What’s in a name?

Creating a business identity as unique and individual as you ...

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For many small businesses, entrepreneurs, startups, it all begins with a question … what (on earth) do I name my company?  For some, there is very pain-staking and in-depth research that goes in to the naming process.  For others, there are brain-storming sessions, (throw stuff out there and see what sticks) suggestions from family and friends, LinkedIn and Facebook polls, etc.

Let’s take Google for example.  The founders decided on the second name – Google – due to a mis-spelling of the word Googol.  No, Google was not their first choice.  They were going to use BackRub (yes, really).  But elected (thankfully) not to proceed with that.  Then they researched and found Googol – a mathematical term that included lots of zeros.  When they ventured to the WWW to see if the name was registered and/or taken, they misspelled it as Google and voila, the name was born.  And as we all know is now iconic.

The methodology behind a naming decision is personal, first and foremost.  It also has to have consumer staying power.  It should be unique and while some have said it should be relatable, I don’t necessarily agree.  I don’t think I would have been able to relate to Google before I knew what it was.  However, the name is unique, has definitely had staying power and everyone in the world (well, almost) knows who and what Google is.

If you are an entrepreneur in the discovery stages of founding, formulating and creating a company, there will be trials, tribulations, errors, misspellings and lots of (sometimes unsolicited…breathe) advice.  Be sure to listen, observe, take copious notes and then select a name that is right for you.  Be sure that you can live, eat, sleep and breathe it.  Make sure you can explain it, especially if it’s unique.  And, most importantly, make sure that you LOVE it.

I’ve had countless people ask me “what does Metanoia mean?”  To make a long story short, I wanted a name that was parallel to the mission & vision of my company – change and transformation.  That’s what I do.  I empower leaders and organizations to deep dive and change, transform.  After countless hours of research (research nerd acknowledgement here), the word metanoia (eventually) popped up.  Webster’s definition (in its short form) is “the process of changing.”  Voila, (drop the mic) for me, that was it.  Mission bazillion and one accomplished, name locked down.

Then, came the next logical question … what about a logo???  This part of the (ad)venture turned into a bigger project than I anticipated.  The research (nerd) began again and continued for quite a long time.  I wanted a logo that not only ran parallel to the name of my company but to the meaning the name symbolized.  The open Delta presented itself and again, I just knew.  Delta is the fourth letter of the Greek alphabet.  The number four symbolizes building a secure foundation for the future, stability.  The open delta means “an openness to change.”  With a top hat, it means progress.  Again, I had my ah-ha moment.  Mission bazillion and two accomplished, name locked down.

We’ll delve into the topic of a tag-line in another article.  That was a monster!  Just sayin’. The bottom line?  Be true to you.  Be true to the mission and vision you have of your new company; embrace it, own it and believe in not only the company but in you.  If you become stuck, don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Do some research and investigate hiring a professional (Coach) to help you navigate toward and ultimately achieve your ah-ha moment.  Those moments are glorious, mic dropping, dancing on the couch moments.  If you’re stuck, reach out, a little coaching goes a long way.

Lisa A. Karell PCCM CLC COSC ACC

Metanoia Inc. LLC

Traversing change through Discovery

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