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Born This Way

SIDE NOTE: Last week, I attended a small business workshop sponsored by our business bank, Enterprise Bank & Trust. This was one of several Enterprise University courses that have been helping us finally get busy to go live with this site and our broader web and social media presence for Cover Compliance.

Last week's course, “LinkedIn Deep Dive," provided some helpful information about both the LinkedIn individual profile and company pages. But the best part of the presentation by Jason Terry from
Blue Gurus, a content marketing, web development, and LinkedIn training company and fellow KC small business, was the coaching on using stories (both personal and business ones) to help people get to know you and your business in a more intimate way. It provided just the nudge I needed to feel confident that I can and should be my whole self in this venture. And for that, thank you, Jason and Enterprise University.

After writing this, I even decided to use part of it to update
my personal LinkedIn profile to make it less old-school-HR-recruiting-speak and more me.

I used to say I got my start in privacy and compliance in 2002 when I moved out of technical writing and IT consulting; but a while back I found evidence to disprove that assertion, when I found the complete policy and procedure that I wrote in 1984 to govern how my high school's homecoming festivities were going to work.

It never dawned on me to do anything differently then—I was student body president and I had an obligation to make sure everyone understood what the rules were and how to obey them. (Yes—I was NOT a very easy-going kid back in the day.) Like many things during this past year of being one of two 1.5 FTE dads to our toddler, I have since misplaced that document, but as soon as I find it, I’ll post a copy of it here.

It seems my deep need to help people understand the rules goes way, way back. Finding that old “how to have ‘fun’ the right way at homecoming” document also made me recall how we took violations of the Preppy Handbook a bit too seriously, too, back then. And I’m sure my 7 siblings could provide some unflattering examples from summers under my “leadership” from way before high school.

I’m pretty sure that I’ve become a lot more easy-going since then. I still have the core of my “do what’s right, and try to do it well” values. Those I don’t apologize for. And that’s what brought me back to consulting and this time as my own boss completely.

Several years into my compliance career, I had my wake-up call that traditional corporate employment was not going to get me to retirement when a manager gave me this somewhat-backhanded-compliment: “You do a great job of telling me how to build a clock. The only problem is, most of the time I just need you to to tell me what time it is.” No—the only problem was: This person asked me what time it is KNOWING that the clock had been intentionally set for a different time zone, and that it was possibly broken, and yet they still expected me to give the “simple” answer everyone would expect and approve of. That was the point where I realized I needed to be an independent voice. It took me a few more years of working in corporate roles to get everything lined up to go full-time solo, but now here I am.

People who seek my help know that I am more than willing to be the bearer of bad news when bad news indeed threatens—but I also bring creative solutions, a willingness to dive deep to make them work, and drive to leave things better than I found them. I am so blessed to have this opportunity to bring my whole self to my practice, to share knowledge freely, and to have faith that success in all its forms will follow when I do.

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Privacy & data protection compliance programs simplified for smaller businesses that lack staff or resources to purchase and manage complex enterprise systems.
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Cover Compliance LLC
Overland Park, KS in the Kansas City area

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