales to know that I, indeed, wanted to be a princess. Who wouldn’t? Except when it came to sleeping uncomfortably on a pea, that is.
I thought Rayanne was too boyish, but as I got older, I realized the “Anne” part made it severely less than boyish. Of course, there were those who failed to take the time to really read what my name was and would rattle off indiscriminately the following variations: Roseanne, Raylene, Roxanne, Royanne, Rossanne, and my personal favorite Renee – which looks nothing like Rayanne, unless you are lesdixic. And I later made the ultimate sacrifice by naming my second daughter that very name: Renee.
My first recruiting boss settled into calling me Ray almost from day one and it has since stuck. Talk about sounding boyish. I have since settled in very nicely to liking my name and its multiple derivatives. Except when Animal decided I must from the South with a father named John Boy and a mother named Sue Ellen. Truth be told, there aren’t many women named Ray in recruiting, or even Rayanne – for that matter. So, in the end, it has all worked out pretty well for me.
As I would leave my home for a party or dance or some other potentially dangerous youth activity, My mom and dad would typically say to me, “Remember who you are. Remember who you represent. Remember your name – our name.” Those words had significant impact on me and I have found myself using them on my own children. And now, I not only represent the Thorn name or just myself, but also my company and even my industry. It is not always easy to remember this or to stand in the right light with the right people – whoever they might be. But as long as I remain cognizant of that and that I am not a Bog Princess named Fred, I think I can stay on track.
What does it mean to be a representative of my company, of my industry? Well, I am certainly not perfect – nor have I ever claimed to be…, but I am a hard worker and I try my darnedest to do the things that will bring the best the results. It’s part of that whole “better way” quest I have for myself. It means I try to keep in the forefront of my mind who I am and what I want to achieve – what my company needs to achieve for growth, market saturation, securing revenue, enjoying profit and longevity. I have a part in that – as does every other hand on our constantly swabbed deck. The sum of the parts is greater than the whole.
A rose by any other name, I mean a thorn…