How’d you come up with the name Office Mercenary?

People have mostly responded well to our business name, a chuckle being most frequent, with an aside of it being ‘cool’ or ‘unique’ but still fairly obvious what we meant. The question we get a lot though is “How’d you come up with that name?”

When I left corporate-landia, I was pretty fried. I had spent years as the go-to person when no one else knew how to do something and was charged with figuring it out. This meant I had an oddly broad skill range with a vague idea that small businesses might like access to some of that. I took a little time to reset, which included some gardening, doing work on the house, napping, and re-reading some of my favorite books, which skew heavily to sci-fi and fantasy, while I figured out what I was really going to do with myself. 

I had been going through a big chunk of my Mercedes Lackey collection, going  straight from the Vows & Honor trilogy into By the Sword. In these, the heroines all spend some time with mercenary groups, but especially Kerowyn in By the Sword. There’s a point where it’s discussed about using the right mercenary group for the right thing. Mounted units don’t go in front of the infantry. Don’t put people in a lot of armor in charge of sneaking anywhere. Don’t let the mage go barreling into rooms to test for traps or see if there’s hostiles since they’re “squishy.” It’s the same concept if you’ve ever played Dungeons and Dragons honestly.

At the time I was thinking how this concept with mercenaries was the same as in an office. Get the right person for the right job. Some skills cross over well, others don’t, so maybe consider that when you need to expand someone’s job description. If you find someone with the ability to be versatile and cover a range of items or a large amount of work, you take care of them (or put more and more on them until they burn out, which is less ideal). But most truly small businesses and solopreneurs couldn’t straight up hire people like that and afford the benefits and other perks, much less have work to keep them fully busy.

I knew what type of virtual assistant I was going to be, specifically being that helpful catch all. Then came titling. I spent a lot of time playing with a “Jill of the Office,” like a Jack of all trades, but just for office work. I ended up fidgeting with some items while putting together the design for my business cards that brought back my thoughts to mercenaries and battle. The pin from my grandmother and letter opener my mother passed on to me while setting up my home office, both in the shape of swords. This led my brain back to the books and how these mercenaries were meant to get in, do what they were best at, and then get out of the way for others to do the same thing. And that’s exactly what I wanted to be: someone who could do what was needed and get out of the way so small business owners could do what they were best at. 

And the concept of an office mercenary was born.